Debra Stern paints designs in the basement of her Washington town house, rarely thinking of them as textile designs, though that's how they always end up. In fact, Christian Dior, Betty Hanson, Cathy Hardwick, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin and Diane von Furstenburg have all used her prints; Karl Lagerfeld recently bought two paintings on paper from her of abstract paisley styles. "I'm usually not a paisley person," he told Stern's agent, her sister Pamela Stern. But he snapped up the Dufy-like design just the same.
Sometimes the artist can't resist buying a shirt or dress with her own pattern. But one pattern she is happy just to frame is the one in a dress by Maggie London worn recently by Geraldine Ferraro, a blue and black primitive print. "I never thought of it as being particularly ethnic or primitive when I painted it. But once I saw a picture of the dress, it has a simple, ethnic look to it."
Stern, who was a resident artist at Yaddo, the presitigious artist colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., now conducts workshops at the Smithsonian Institution, American University, Catholic University and the G Street Remnant Shop as well in her studio.
Most women can't resist a makeover, the chance for an expert to redo one's makeup. But vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro will have 12 makeover choices in the upcoming issue of Beauty Fashion, a monthly trade magazine of the cosmetic and fragrance industry. "When the United States has an attractive lady as a candidate seeking a leading political office, how would you want her to look?" the magazine asked major cosmetic firms.
Most suggested heightening Ferraro's eyes to bring out her eyes when she wears glasses, and blusher to contour her face for photography. The universal choice for lipstick color was pale, with the exception of Diane von Furstenburg, who is partial to bright red for everyone.
George Bush gets almost equal time -- nine makeovers -- in the same issue. One makeup artist suggested he wear an under-eye concealer, another a bronzer, the men's equivalent of a foundation. "Any resemblance to any candidate is purely coincidental," says John G. Ledes, editor and publisher of the magazine.
One cosmetic and skin-care specialist who didn't participate in the Ferraro make-over was Christine Valmy. Could it be because she has been appointed National Chairman of Romanian-Americans for Reagan-Bush? She didn't do a Bush makeover either.