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Byline: Barbara De Witt Daily News Fashion Editor

In terms of fashion, L.A. is tamer than you'd think.

Oh sure, this is the place where movie stars wear sequins by day, but the rest of you prefer the quieter fashions of Donna Karan, Liz Claiborne and local designer Carole Little.

At least that's what you said in a recent poll. Asked to vote on favorite beauty products and designers, Daily News readers dished and dissed.

Overall, there was a lot of shameless cross-shopping going on. Some women splurged on designer clothes but bought drug-store cosmetics. Others liked moderately priced wardrobes with expensive European makeup.

Sharon Frascatore of Burbank summed up the apparent lack of product loyalty, commenting that she had no favorite designer, but purchased whatever looks good on her. She added that she loves Donna Karan pantyhose (they're kind to curves), but in our poll they came in second, behind Hanes.

When it came to naming a favorite fashion personality you also went schizo on us with a tie between that nasty Mr. Blackwell and supermodel Cindy Crawford. While Crawford promotes Revlon cosmetics, the company got outvoted by Maybelline's mascara, Estee Lauder's red lipstick and OPI nail polish.

For favorite perfume, you were all over the board, but Pleasures by Estee Lauder was the winner. Tied for second place were Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds and Calvin Klein, with Angel, Shalimar and Oscar de la Renta scents trailing close behind.

To avoid bad hair days, readers wrote that they preferred Sebastian products, particularly Potion 9, a conditioner for dyed-and-fried hair. Runners-up were Pantene Pro V and Herbal Essence shampoos.

In the favorite jeans category, the popular winner was Levi's, and the style most often mentioned was 501. But the pricier Calvin Klein brand was a close second, especially in black denim. Regardless of the brand, boot-leg styles were the silhouette of choice.

Asked to name a favorite fashion accessory, hair clips and barrettes, cocktail rings and high-heeled boots - all '70s retro items - topped the list.


Knowing fashion is fickle, today's hot products could turn cold by spring. To keep you on the cutting edge, here's a roundup of new trends on the horizon.

Jeans: Denim is getting ultra dark again, and you'll find it in boot-cut jeans as well as the new retro-inspired pedal pushers, which are hemmed below the knee. Overall, the silhouette is lean and the inseams are long.

New junior lines to look for are Betsey Johnson's denim at her boutiques and department stores in February; Hot Kiss denim, slated for April delivery at Wet Seal, Contempo and Nordstrom stores; and Bongo's new low-rise bordeaux-colored jeans cut for lean legs and narrow hips.

Donna Karan also has designs on denim, and she calls her new DKNY jeans the official uniform of New York. You'll know them by the extra-long legs and ankle zips, with metal subway tokens as accents.

Lee jeans, a favorite with full-figured women, has recently gone back to its archives to reintroduce its straight-legged Lee Dungarees, and Levi's has introduced the men's boot-cut jean for women.

Shoes: Hush Puppy oxfords, platforms and thick Cuban heels are still around, but flat-heeled thongs such as J. Crew's pink flip-flops, and stiletto-heeled ankle boots like Stuart Weitzman's in red patent, are the trendsetters. Shoes are more colorful, with red and pink the big news for daytime and colored sequins and rhinestones for evening.

In the athletic-shoe department, it's high-tech soles and canvas tops. The look has even inspired funky shoe guru Steve Madden to create a step-in style with a racy molded bottom and a stretch of canvas across the toes.

Perfume: Fragrance is lighter and fresher this year, and unisex fragrances - started by Calvin Klein - are getting hot with several companies. Among the new fragrances is Parma, a citrusy Italian scent that's the current rage in Europe.

Fetish by Renaissance Cosmetics is also new, designed for Spice Girls fans with pictures of the British vocal group on the packaging. Also new for the club scene is Betsey Johnson's new Ultra fragrance and supermodel Valeria Mazza's self-titled violet-colored scent. The former Guess? girl and Sports Illustrated cover girl is selling the fragrance in a way-cool curvy bottle that's supposed to represent her hourglass figure.

As Valentine's Day approaches, look for such romantic new scents as Gai Mattiolo at the Borghese counter at Nordstrom stores and Yves Saint Laurent's In Love Again, a limited-edition fragrance that's floral and fruity, in a heart-shaped bottle.

In March, you'll get to test Nicole Miller's new floral scent, Nicole; makeup artist Bobbi Brown's first fragrance, called Bobbi; and St. John Knits' young fragrance, White Camelia.

Other new fragrances include Prescriptives' Flirt, packaged in a pretty pink bottle, Lucky Brand Dungarees' fragrance in a can and Armani's Emporio Armani. The latter will make its debut in Europe in the spring, saving U.S. deliveries for the end of the year.

While you're waiting for Armani, try Cartier's newest scent, Declaration, made with bergamot and birch wood, or Bulgari's new Bulgari Black, a unisex fragrance spiked with black tea.

For younger women, Bonne Bell has a new collection called Bottled Emotions, offering a full range of moods from mellow to hyper.

Nail polish: Don't let those fashion magazines with bare-nailed models fool you. Nail color is big business in the '90s, and it's getting hotter with small, independent manufacturers.

Hard Candy will introduce Love, a frosty white polish with an AIDS-conscious red ribbon on the bottle, while Nail Savvy has created Party Lites, a collection of bright colors with holographic metallic silver pieces to catch the light. And Moods by Mini has a polish that changes color like a mood ring.

Scented products remain popular with teens, and Tuff Scent-ence's Arosed not only has a rosy scent, but real rose petals floating in the bottle.

Since the '50s is the retro decade of the moment, also look for classic reds, oranges and pinks at department-store cosmetic counters.

Mascara: Maybelline has introduced yet another new type of mascara called Volum' Express, with multilevel bristles for extra-thick lashes. And L'Oreal plans an April launch for the first-ever mascara with color and lash curler in one. Meanwhile, Estee Lauder's new SkiWear collection has a special moisturizing mascara for winter sports.

Lipstick: Like that mouthy look you saw on the designer runways?

For a luscious red mouth - it's sooo '50s - try Vixen Stix, a fat lipstick pencil priced at $20 at Valerie Beverly Hills salon, 460 N. Canon Drive. Or go for Versace's new red lipstick in a statusy case with the designer logo for the same price.

Chanel has a new tube style, too. Its Extreme Lip Colour is a slender tube of intense red in a similar price range.

Even more expensive is Yves Saint Laurent's limited-edition four-color lip compact ($45) with a groovy retro case to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Another name to watch is Drew Barrymore. She's designed a lipstick that has gloss on one side and matte color on the other for Urban Decay, the company known for gritty cosmetic names. No word yet on when the lip color will be sold or what it will be named.

Revlon will launch Moisturestay Lip Color in March with a cooling, vitamin-enriched moisturizing formula. New names to look for in the wand-style lip colors are Rouge Pulp by L'Oreal, planned for March deliveries at drug stores, and a sheer gloss called Lover Lips.

If you can't find any new colors you like, try Gauthier Total Image Spa in Sherman Oaks, where they'll custom blend a lipstick in less than five minutes.

Hair products: Last year, the big news was mascara for hair - wands filled with creamy color to use as an accent. Now that it's trickling down to all price levels, natural hair tones and '50s blond tones are coming back. And with the retro styles, you'll want a soft, tousled curl. To get it, wrap your hair around curling balls, a new Velcro-covered ball instead of rollers. They look cool and cost $5 a set at Sally Beauty Supply stores.

- Barbara De Witt


13 Photos, Box

Photo: (1--Cover--Color) The Best of Beauty


Cover design by Cesar Quebral

(2--Color) Favorite Lipstick: Estee Lauder's Siren Red, $15 at Robinsons-May.

(3--Color) Favorite Nail Polish: OPI, $6 at JC Penney and Saks Fifth Avenue salons.

(4--Color) Favorite Perfume: Estee Lauder's Pleasures, $55 at Robinsons-May.

(5--Color) Favorite Shoe: Nine West's classic pumps, $58 at Macy's.

(6--Color) Favorite Accessory: Hair clips by Riviera, two for $5 at Macy's.

(7--Color) Favorite Mascara: Maybelline's Great Lash, $3.50 at Rite-Aid drug stores.

(8--Color) Favorite Hair Product: Sebastian's Potion 9, $12.50 at Sebastian Profumeria in Woodland Hills.

(9) Favorite Jeans: Levi's

(10) Favorite Designer: Donna Karan

(11--12) Favorite Fashion Personality: Tie between Cindy Crawford and Mr. Blackwell

(13) Favorite Pantyhose: Hanes

Photos by Myung J. Chun

COPYRIGHT 1998 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Review; L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 29, 1998

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