Living: Couture Goes Daring And Wacky

For the fall, high hemlines and theatrical formulas

The fall collections just unveiled by Paris couturiers leave no doubt: something is up on the fashion runway, and it is more than hemlines. After several drowsy years, couture is in again by being far-out again. The new high-fashion collections have exploded in a colorful array of stylized, theatrical creations, and in the process have stolen back much of the action from the swaggering ready-to-wear industry. The relentlessly ballyhooed miniskirts, to be sure, are riding high -- very high. But in addition, the couture lines offer daring, bewitching and wacky costumes that pay homage to, . among other things, 17th and...