Living: The Unbuckled Sunbelt Look

It is more a frame of mind than a fashion, a zip code rather than a style. Yet the new look from California—it might be called the Pacific Overture—is swiveling eyes and stoking department-store sales from coast to coast. So far this year, the young California Contemporary Fashion Guild, representing 32 West Coast designers, has rung up about $40 million in sales; in 1976 the group grossed $100 million.

The unbuckled Sunbelt look made a big hit last month at showings in frozen New York, if only by way of contrast to the...

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