Question: Does anyone make an "evening" umbrella? I travel to New York frequently and always seem to need an umbrella when I'm all dressed up. Even the simplest black umbrella does not seem right when I'm in my favorite Hanae Mori evening gown.--S.U.
Answer: You can go dancing in the rain if you make the evening umbrella illustrated here. The creative crew at Home Silk Shop's La Cienega store decorated this glamorous version in just under 12 hours. Here's how to duplicate their efforts. Begin by buying a Brisk-Set rhinestone setter for $19.98. Then start selecting the beads of your choice from Home Silk Shop offerings that include Size 20 rhinestones for $5.49 a gross. These are available in red, royal, emerald green, yellow, purple, turquoise and garnet, as well as the traditional "diamond" color stones used in this project. Larger, Size 34 rhinestones at $13.97 a gross are sprinkled at random along with Size 34 aurora borealis stones at $21.98 a gross. The butterfly motifs are silver sequin appliques at $6.25 each. Additional Size 20 sequins are available at $15.98 a yard. Any good black umbrella will provide the canvas for this water-shedding work of art.
Q: In a recent column you had an inquiry from a woman regarding mastectomy swimwear. In addition to the recommendation you offered, there are other local sources for clothing and apparel for post-mastectomy women. I'm enclosing a copy of the list we offer here at the Comprehensive Breast Center at Saint John's Hospital and Health Center. Some of these shops have nice selections, and, being managed by women who themselves have had mastectomies, are in tune with what the mastectomy woman may need.--T.B.
A: Your list of suppliers, collected with the help of the American Cancer Society, should be helpful to many women. The shops include Lerman & Sons, 8710 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills 90211; Sally Ann's, 9709 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills 90210; Westwood Orthopaedic, 1571 Westwood Blvd., West Los Angeles 90024; Bonwit Teller, Wilshire at Rodeo, Beverly Hills 90210; Jobst Service Center, 6200 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1404, Los Angeles 90048; Ms. Stevens, 473 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills 90211--3666; Nearly Me, Ruth Handler, 2245 Pontius Ave., West Los Angeles 90064; Horton & Converse, 2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 90404; Pauline's Girdle & Lingerie Shop, 8815 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles 90035; Action Ortho, 1203 West 6th St., Los Angeles 90017; Henshey's (ask for Lucette), 402 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 90401; Tina Belcher (in Home Service), 1164 Berkeley St., Santa Monica 90403; Paula Adams, 18545 Roscoe Blvd., Northridge 91324; Jean's Personal Boutique, 343 N. Pass Ave., Burbank 91505; Broadway-Del Almo also Broadway West Covina, Downey and Huntington Beach; Arbor Vitae Medical Sales, 228 E. Arbor Vitae, Inglewood 90301; Medical Center Pharmacy, 4201 Torrance Blvd., Torrance 90503; Maggie-Ann Lingerie, 1926 S. Pacific Coast, Redondo Beach 90277; Vondell Reynolds, 1311 N. Meyler, San Pedro 90731; Kovacs Frey Pharmacy, 2860 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach 90277; Malloy's Pharmacy, 901 S. La Brea, Inglewood 90301; Genny's Lingerie, 36 Peninsula Shopping Center, Palos Verdes Peninsula 90274; Akin Orthotic & Prosthetic Service, 22521 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance 90505, and Alice's Undercover World, 23820 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance 90505.
Q: I have been invited to a formal Japanese dinner party. Guests are asked to wear Japanese-style clothing. I have a full-length, black, silk sheath dress. Over it, I want to wear a long silk kimono in a black print with a bright red lining. I need a pattern for the squared butterfly-sleeve garment. Can you help? The party is Dec. 7.--M.D.S.
A: An authentic Japanese kimono is available for both women and men in the current catalogue offered by Folkwear, Box 3798, San Rafael, Calif. 94912. You might also want to check out this company's Japanese Hapi and haoroi garments. These have the same square sleeve; and while worn traditionally on formal occasions by men, they now are worn by women as layers over a kimono or modern dress. Since your invitation doesn't specify whether you should wear traditional Japanese or modern Japanese, you might want to consider wearing clothes by the New Wave Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake, whose patterns are available through Vogue.
Q: Please help settle a bet. My friend says the Japanese designer Issey Miyake went straight from Tokyo to Paris. I say he worked in New York before going to Paris. Who's right?--J.E.
A: Issey Miyake went to work for Hubert de Givenchy in Paris, then Geoffrey Beene in New York, then returned to Tokyo, which remains his home base, even though he shows his collections in Paris.