Older women will have stylish clothes to wear again


Q: I am a woman of 55 with enough money to buy good clothes, if I could find them. But the designers seem to care about only young women -- particularly those with great bodies. I cannot wear '40s print dresses with nipped-in waists and wide shoulders or '60s skimpy little chemises.

When are the designers going to wake up and realize women want wearable, pretty clothes that appeal to the men in their lives?

A: I think that you'll find plenty of suitable clothes in the stores for fall. Designers on both sides of the Atlantic concentrated on wearable, feminine fashions.

Giorgio Armani, a master at understanding the needs of women, tells me that "fashion is returning to elegance, after a period that was very casual and understated."

He believes the reason for the return to the '40s and '50s silhouettes is partly the result of this new mood in fashion: "What it really means is that women want to get dressed up again." So go shopping and enjoy what you find.

Q: My family originally came from Italy, and I have kept up a pen-friendship with my cousin there. We have agreed to spend a week together in San Tropez this summer, but I was aghast when she told me that when we go to the beach we would wear only bikini bottoms. I'm not all that modest, but I do have a lot of hair on my body. Should I have it removed by waxing? My friends say it's very painful -- especially sugaring.

A: For advice I contacted Nicholas Guercio at New York's Georgette Klinger salon and body spa.

He says waxing will solve your problem, and it's not painful if done by a professional.

"First a thin layer of warm, honey-based soft wax is placed on the skin and hair. Then the wax is removed with strips of muslin. The strips prevent the hair from breaking. With full removal, the hair will not grow back so quickly."

Mr. Guercio stresses that only a professional can remove the strips so quickly that the pain is minimal.

He adds that your friends were wise to warn you against sugaring: "The problem is that the sugar mixture can harden too quickly and break the hair at the skin line when it is removed."

Q: I am 13 years old and love the super models. I collect pictures of them and paste them into a scrapbook. What I want to know is, do they have fan clubs? Also, how do models who make the transition to movies prepare themselves?

A: I turned to Eileen Ford of the Ford Model Agency for advice. She works with many super models. She says many have informal fan clubs: "In Paris there are groups of young people who come to the big fashion shows and stand outside hoping for a glimpse of their favorites. The models are very nice to them and sometimes try to get them standing-room tickets to the shows."

Ms. Ford says the best way for a model to become an actress is the traditional way: "That means training with a coach to learn all aspects of the craft. Acting is difficult and all aspirants need formal training."


Elsa Klensch is style editor for Cable News Network.

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