Speaking diplomatically, her prints can come, soon

March 28, 1996|By ELSA KLENSCH | ELSA KLENSCH,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

I am the youngest of four girls in our family. We all get on well except when it comes to fashion, where our eldest sister insists on calling the tune. One of her pet peeves is prints. She tells me printed dresses are overpowering and that no chic woman would wear one. My father is a diplomat, and we are all going to an exciting party in Hong Kong this spring. I want to declare my independence and wear a print dress. I'm a size 8. What would you recommend? Or do you think my sister is right?

I turned to New York designer Carolina Herrera for advice. She makes some of the most beautiful evening dresses on the international scene.

She says, "I adore prints. Prints can make the simplest of dresses more outstanding. But the choice of a print is very fTC personal. It depends on the mood you're in, the way you perceive yourself and your penchant for fantasy."

For a romantic look consider a floral. Clear colors on a white cream or pale background are particularly young and fresh.

If you want something with more dash, choose a classic dot or stripe. Navy and white on a crisp taffeta would be extremely eye-catching.

Whatever your choice, keep the silhouette slim and the shoulders bare. That's the look for spring '96.

I am in my late 30s and seriously dating a man 10 years younger. At first I didn't think our age difference would be all that important. But now my hair has started to go gray and I'm worried. Six months ago when I'd wake up I'd find one gray hair. Now there are more and more. What can I do? Is it true that seven gray hairs grow in when one is pulled out?

Only in old wives' tales. Melanin is the pigment that puts color into hair. As we age it slowly begins to diminish. This and heredity are what cause graying.

For suggestions on what you might do, I asked Valesco of the New York's Bumble & Bumble salon. He offers two useful tips:

"If you want to experiment before you commit to a complete change, a good option might be semi-permanent coloring that will wash out after a few shampoos.

"There is also 'midway,' which can give good coverage without the commitment of permanent color. It doesn't cause a lot of structural change to the hair and will leave it in great condition for six to eight weeks with gradual fading."

Of course, you could consider leaving it as it is. Some men consider salt-and-pepper hair very sexy. Have you considered that the younger man "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 to 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 won't have any unpleasant surprises with no proof to make a case.

"I am passing this along because my immediate family has had this unhappy experience with two jewelers. The public needs educating and you can do it."

While most jewelers are quite honest, what this reader has learned the hard way is worth considering. However much you trust your jeweler, it is certainly prudent to have a record.

Before you take any precious or semi-precious jewelry to be repaired or redesigned, make a photocopy of it. It works. That's what jewelry designers do before they lend jewelry to be photographed for magazines.

Pub Date: 3/28/96

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