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Going to your headHeadbands are back, but...


Going to your head

Headbands are back, but they're not the preppie accessories we knew as kids.

The versions seen on spring runways are street-smart, sophisticated, sometimes precious works of art.

Most often, they're defined by size. The newest are ultra-thin. And some, in fact, are so skinny they're made of bra straps.

These bands play off the latest styles, easily sweeping hair off the forehead when the look is no-nonsense utility chic. Others, like Frederic Fekkai's (above) with semiprecious stones (suggested price, $260), enhance the season's sweetly feminine side.

Polishing their images in Hollywood

When Carole Lombard, the hostess of the 1936 Mayfair Ball, requested that the ladies wear white, actress Norma Shearer appeared in a low-cut scarlet red gown.

Joan Crawford always insisted that her accessories match her dress perfectly.

Katharine Hepburn was so independent that early in her career, she showed up on the studio lot in mechanics pants and dungarees and so bothered studio executives they stole her jeans.

So go the stories in Annette Tapert's book "The Power of Glamour" (Crown Publishers, $40), which spotlights silver screen legends including Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo. It's a fascinating reminder of the days when Hollywood women carefully choreographed their own star images.

-- Knight Ridder/Tribune

Romantic look sells

Josh Patner and Bryan Bradley, designers and owners of Tuleh, believe in the selling power of pretty. They say they have doubled their business since March and that they owe it all to clothes that are "heartbreakingly romantic."

"Women from Boston to Beverly Hills are responding to things that make them look pretty," said Patner, who likens the clothes (suits at $1,800, evening dresses to $3,000) to wearable flowers.

"They've struck a chord with many women," Patner said, citing customers as diverse as the singers Monica and Deborah Cox, who wore the clothes in a Vibe magazine spread; Cameron Diaz, who wore them in Entertainment Weekly, and Marisa Tomei, "who wears our clothes all the time."

Patner, a former magazine stylist and women's fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, and Bradley, a former free-lance designer for Calvin Klein and Anne Klein, say their latest look at pretty will be seen at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 24.

On whom?

"We're not supposed to reveal that," Patner said.

-- New York Times

Color sends a message

If President Clinton has to appear before the Senate this month, Leatrice Eiseman says he should wear navy blue. "Blue is the color of credibility, constancy and truth, the color most Americans associate with dependability and loyalty," says Eiseman, a color psychology expert.

The president should avoid a red or a red-purple tie, she warns. "These colors speak of sensuality."

As executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in Moonachie, N.J., Eiseman researches the associations consumers make with colors and predicts their seasonal selling power.

She was among the first to say that gray would be the best-selling color last fall (it was). She predicts pink will be the big hit for spring because it taps into a national feeling of optimism.

And for the first year of the next century, Eiseman picks blue -- specifically, a sky-blue color she calls (what else?) millennium blue -- as the winner.

"Blue brings up feelings of the universe, and it makes the unknown a little less frightening," she says.

-- New York Times

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