Chanel does Frye
The old Frye biker boot, the one with a blunt toe and a ring at the ankle with three straps of leather, is having a revival. Models and fashion editors at the Paris shows could be seen clomping in and out of the fashion tents in the hippie-era shoes. Chanel, a classic house that increasingly goes to the street for inspiration, made a runway version with rounded toe and Chanel double-C brooches on the ring.
If you are going to buy just one thing this spring, make it a pleated skirt. It will make last season's jackets and tops look up-to-the-minute. The swing of those pleats flipping about as you walk is a sure sign of 1991; it's the opposite of the short, skintight stretch skirt of last year.
Ideally, a pleated skirt should be above the knee. The narrow pleats should hang from a flat, fitted torso yoke. That way, there is no extra fabric under a long fitted jacket or a belted pullover, both of which look great over a pleated skirt.
The kilt-style pleated skirt is also in vogue, particularly as Yves Saint Laurent made a big fashion point of it in Paris last week. These skirts look fine at knee length or longer and can be teamed with a shorter jacket or a tucked-in shirt.
Now, the only problem is to find a pleated skirt. Chanel's are perfect, though very expensive. The next-best bet may be the junior or contemporary department of a department store. With Cousins, it's never two-of-a-kind.
That's because singular chapeaux are the specialty of Cousins Millinery, a Baltimore-based hat designing concern.
Straw, gimp, bangles, feathers, flowers, horsehair -- even small wooden animals -- can be found adorning their creations, designed by first cousins Bobette Watts-Campbell and Dona Adrian and their good friend, Tonia Wells.
Originally begun as a venture to raise money for Ms. Adrian's clothes designing concern, the millinery offshoot turned into a lucrative, legitimate business in its own right, earning $2,100 on their initial $500 investment.
Sculptural, cut-brim styles are the most popular, as most of their hats are purchased for church or after-5 wear, though the three are branching out into casual-wear styles, too.
Their work can be found in certain fashion shows this season, at Ashley's Boutique on 6715 Reisterstown Road, and during warm, sunny Sundays in spring on the lawn outside Ms. Watts-Campbell's parents' house at the corner of Liberty
Heights and Callaway avenues.
.` Prices range from $35 to $120.