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12 fashion tips from Ramon Valera

STILL TIMELY – Needless to say , Highspeed is no fashion column, but just the same here are 12 fashion tips from the country’s greatest designer, Ramon Valera. A National Artist, no less, the only one to be so honored from the fashion world.

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Valera’s 12 tips came out in The Manila Times in 1962 – yes that long – but today’s women , especially actresses, can learn a lot from his pieces of fashion advice. Still timely. Valera intoned that Chona Recto Kasten was the best dressed woman of her time.

By the way, thanks to Danny Dolor, art patron and filmbuff, for the The Manila Times clipping.

12 TIPS – Here are Valera’s 12 fashion tips…or “pet theories” as put by the daily.

1 . White is my favorite color. I used it quite open in my designs. From that color I find it a cinch to work with other colors.

2. My very own personal favorite color combiniton is cocoa and black. But there are only very few fair ladies around town who can get away with it.

3. What a dull practice many women have of matching everything from dress to handkerchief to shoes and bags! This is utterly unimaginative. It is the safest and easiest way out.

4. It is always more challenging to play up a contrast of the right colors. To do this,women would need more tasteful planning of their wardrobes – but majority lack the right taste.

5. Abbreviated hemlines? It depends upon the kind of legs you have.

6. The Jackie Kennedy look is lovely – on Jackie Kennedy. But look at the society page and what do you see but a school of women in uniform: the same so-called fly away hairdo, the close rounded neckline, beads and the loosely-fitted jacket. Que horror!

7. They are usually careless – fashion-wise.That’s why I don’t generally cater to the young. Their needs and demands are not as challenging as those of the mature women. You can dress up the young in rags and they’d still look all right. I like the challenge of the bulge and the sagging flesh.

8. I like to dress women who are extremely meticulous and who have an eye for the well-made dress. I want them to fuss over the correct fit and the right hand. I feel I improve my art with every challenge met.

9. It follows that money has a lot to do with good dressing. To get the best clothes, you need money. Those who don’t have it, will naturally settle for the second best. And who wants to be a second best?

10. But even if one had all the money, a woman must go slow on ordering dresses by the dozens. Fashion is so fickle.

A closetful of useless dresses is a fault of the noveau riche. The true aristocrats know how to order moderately.

11. Of course, I do not discount the possibility that a woman may look chic and smart in an inexpensive dress. But she will not be capable of a steady ritual of tasteful dressing.

12. I hate plastic. It is unthinkable for a well dressed woman to be sporting the glaring shine of a plastic bag.

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