Truth in Advertising

No, there is no Ellen Tracy, but yes, there is a Linda Allard, who has been designing the line for 25 years. Her name has been on the label for only two years. "It never bothered me because I loved what I was doing," said Allard, who was at Garfinckel's this week. "But when the company made a shift to higher prices, we felt women would identify with a real person rather than a company name." The #100-million-volume company shifted to higher prices, said Allard, because of her sense of her customers' needs. "As I got older, I wanted better quality clothes. And I thought of those of us with more prominent careers better clothes without paying a fortune."

Some of those career women have raised questions about the shorter lengths Allard includes for fall. "Women are afraid they are sacrificing their long-fought step up the corporate ladder by wearing short skirts. But they imagine short skirts as miniskirts. That's not ture," she said. Her short option is 24 to 25 inches, which comes to midknee on most.

"It's difficult for a woman who wants to look feminine and still be asserting herself professionally," said Allard. "Most women can wear skirts that graze the knee even in the most serious corporate atmosphere, and not worry that they are flaunting their sexuality."

Allard has designed some long, fluid skirts to wear with sweaters. "Everyone is talking about short but there is always a customer for long skirts," said Allard. Notes de la Mode

Yes, that was the designer Adolfo, wearing white jeans and a plaid shirt, looking through the gate of the White House last week. The designer, who has made many clothes for Nancy Reagan, was in town for the Hispanic Designer salute.

In a press conference in New York, Estee Lauder President Leonard Lauder introduced Liza Minnelli and announced that she will star in the television commerical for Metropolis, a new Lauder frgrance for men that will reach the store in November. "We wanted to convey the dynamism and energy of the world's great cities. There is no one that personifies the metropolis today more than Liza," said Lauder. 40 Years of New Look

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christian Dior's New Look with a visit to the upcoming exhibition of Louise Dahl-Wolfe's photographs from Dior, which opens Sept. 21 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, or make yourself a Dior New Look suit from Vogue Pattern 1919. (1919 was the year a gypsy fortune teller told Dior that "women are lucky for you -- through them you will achieve great success.")

Designs, Over From the Cold

Will Viyacheslav become as familiar a fashion name as Calvin, Ralph and Oscar? One American-Soviet trade group is counting on it.

More than 150 designs by Viyacheslav Zaitsev, the leading designer for Moscow's House of Fashion and the favorite of Raisa Gorbachev, will show an initial collection for the American market at the Waldorf Astoria in New York next month -- at the time his American counterparts will be showing their wares for next spring. Organized by Intertorg, an American trading company that more typically deals in heavy equipment like tunneling machines, the clothes will be made in North Carolina from Zaitsev designs. "I'm a chauvinist," says Suzanne Stafford, managing director of the company, who is from North Carolina and made the arrangement with Tanner, a manufacturer of quality day wear. "We are purchasing his designs to be manufactured here mostly in American fabrics." According to Stafford, it is the first nonindustrial Soviet license here.

This is not the first time Russian fashions have been offered to American consumers. In February 1973, Hess, an Allentown, Pa., department store, offered four styles from the Moscow House of Fashion, designed by Tamara Fidel, Galya Gagarina and Lena Telegina. Customers could order the styles to be made up in Moscow. The four dresses, two of which had see-through tops, were the hit of the more than 100 fashion shows at which they were shown, but there were only four sold at about $900 each. Says Hess' President Irwin Greenberg, "We had orders for 18 more. We just couldn't get the Russians to fill our orders."

Don't look for any see-through tops from Zaitsev. "Our potential customer is the professional woman," says Stafford, who puts Zaitsev "on the level with Cardin, Saint Laurent and Valentino."

She's not sure "who and when it was decided that this is a world-class designer and should be exported." But she and others are feeding him information about the American market.

"He's Nordic in the sense that he is used to cold weather," she says. "We're giving him magazines and fabric samples and telling him about air conditioning to introduce him to the West."

His Sling and Arrow

Redskins quarterback Jay Schroeder injured his shoulder in a game last week and won't be on the field for three or four weeks. Still, his fans are merciless. Two hundred or so lined up at Hecht's Metro Center store Tuesday for his autograph. He undid his sling and signed away.

"I feel pretty good," said Washington's favorite quarterback, who was there for an Arrow Shirts promotion. Schroeder was chosen as part of their "Arrow All-Star Team" of beloved sports figures that includes Dan Marino, Gary Carter, Walter Payton and Moses Malone. Schroeder, who wears a 17 1/2-35 size shirt, asked the team doctor for a "low-key sling." He didn't want it to stand out too much.

Martha S. Dailey Aisles Of Styles

Who ever thought we'd complain about there being too many worthy fashion events on the same day in Washington? But that's the case for next Saturday, Sept. 26. Among them: the Black Caucus Fashion Show luncheon at the Washington Hilton; the GQ fashion show with designer Bill Robinson and lots of local business and media celebs, sponsored by Woodward & Lothrop at the Park Hyatt; Clothilde, the signature model for Ralph Lauren, at Woodies in Fair Oaks mall for the opening of the Ralph Lauren boutique and the black tie opening of Bloomingdale's; Mediterranean Odyssey at White Flint to benefit Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries. Also the same day, Eleni Epstein, former Washington Star fashion editor, will do a personal reminiscence about Christian Dior at Raleigh's, Mazza Gallerie.