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Warm Thoughts

On Hot Days, Nothing Beats Bare Legs and a Floaty Floral Dress

March 27, 1997|JOANNA DENDEL

How to Do It for Less: Total: $143.50

Floral dresses are bountiful at every price level. The one pictured, by Nostalgia, comes in polyester chiffon with a lining, should you decide to wear it solo. It's $68 at Rampage throughout Southern California. We threw the dress over a polyester charmeuse nightgown that sells for $32 at Frederick's of Hollywood, citywide and at the Mall of Orange in Orange County. The silk flower is $29.50 from Everthine on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, but other stores specializing in faux blooms would also have a selection. The $8 floral sandals were a find at Kathy's Shoes in the Santee Alley, Los Angeles. And the bangles go for $6 a dozen at India Silk & Fashion, Artesia.

How to Do It Big: Total: $988

Italian designer Anna Molinari dreamed up some of the season's lightest dresses for spring '97. During the fashion collections in Milan last fall, she showed this rayon chiffon print over a separate slip in red poly-rayon, because it's too sheer to appear alone in public. Oh, shucks! That means customers have to buy two pieces to achieve one look: The dress is $627; the slip is $361.

Accessories including the silk flower anchored at the waist, the bright yellow bangles and the pink sandals were trotted out on the runway, never to be reproduced for a retailer near you. But a large selection of dresses from the Molinari collection are arriving daily at Shauna Stein in the Beverly Center, Los Angeles; Fred Segal, Santa Monica; and Amareef, Newport Beach and Los Angeles.

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