CALIFORNIA DESIGNERS : In the Heartland : City Fashions at Home in the Country

Mary Rourke is a Times staff writer

Do clothes created for urbanites have the same appeal in rural areas? The California designers featured here believe that their fashions are for all kinds of people. But we wondered what the folks in Kern County would say. So we carried new fashions by California designers into the wide-open spaces near Bakersfield. Here, the leading industries are agriculture and oil; 43,000 people work outdoors, mostly in blue jeans. Yet when Kern County residents sampled designer looks, they found that these fall styles, although closer to cutting-edge fashion than what they usually wear, are as suitable to California's heartland as they are to Melrose Avenue.

Hair and makeup: Bob Maestas / The Trimmings Salon, Bakersfield; stylist: Joanna Dendel; assistant stylist: Eddie Fernandez; special thanks to Diane Rotondo / Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

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