When in France, buy what designer Galliano does

August 01, 1996|By ELSA KLENSCH | ELSA KLENSCH,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

I am a widow, and I'm about to go to France on my trip of a lifetime.

My late husband had been planning to take me to Paris and buy me a beautiful outfit. While I'm now going with a friend, I still want to buy something truly French that will remind me of my husband every time I wear it. I want a suit that is up to the minute in style.

What do you suggest?

Many designers offer clothes with that special Parisian look. But if you want a suit that is really up to the moment, consider the work of Englishman John Galliano.

Galliano took over the design duties at the Paris House of Givenchy this year, and his suits got rave reviews. They are feminine, cut in a new A-line silhouette and have his signature -- bows as pocket lapels.

They have an undeniably French look and yet are classic enough to last for seasons.

I have a small, round face on top of a long, skinny neck.

I cut my hair in a chin-length bob to make my head look bigger and more in proportion to my body. My hair is mousy brown and so are my eyes.

My best friend tells me I should experiment with highlights or color chunks to give myself more style.

Where do I start?

First, layer the bob so your hair has a more interesting texture, advises New York hairstylist Ishi of Le Salon Ishi.

"A layered bob wouldn't be a drastic change, but it will update your look. Try a side part to add drama and design."

As for color, Ishi says chunky highlights are already dated.

"Once you see a look everywhere, you should stay away from it. But you can still use some of the techniques to add definition and drama."

Ishi says highlights, as the name implies, give the illusion of light hitting the hair. They add luster and shine.

"Lowlights add depth or dimension.

"Use tones of brown, keeping the roots darker to give depth to the lighter ends. A subtle color will show off the layering and give the illusion of movement."

Ishi urges avoiding very light tones: "Your eyes are pale brown and need a deeper background to give them definition."

Elsa Klensch welcomes questions from readers. While she cannot reply individually, she will answer those of general interest in her column. Send questions to Elsa Klensch, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, 218 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90012.

Pub Date: 8/01/96

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