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From Europe to Asia

August 20, 1993|GERI COOK

Louise the Liquidator in Tarzana offers merchandise in two disparate categories: children's clothing and Oriental art.

Until Labor Day, decorators, parents and grandparents who are seriously into bargain hunting for quality goods will go bananas at Louise the Liquidator's store on Ventura Boulevard. The merchandise falls into two disparate categories: children's clothing and Oriental art.

Louise boasts a wide selection of top-quality European apparel for children from sizes 0 to 16.

The labels are mainly from France--Le Petit Bateau, Les Petites and Jean Bourget (plus a few others)--and here are some examples of the deals: T-shirts that sell elsewhere for $12 are three for $10. A heavenly white cotton dress with peach and pale green smocking retails for $46 but is priced at $12. Another exquisite party dress is selling for $26 instead of the original $91.

There's a good selection of intarsia sweaters for children (some by Jean Bourget and others by Cherry Lewis from England) marked down from $88 to $10. A beautiful wool car coat is $23 rather than the original $150.

For young men, there are incredible bargains on suits by names such as Christian Dior and Pierre Cardin. A 100% wool double-breasted tweed--very British indeed--may be worth the original $123, but can be purchased here for $34. A Christian Dior heathered wool suit commands $160 in the upscale stores but at Louise it is $59. Sizes on boys' suits run 4 to 20 and come in slim, regular and husky.

These prices should suggest to parents to prepare for the holidays now and save big.

The other significant category of merchandise is a liquidation from a high-end catalogue called The Hemmeter Collection, which specialized in Oriental art, and the price reductions are even more amazing.

The $99 tag for a large cloisonne zebra is astonishing, especially when one learns that the catalogue price was $1,250. Carved silver chow tables that retailed for $500 can be obtained at Louise for $99.

For a large scratchwork urn you would expect to pay about $300, so at $59 it is indeed a steal. Lovely dolls made by Tibetan monks are marked 80% off the original prices. Just for fun I wanted the authentic Sherpa hat from Mongolia. For fun I wouldn't pay $75--but $15, yes. There is a slew of pillows in muted jewel tones, made of the borders of antique saris. Generally they go for up to $100; here they sell for $30. If you buy two, you get two more for free.

There are wonderful surprises from The Hemmeter Collection in other categories. I found a classic woman's shirt made of the finest cotton available, to sell for $145, tagged at $29. Some 100% cotton and fully lined men's robes were in the catalogue at $340, but Louise has knocked that price down to $68. Women's Italian handbags by Gusto and Franco Lotti are half off the regular price.

Louise the Liquidator is heaven for the upscale bargain shopper. But a word of warning: the store closes Sept. 4, so don't delay on these fabulous bargains.

Where to Shop What: Louise the Liquidator Location: 18969 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Cards: MasterCard/Visa; no checks. Call: 818/757-1211

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