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HOT PROPS / THE WORD ON WHAT'S HIP AND WHAT'S HYPE

March 11, 1994|ROSE APODACA

Light Foot

Espadrilles have become required equipment for spring in an array of fabrics, colors and novelty designs. "This season's flirty floral skirts and dresses are very feminine and very light," notes Cassie Hughes of Esprit. "So a shoe is needed that's easy, relaxed, not stuffy." Esprit offers versions that fit the rage for natural, raw fabrics. Try the daisy flat ($22) or macrame-top platform ($31), both with jute wedge bottoms.

The Rebirth of Cool

While T-shirts are still a staple in wardrobes of the hip, young and male, retro-inspired sweaters are going over big--both in popularity and in size. The faves? Those that recall the be-bop age of jazz, such as Unitryb's knits made with diamond patterns or wide, vertical stripes. "It's a timeless look," says designer Jeff Catalano of the San Diego label. And that's key now even among trendy teens. "Style is everything," he adds, "and it's good to see young people getting into that."

Yo, Karly Karl

There's a house party going down at the House of Chanel with Grandmaster Karl Lagerfeld doing his take on hip-hop flavored streetwear. Divas are stepping out in sneakers detailed with patent leather ($545) and holding up their oversized denim shorts ($600) with signature suspenders ($165). "We're getting calls for the suspenders like you won't believe," says Roger Martin, director of the South Coast Plaza boutique. The one-size-fits-all shorts, complete with a stitched quilt pattern on the back pockets, are almost sold out, Martin adds. And they haven't arrived in stores yet. Chanel-clad rap fans can show their colors with a logo-splashed bandanna ($55).

Sweet Touch

Sugar, lemon and a dash of herbs. Sound like the makings of dessert? Try the ingredients for a formula to remove hair. It's an ancient Egyptian recipe that's become the hottest alternative to waxing. Known as body sugaring, the process is gentler on skin than hot wax, which can irritate. And the paste leaves skin soft and smooth, says Jean Azar, a spokesman for Juan Juan Salon in Beverly Hills. "It's 100% natural. It also removes more hair than wax does, so it doesn't have to be done as often." Prices start at $10 for the area above the lip and go to $60 for a full-leg treatment.

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