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A Nice Taste of Takeout Chinese

June 12, 1997|JOANNA DENDEL

How to Do It Big

Total: $2,180

Italian designer Miuccia Prada showed a leaf-print Chinese silk skirt with high side slits in her spring/summer collection. This style, modeled last fall by Kate Moss in Milan, is paired with a white and red silk chiffon top with a mandarin collar. The shirt, also available in blue, is $880. The skirt, which also comes in red, is $760. Prada designed high-heeled sandals with a leaf detail on the straps to complete the look. They're sold in red, gray or brown for $540. All items can be found at or ordered through the Prada boutiques in Beverly Hills and Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza.


How to Do It for Less

Total: $148

With luck, a shopping trip to Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles will turn up all the ingredients for a Chinese-inspired look. We took the shirt, with mandarin collar and frog closures, from a $25 rayon pajama set. Creating the skirt was more complicated: We cut the top off a $72 cheongsam--the traditional Chinese dress featuring short, capped sleeves--and hired a tailor to put an elastic waistband in the skirt. (As a bonus, we hemmed the top of the cheongsam, creating a wonderful, separate top.) Two stores in particular, Imperial Dragon and Golden Dragon, both on Ginling Way, offer a good selection of PJ sets and dresses, which start at about $35 and increase in price depending on the fabric and amount of embroidery.

The $12 red wool cardigan sweater, a recycled Brooks Brothers that ought to stay in the closet till fall, came from Jet Rag on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. The two-banded, four-inch sandals from Frederick's of Hollywood ([800] 323-9525), $36.50, are also sold in light blue, white and black. We added the leaf treatment to the straps, using $2.50 worth of floral trim from Moskatel's on Wall Street in L.A.'s wholesale flower district.

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