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FASHION TRENDS / Making the past present.

Hippie Haute

It's looking an awful lot like the '70s out there, but this time around the Earth Mother look is less contrived and more feminine.

May 28, 1999|BARBARA THOMAS and BOOTH MOORE | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Call it Bohemian chic or flower power. The latest retro trend in fashion is a very modern update of the Hippie Chick and Malibu Earth Mother looks of the 1970s.

The spring and fall collections of Anna Sui, Gucci, Miu Miu and Dolce & Gabbana were filled with folkloric blouses, patchwork jeans and crocheted vests.

These looks the second time around are less contrived and more graceful. You don't have to be tall and willowy to enjoy the soft and feminine lines.

A word to the wise: Runway models may look heavenly garbed in ruffles and patchwork, but we mere mortals have to take care, especially those who are returning to the look. The trick is to avoid looking like you're stuck in the '70s.

Pair a peasant blouse with sleek pants or a straight skirt and flat sandals. To add the look to a fitted top and pants, wrap a shawl around your waist. If only a touch of Bohemia is your style, just carry an embroidered or straw purse.

In Southern California, Bohemian chic is easily found--ranging from inexpensive kerchiefs to silk ruffled dresses. Affordable peasant blouses and shawls can be found in shops on Olvera Street.

Check out boutiques in Malibu, Silver Lake and Toluca Lake, still epicenters of the look. Even the Gap and CP Shades have gone a little Bohemian.

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