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Flair by the Yard : * Elegance Paris Fabrics sells the kind of luscious and unusual material associated with haute couture.

January 21, 1994|GERI COOK

LOS ANGELES — Years ago, I was thrilled at uncovering a fabric store in an out-of-the way location, where the ultimate in women's high-fashion fabrics was available at heavily discounted prices. Elegance Paris Fabrics has since moved to a more traveled area--Beverly Boulevard--and much higher visibility.

One visit to this beautifully appointed catalogue outlet store makes you want to learn the fine art of dressmaking or find someone who already has mastered it. The fabrics are so elegant, so luscious, that they are comparable to those textures and patterns found only in haute couture.

The remnants are wonderful. Neatly arranged on hangers, they come in garment lengths, which can be from one yard for a skirt to between three and four yards for a suit, dress or blouse. These fabrics, in 55- or 60-inch widths, are shown in recent editions of the Elegance catalogue or in the fabric catalogues from Valentino and Ungaro. They have been discontinued and cannot be special ordered, but this is what brings the prices down, sometimes to 70% below the original cost.

A three-yard remnant of a 60-inch multicolored rayon-wool fabric that listed in the Valentino catalogue for $120 a yard is $90 for all three yards. A pink and silver glace (93% silk and 7% polyester) is on Page 113 of the Valentino catalogue for $180 a yard. A two-yard remnant that would make a dreamy blouse is $144.

From the Ungaro catalogue comes an Italian wool alpaca that looks like the $245-a-yard price that it sold for originally, but the three-yard remnant is $220.

The fabrics from Valentino and Ungaro, as well as the Elegance catalogues, cannot be found elsewhere in town. Bolts of material are also available, some at the same reduced prices as the remnants. Look for the cut-out pages from Elegance's catalogue to locate the bolts of these discontinued fabrics.

Remnants of silk and cotton Versace prints are on the remnant racks as well as on the bolts in the wall bins. They are marked between 25% and 50% off the original prices.

A posted fabric conversion chart is helpful in figuring the needed yardage. The sales personnel, all experts, can assist with any problems. For those who don't sew, the store maintains a list of dressmakers from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

To enhance the finished garments are thousands of imported buttons beautifully displayed for visibility, and priced from $1 to $125. These are not discounted, but look at the money you'll save on the fabrics.

Although Elegance Paris Fabrics is an international company, this is the only outlet store in the United States. That explains why you'll find top California designers shopping here with their clients, and why this is one of the first stops for the international woman who comes to Los Angeles.

Geri Cook's Bargains column runs every Friday in Valley Life.

Where to Shop

What: Elegance Paris Fabrics.

Location: 8350 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Cards: American Express, MasterCard, Visa.

Call: (213) 655-8656.

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