Hairy ideaSaturday night at Maryland Art Place on Saratoga...

Inside Fashion

April 25, 1991|By Andrea Marsh | Andrea Marsh,Knight-Ridder News ServiceEdited by Catherine Cook

Hairy idea

Saturday night at Maryland Art Place on Saratoga Street is sure to be a hair-raising experience.

Hair art, a hair fashion show, hair contests, and hair favors are all on the agenda at this year's Hair Ball, which sponsors plan to make an annual event. An unusual way to spend a Saturday night? Yes, but Baltimoreans are coiffing up for it. All 700 tickets are sold.

"We couldn't even fit another person in the door," said Charlotte Cohen, program director.

The fund-raiser will benefit Maryland Art Place, which presents contemporary art from predominantly the mid-Atlantic region.

An exhibition of hair art by 100 artists will feature paintings, sculptures, and depictions of images having to do with hair.

Ms. Cohen said some of the artworks are made of hair, and some even have fur.

The evening extravaganza, hosted by John Waters, will include a cash bar and entertainment provided by Mo Fine and His All Blond Orchestra.

Ms. Cohen said she's not surprised at the popularity of the ball. "It appeals to a different audience. It involves a lot of people in the hair community, and a lot of artists -- people who normally wouldn't come to our annual spring ball," she said.

Ms. Cohen said Baltimore has a history of being a hair center. The movie "Hairspray" was filmed in Baltimore, and both hair spray and Mr. Ray's Hair Weave were invented here as well.

Things are not always as they appear at Owings Mills Mall.

Take that businessman standing in Webster Menswear, looking oh-so-innocently at the three-piece suits. Do not be fooled.

Or that young woman dressed in sweats, combing the racks of the Gap for "a comfortable pair of button-down jeans." Uh-huh.

They may look unsuspicious, ordinary even, but they're spies in this house of commerce. They're members of KCA -- KCA Enterprises of Baltimore.

Every month or two, KCA infiltrates the mall for the purpose of providing management with some very sensitive information -- the quality of service offered by its merchants. These "secret shoppers," as they're called, have already made a mark since their first mission last July, according to Julie Gilbert, manager of sales and marketing.

Cleaner dressing rooms, new name badges and even the release of less-than-efficient employees are some of the changes the roving band of buyers has affected.

Ms. Gilbert says mall merchants are delighted with the program, or they wouldn't be doing it. Besides, she adds, "the reports are not gospel. They just flag certain problem areas."

Donna Peremes The Dynokids clothing line is proving to be dynamite both in sales appeal and screen appeal.

If you've tuned into "Dallas" recently, you've probably seen J. R. Ewing's grandson Jimmy sporting about in a Dynokids outfit.

The twist to Dynokids is Dumpling the Dinosaur -- a stegosaurus that cavorts across the themed fleece jog sets for boys, sizes 2T to 7.

The current spring collection, priced from $20 to $26, includes "Bug Out" -- with Dumpling holding a glass jar with a bug inside. (The line is available locally at Woodward & Lothrop beginning next month.)

The fall line will include toys tucked inside pockets and microchips sewn into the garments that make sounds when pressed.

Based in Brisbane, Calif., the Dynokids line is in its second season. First-year sales topped $3 million, and projections for the second year are $11 million.

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