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BY DESIGN : SNEAK PREVIEW : Fall Fashion Lineup

L.A. designer Rich Valenza’s answer to the Casual Friday dilemma is a collection of loose-fitting jackets, vests and trousers inspired by vintage menswear. “I searched antique clothing stores in L.A. and New Orleans and found great suits and tuxedos from the ‘30s,” says Valenza, who is probably best-known for founding Re-Style L.A., a scholarship program for inner-city youth.

Even though the collection is made by Lanier, the largest manufacturer of tailored clothing in the United States, jackets in the Valenza’s Evolution collection are absent the shoulder pads and chest pieces found in more traditional tailored menswear.

Prices are equally pared down: When the line arrives in stores this summer, an entire outfit--jacket, vest, trousers--will cost less than $200. The model for this type of dressing is inspired by--what else?--"the way men dress in Hollywood.”


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