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Dramatically Different : The Surprising Sonia Braga Shows Off the Most Elegant Decollete Designs of the Season

June 05, 1988|Mary Rourke | Mary Rourke is a Times staff writer

A STORY ABOUT fashion and Sonia Braga has to begin with her hair because people notice it first--no matter what she is wearing. She says it has a life of its own, even loves what she hates, like cold water and vitamin treatments. One would expect that she'd use her hair to flirt, but instead she lets it cover her like a dark, mysterious veil. Braga's fashion too. She dresses like a man: faded flannel shirts, tweed jackets, running shoes, blue jeans. Nothing like the romantic fantasy she played in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" or the glamour goddess of "Moon Over Parador," the Paul Mazursky movie due out this summer. She says she prefers earthy characters like the feisty woman she portrayed in "The Milagro Beanfield War." People who know her say that Braga herself is kind of a hippie, with all that hair, those worn-down clothes and the fact that she doesn't have a permanent address. "I don't live anywhere, but I have some land in Brazil" is her ambiguous explanation. Her ideas about relationships are unconventional, too. "I live like a teen-ager: I have boyfriends. Someday, marriage will happen." For now, she lives for the camera. In the photographer's studio she becomes all her characters--glamorous, earthy, strong, vulnerable--letting the clothes suggest the mood. The looks she models here accent the neckline, the focus of much attention in fashion right now. There are rectangles, sweethearts with a twist, off-the-shoulder and strapless shapes--all dramatic and decidedly sensuous.

Photographed by Greg Gorman; hair and makeup by Eric Bernard/Cloutier, styling by Joanna Dendel

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