FASHIONS: Zero Hour

Said Designer Marcel Rochas before the spring fashion openings in Paris: "I feel at zero hour, ready for a fresh departure." That was what Paris needed if it was to regain its place as fashion leader of the world. This week, glimpsing the first pictures of the spring fashions, U.S. women could decide for themselves just how fresh a departure Paris had made.

Skirts were tighter and shorter, as much as 16 in. from the ground. Padded hips were out; gone, too, were the waist corsets and many of the other foolish furbelows...