Single-color outfit adds daytime elegance


November 24, 1994|By Elsa Klensch | Elsa Klensch,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q:My husband and I are going to Paris in February with another couple. We want to really do the town, see the museums and eat at fine restaurants. I have plenty of clothes for evening but don't have anything really dressy for day. What should I look for?

A: According to Paris designer Sonia Rykiel, one way to loodressed up for day is to wear an outfit in one color. It's richer, more formal and more luxurious.

She says, "Paris can be very cold and gray in the early spring, so a pretty color that flatters you and gives you energy is a good idea.

"So is layering. It not only keeps you warm, it gives you pieces you can wear in many ways."

Ms. Rykiel is very fond of black and she suggests you use it as the basis of your traveling wardrobe. Black goes with every color -- brights, neutrals and pastels.

Q: We are having a big family reunion to celebrate mgrandmother's 95th birthday. About 100 of us are expected. A professional photographer will take a portrait of each person in -- the family as well as group pictures.

I want to look my very best in the photos, but when I have my picture taken I always look older than I am and so uncomfortable. What can I do avoid this?

A: For advice I turned to New York's celebrated portrait anfashion photographer Francesco Scavullo. He says, "If you tend to look old in photographs you should apply only a very light and natural makeup. Always wear white around the face for reflection. Movie stars often wear white, because the reflected light fills in the lines and makes you look younger."

Mr. Scavullo also recommends that you "practice your facial expression in the mirror. Have a friend take Polaroids. This will help you become more comfortable in front of the camera. You can also use these shots to help apply your makeup in preparation for the great day.

"Keep in mind that everyone has a good side and a bad side. Find out which is your good side. You can do that by turning to the left and right of the camera, then head on. Take shots smiling and not smiling."

Mr. Scavullo's final words of advice are important. I've heard them from models time after time. "While having your photograph taken you must 'turn on.' Feel positive and wonderful -- forget all the negatives -- that positive feeling will come across beautifully in the photograph."

Q: I've just come back from my sister-in-law's wedding and I astill in shock. For the ceremony the bride wore a lovely traditional gown and the groom a dark suit. But then, for the reception, the bride changed into a granny dress and boots and the groom into a lounge suit and sneakers.

Told to wear what they liked, the guests did so. They turned up in everything from tuxedos to shorts. I think the whole approach was a disgrace. A wedding should be a time of solemnity combined with a bit of formality. Don't you agree?

A: subscribe to the view that a wedding is a time for the bridand groom to decide on the kind of event they want and to do their own thing. Your sister-in-law and her new husband had the self-confidence to be somewhat unconventional in starting off their new life together. It's not for everyone, but for those who like it, why not?


Following up on a question I answered about redesigning an heirloom pearl necklace, a reader has sent along this advice:

"You should have warned your readers to count the pearls and make sure the jeweler knows what the count is. Write it down, date it and sign it. Give a copy to the jeweler and keep one for yourself.

"Unfortunately, when stores redo jewelry, some have been known keep extra pearls and precious metals for themselves.

"If the piece is very valuable, have it appraised by another reputable jeweler before and after so you will not have any unpleasant surprises with no proof to make a case."

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