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LOS ANGELES — As the city’s spring fashion week moves into high gear Friday, here are the hot trends and some happenings about town.

This story first appeared in the October 30, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

What’s hot for Spring 2003? Buyers and vendors are heading to market in Los Angeles this week with a list they believe will get consumers spending.

Stripes: Appeared last spring, but are gaining momentum in the coming year. “Forward when paired with feminine lacy styles,” observed Sandy Richman, co-owner of retail buying office Directives West.

Feminine: Ruffles, ruching, puckering and flowing. Girlish party dresses, summer frocks, as well as ditsy prints and exotic florals.

Utility (Cargo): Balenciaga revived the look and now every category can’t get its fill — elements are going mainstream in pants, skirts, jackets and accessories.

Skirts: One of spring’s biggest stories, skirts are expected to outshine shorts and cropped pants. They also play a part in an emerging trend — the new sharply tailored skirtsuit. “Spring 2003 suits have a sportswear bent. Cropped jackets easily work back to a pair of jeans. Skirts are interesting with a tank or twin set. There’s lots of emphasis on the new suit,” said Durand Guion, women’s fashion director at Macy’s West.

Ethnic Prints: Paisley, Asian, vintage Hawaiian and batik prints from Africa and Bali on anything from tunics to light cotton blouses.

Relaxed Wear: Washed-down, beachy styles such as linen drawstring pants, garment-dyed sweatshirt tops and T-shirt sundresses. “Maybe it’s because we’re in California. Anything too dressed up is not good for us. We like things that are patched up, a little on the ragged side. I love someone to be scruffy and wearing one of our bags,” said Jennifer Tash, president of Isabella Fiore handbags.

Think Pink: In shades from baby pale to peony to magenta. “There’s nothing more feminine than pink. When you’re born a girl, you’re immediately thrown into something pink. As we’re revisiting what it is to be a woman, pink is a fresh way to do that. Plus, with skirts and dresses so big for spring, why not start the trend with the right color?” said Natasha Silver, co-owner of the N2 showroom.

Finer Knits: Tissue-weight pointelle and cobweb crochets are a more subtle continuation of the bohemian mood.

Patchwork: Accomplished as prints, as fabric mixes in one garment, or sections of pieced, calico appliqués placed as embellishment on jackets or skirts.

Martial Arts: Pants with judo-wrapping waistbands, obi waist details, wrap tops and kimono sleeves.

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