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Behind the Scenes / ORANGE COUNTY

Mon Dior!

November 13, 1998

At the risk of sounding snobby, Antonio Torres of the Christian Dior boutique in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is clear about the type of customer he's after:

"A person who--and I don't want to be blunt--but is in the upper class, who really wants to enjoy the finer things in life--clothing, design--and who wants to be a part of the fashion world."

OK, so Jethro and Elly May need not apply. But just how can Torres spot such a person?

It starts with the duds, preferably Dior's own haute couture and ready-to-wears. The styles this season are dominated, Torres says, by bold pinks, greens, oranges, reds and yellows. To add to the look are Dior wigs, fur Shetland jackets and pointy pumps.

"The clothes are wild with heavy textures and fabrics," Torres says of designer John Galliano's fall collection.

Other favorites of his are Dior's silk-lined gowns with Spanish lace and snug jackets with silver fox accents.

"The Dior woman who inspired the line wears bright, chic makeup with maybe bright orange lipstick," he says. "She's on the fashion edge."

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