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December 15, 1985|MARYLOU LUTHER

Q: Hermes scarfs have returned as favorite fashion accessories, but I can't seem to locate one in the department stores. I know that they're French, but do I have to go all the way to France to get one?--C.C. A: There's an Hermes boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, or you can travel to New York or Europe. Hermes offers more than 750 prints for scarfs, many of them equestrian motifs or florals, and most are priced at about $100. Part of the current revival involves tying the scarfs the way Grace Kelly did. We illustrate the look here, along with the company's instructions: "Drape the scarf, folded into triangle, over the head, crossing the ends under the chin to tie in a double knot at the nape of the neck or to one side."

Q: What's the difference between cultured and natural pearls?--B.T. A: With natural pearls, the irritant around which the oyster secretes the nacre and produces the pearl is a foreign object that accidentally finds its way into the oyster tissue. With cultured pearls, man implants the irritant, a small mother-of-pearl bead called a nucleus. The rest is up to nature.

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