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SCREEN STYLE

Pictures of Discomfort

March 13, 1992|ROBERT BURNS

THE SHOW: "Homefront," 10 p.m. Wednesdays on ABC(Channel 7).

THE SETUP: It's the late '40s, the GIs are back, the war brides have arrived, and Rosie the Riveter is being forced back into the kitchen.

THE LOOK: Authentic to a T (or the Ts, even). The clothes have the tailored, put-together and--yes--uncomfortable look of the '40s. Muted yellows and pinks, three-dimensional patterns on sweaters and boxy shoes all add to the atmosphere. Costume designer Lyn Paolo used the real thing for the pilot, but has been creating clothes since. The originals were falling to pieces, she says. "Everytime we dry-clean something an arm falls off." In making new clothes, Paolo says she uses newsreels, films and--for the colors--old Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogues. "We try not to have a designer look," she says, noting that the show revolves around real people. The men's hairstyles have come full circle; those '40s cuts are popular again. The women don't fare as well--some of those curly dos look like a lot of work.

THE SOURCES: Paolo has found the real things at Repeat Performance, American Rag and other La Brea Avenue and 3rd Street vintage clothing spots as well as at Meow and Rodan in Long Beach. "A lot of the clothes, in all honesty, come from thrift stores," she says. Prices are getting steeper, though, since this look is becoming popular streetwear. Paolo says she's seen vintage dresses go for more than $300.

THE DRAWBACKS: None for the viewer; the designers have created a total '40s feel. The actors have a harder time, Paolo notes. "People aren't used to wearing clothes that are fitted," she says. "The main problem are the shoes. We've all grown up wearing sneakers. People aren't used to wearing structured shoes."

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