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Why All the Fuss About Fashion at the Summit

December 07, 1985

For goodness sake! Every time I see President Reagan he is wearing the same old navy blue topcoat--even in Geneva. The same with Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev. Even Mrs. Gorbachev had the nerve to appear in the same winter coat more than once. Perhaps she bought the coat because it was stylish and warm for the cold weather!

Why is everybody so upset about what was reported from Geneva or about Whit House Chief of Staff Donald Regan's genralization about women's interests? Women in the United States are being constanty brainwashed by (mostly male) fashion designers to buy new styles, and most women go for it.

After all, aren't clothing sales a large percentage of the gross national product? When Nancy Reagan became First Lady she stated her interest in this, and many other women emulate her style. The society (?) pages are full of occasions where no woman would be seen dead in something she has worn before, and the second-hand shops are ful of their discards.

But isn't this admirable private enterprise? I'll bet you don't see much of that in Russia, where life appears to be more serious, education more important and clothes hard to get. Dare I say it, a lifestyle unacceptable to most Americans, just because it is different?

Mrs. Reagan doesn't pretend to be an engineer or scientist, although I am sure she is interested in peace in our time, and for the life of me I am still not quite sure whether her presence at Geneva was entirely necessary, but I think she enjoys doing her thing and I'm sur Mrs. Gorbachev is satisfied with her more intellectual approach. Peole are different, happily, but I wish some of these so-called liberated females would be less uptight and more braodminded about people, not just issues.

And in case anyone should think I might not be liberated, I have a 14 handicap at golf, can beat most of the members of our club (both sexes) and am accepted for who I am--a British subject, permanent resident, church leader and musician, grandmother of two and a pretty sharp dresser to boot, because I enjoy it, and I get mad when insecure female jump on the bandwagon when a little meaningless gaffe is made by a leader of the country with hopefully a lot more on his mind.

LEILA McDERMOTT Granada Hills

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