Caron's welcomes Carlous
There are substantial changes in store at the Charles Street boutique Caron's, according to buyer-designer Carlous Palmer. He, in fact, is one of those changes. Not only will Mr. Palmer now be doing most of the buying for owner Carolyn Henderson, he will design around 40 percent of the the store's new collection.
Mr. Palmer seeks to draw inspiration from, and create designs to complement, the jewelry of John Michael Richardson, which will comprise around 75 percent of the store's jewelry collection.
His own collection will consist mostly of very simple shapes -- largely free of buttons and zippers -- in muted colors, manufactured right here in Baltimore with fabrics from Italy.
Customers won't be distracted by a lot of hubbub, though. He thinks the transition will be a a quiet one. "We're working on it gradually. . . . We're changing the direction of the store while we're changing the season." By March it should be complete.
Fashion is firmly focused on legs for the months ahead.
Legs can be bare, of course, but they look more intriguing when lightly clothed in lace, stretch nylon or even patterned silk.
So designers have provided all manner of leggings, tights and snug jump suits -- now usually called cat suits -- to cover the legs and serve as the basis for a variety of tops, from knitted cardigans for day to organza smocks for black-tie evenings.
For warm weather, the snug jump suit is softened by flyaway tops and tunics in thin fabrics; the same smock-like styles can also be slipped over short skirts and dresses.
The tights-and-top or leggings-and-sweater scheme of dressing was originally a style for young people, adopted for comfort and convenience rather than adherence to any high-fashion edict, but now designers are finding new ways to develop the theme.
It seems hard to believe, but there is a new scarf trick or two.
Fashion scouts who have just returned from the fall 1991 men's wear shows in Milan, Italy, report that scarfs are now rivaling ties as face-framers for men.
Printed in slightly blown-up tie patterns like paisley figures or medallions, these oversized lengths of silk are being shown tucked in the open neckline of a high-buttoned jacket, covering the shirt underneath.
It's a new way for designers to make such jackets seem a little less formal. Undoubtedly it will add a lot of -- to a man's appearance, provided he knows how to handle one with panache.
What really works is a 54-inch square. Fold it so it makes a triangle. Now fling that around you and see what twists and turns you can create.
Remember, the idea is to look dramatic, not to end up feeling hopelessly swaddled.