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WOMEN'S SPRING SUITS FEATURE SIMPLICITY IN VIVID COLOR AND GRAPHIC COMBINATIONS

Behind the heavy, horn-rimmed glasses, Liz Claiborne pores over the endless portfolios that top her desk - a desk buried with design ideas that appeal to working women all over America.

Though officially retired, Claiborne's impact on season-after-season women's wear jingles national cash registers to the tune of $1.7 billion in 1990, an increase of 22.6 percent over 1989.With 19 divisions, the company expanded into many new markets, pioneering a men's line, developing a plus size line titled Elisabeth and sport shoe and suit collections.

The spring suit line features simplicity and versatility in vivid color and graphic combinations of black with white or red or splashes of solids like tangerine, lime or bristol blue.

Distinctive workday silhouettes are cut in an impressive array of options: Jackets hug the body and feature jewel necks or shawl collars. Skirts are pleated or slim. City shorts are softly tailored.

Linen walking shorts anchor the sportswear lines for spring, a jaunty look punctuated by cardigan jackets and cotton jersey T-shirts.

Dress for spring weekend activities focuses on the Liz & Co. calico collections in fresh mixes of pattern and texture. From a bold bouquet of bright wild flowers to a country gingham plaid, fun fabrics show up in easy pieces like gently flared skorts, patchwork shirts or oversize T-shirts.

Layered head-to-toe, or mixed with solids, the Claiborne look is fluid and clean with white as the essential neutral to provide contrast against the vivid colors.