John Whitledge, an avid surfer, set his heroine not in his home base of Newport Beach but on the Great Lakes, circa 1968. In the past, the fun and games at Trovatacapoeira demonstrations, guest rock stars, actors pretending to be Eastern European aristocratshave sometimes overshadowed the main event. But this time it was all about the clothes: More mature and well thought out than previous seasons, Spring featured ankle-length silk shirtdresses, drop-waist frocks, and plenty of structured jackets (one standout had an Empire-pleated back). Though the look was slightly more grown-upand, unlike last Spring, the models actually wore shoes this timeit was still characteristically kicked back. "Overall, I want it to be simple and effortless," Whitledge said, showing off the models' classic white Keds. Trovata will probably always remain California-casual, but it was good to see the brand pushed forward another notch.