The loudest cry of protest and ridicule to greet the opening of the Paris collections last August came from California, land of the full-blown American beauty. But on the opening day of Santa Anita's magnificent track this year, the best-dressed ladies to be found in the Turf Club wore the H-line silhouette of Christian Dior and such American designers as Karen Stark and Pauline Trigere. Their escorts wore polo coats of camel's hair or vicu√±a, sport jackets over odd vests, sweater-vests of cashmere.
Merle Oberon wore Dior's new suit of gray flannel, with a boxed jacket which was partly cut away at sides like a man's shirttail, in the Brazilian Room of Santa Anita's Turf Club.
Mrs. Patrick Doheny also wore a Dior suit, this one with a new longer jacket buttoned snug at the hip. Formal accessories: white kid gloves—a California preference—satin scarf, diamond bracelet.
Mrs. William Shea of Beverly Hills wore an overblouse costume of black and white tweed that buttons down the back. It's by New York dress-designer Karen Stark.
Mrs. George M. McRoberts of Sierra Madre wore a tweed coat by Pauline Trigere. Its box-pleated, straight lines are prophetic of a new slim silhouette for one of California's favorite fashions—the casual sport coat.