When New York designer Louis Dell'Olio travels to Japan, he does more than promote his designs for Anne Klein. "I've learned from the Japanese that the well-proportioned petite woman can wear anything other women can wear. And that they will wear anything, including the clothes of Japanese designers, which are among the biggest clothes around."

It's this attitude toward dress that Dell'Olio has incorporated into the new petite line for Anne Klein II. "They are virtually the same clothes as Anne Klein II but reproportioned. It is not just shortening the sleeves and shortening the hems but a total new proportion," he said.

"Petites have always had the connotation of girlishness and petite women often have no place to shop but in departments with clothes that don't suit them. I hope these clothes will feed that need," added the designer, whose line for petites soon will be at Woodward & Lothrop, Lord & Taylor and Piaffe.

Dell'Olio has no plans to create a line for large-size women. "There certainly is a demand for such things, but the problem is far more difficult than making clothes for petites," he said. "Large sizes are not a proportion problem but a design problem. Clothes don't translate from regular sizes into large sizes as they do into petites."