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FASHION / Night moves

BOUNDARIES are being crossed. Last spring, the international catwalks showed multiple examples of fashion's new mismatching - items not usually worn together were put together in new, fresh ways. Then came summer and a general loosening up - the return of the fluid dress, the fusion of Eastern and Western styles, the fall of the shortie skirt (though thighs made brief appearances at haute couture in July) and more breaking of rules.

For autumn, the shake-up will be more dramatic as rigorous tailoring gets the stuffing knocked out of it and the dress codes of the working woman ease up even further. One of the major changes will be the sight of evening-wear worn in a downbeat way for day.

You can seen it starting now: opulent satin slips which look like exquisite nightgowns are teamed with cropped sweaters; satin pyjama tops with tailored trousers; floppy pyjama trousers with sloppy-joe sweaters or outsized shirts. For the first time in decades, silver lame teamed with knitwear will be seen out of a nightclub, while cheesecloth, already popular with teenagers, grows up and gets respectable for autumn.

Whatever you might think about fashion this summer, it's re-educated us in comfort. Instead of up-tight clothes that fit, we have taken to wearing clothes that flow. For autumn, we can relax even more.

Short pink crepe embroidered shirt, pounds 130, by Ghost, from Whistles, St Christopher's Place, London W1 and branches nationwide; Warehouse, 61 Glassford Street, Glasgow; ivory Chinese silk pyjamas, pounds 85, by Wealth of Nations, to order call 071-371 5333.

Opposite: cream cheesecloth shirt, pounds 18.95, from Liberty, Regent Street, London W1; silk grosgrain pyjama pants, pounds 285, available in October, from the Cruise collection at Ralph Lauren, 143 New Bond Street, London W1.

Cream wool ribbed jumper, pounds 112, by John Rocha at Whistles, St Christopher's Place and branches nationwide; Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1; long silver lame slip dress, pounds 295 by Liza Bruce, to order from Pellicano, 63 South Molton Street, London W1; chiffon underslip, pounds 400, from a selection by Corrine Cobson at Jones, 15 Floral Street, London WC2; brown leather lace-up boots, pounds 225, by Freelance from Plum Line, 55 Neal Street, London WC2

(Photographs omitted)