Best Buys Yet to Come From Krizia

DEAR HOT SHOPPERS: The sequined evening suits cost as much as a new car ($10,000). In the low-ball, three-figure price range there are cotton tops for a mere $700.

So what, you may ask, is Hot to Shop, everybabe's guide to shockingly good deals, doing amid these upper-crust goodies at Krizia, the newest boutique to open in Beverly Hills' fancy Two Rodeo Drive center?

Not a lot, it turns out. I'm a fan of the whimsical styles Milan-based Mariuccia Mandelli does for Krizia, designs she describes as "simple with ironic touches."

I love it that Mandelli has, in the past, produced collections that nearly everybody could afford for chains such as The Limited.

So, at the new Krizia boutique, I had hoped to find Mandelli's new MM line, which a PR firm has touted as offering shirts under $80, jackets under $200, pants under $115: "Italian quality and style at realistic prices . . . closing the gap between quality and cost."

It turns out that the MM line, which looks spectacular in photos by the way, won't be available until August--at Nordstrom.

In the meantime, bargain-hunting Krizia fans who travel to Beverly Hills must be content with bodysuits adorned with metallic gold embroidery for $320.

The least costly items at the shop are $140 belts and rather nondescript $120 sunglasses.

SHOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE: Los Angeles-based designer Carole Little suspects she knows every store in L.A., New York, Paris, Milan and Florence.

"But for an overall viewpoint of what's going on in fashion, I like the Fred Segal stores in L.A. and Santa Monica. They're two of the best boutiques in the world," she says.

"I also like to go to the antique clothing shows that the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium has four times a year. If you get there the first night, they're really great."

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