FASHION: FALL ISSUE : Hot Items to Fill Out the Wardrobe


It's time to plug the gaps in your fall wardrobe. If you're not too late, you can place your bets on these looks that are moving quickly off the racks.

Daytime dress. It's back. The chemise is a fall favorite for Adrienne Vittadini, Michael Kors, Isaac Mizrahi, Calvin Klein and Charlotte Neuville, among others. Kaner suggests topping it with a three-quarters or seven-eighths coat for an ensemble look.

At Bob Mackie, "The chemise is 'it' for day," says Ray Aghayan, president of Bob Mackie Inc. A line in black, teal or red wool jersey, each about $1,100, is at Elizabeth Arden, Martha and Sara Fredericks.

At Martha International, a bestseller is an A-line navy chiffon "baby doll" dress trimmed in blue satin. It's from Badgley Mischka for $1,290. Also selling well is Christian Francis Roth's black wool jersey multicolor trapeze dress, $840. With rock-like appliques, he calls it a "rubble" dress, a la The Flintstones.

Little black dress. Crayon colors like orange, red and purple, which are mixed and matched or paired with black, are making news, but the little black dress is a staple. Off-the-shoulder, slip-like and body-hugging styles are common. Calvin Klein has a short, basic black T-shirt sequin dress, about $3,000 at Nan Duskin in Philadelphia and Bergdorf Goodman.

Anything short. A lot of barely-there looks came down the runway for fall, including Isaac Mizrahi's popular "placemat" skirt--a strip of fabric wrapped over opaque leggings and turtleneck and held in place by a single button at the hip.

Even conservatives such as Adolfo and Bill Blass are taking the short cut. Blass is talking about his "new ballgown"--a short, strapless satin sheath with a dramatic sash that drops to the floor. It comes in pale blue for $3,000 at Elizabeth Arden, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

Day for night. Daytime clothing is showing up in luxury fabrics like washed silk, satin, suede and fur, both fake and real. Norma Kamali has sporty catsuits in dressy fabrics like crushed velvet. Daytime fabrics like pinstripe wool and tweed are turning out for evening, in Bill Blass' strapless cocktail dresses.

Anoraks. A carry-over from last year, anoraks are still strong. Updating the look are luxury fabrics like satin, silk, suede and leather.

Bill Blass' red satin parka for evening, lined in taupe satin, is a bestseller.

Blass pairs the parka with a petrel green sweater and green and gold metallic lace skirt.

The three pieces go for $6,680 at Martha, Neiman Marcus, I. Magnin and Sara Fredericks.

A leather anorak is $2,995 at Gucci boutiques.

Coats. Short and swingy. Three-quarter length coats are swift sellers at I. Magnin, according to Wilmer Weiss, senior vice president of communications. "They're perfect over little dresses, short skirts and leggings," he says.

There's a black faux leopard by Sonia Rykiel, $990; a teal duffle coat by Yves Saint Laurent, $2,100; and a burnt orange or pale blue Indian blanket coat with shawl collar by Adam Douglass, $295.

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