Born and Worn in the U.S.A.

Homegrown Sportswear Has Created a New Kind of Clothing Flash

First order of business is a little reassurance.

American fashion design has been tied up in knots of inferiority for years now. The home team struggles gamely to uphold the classic couture tradition, but, despite the cheerleading of merchandisers and the national fashion press, swank is not what the U.S.A. does best. There is no national knack for it. Fancy dress, American-style, veers between the grandiloquent tack of Nolan Miller's Dynasty duds and the glum glitz of the Seventh Avenue couturiers. If hell, as Sartre suggested, is other people, they will be dressed by Oscar de la Renta.

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