More news on the tummy-toner front. Donna Karan has come up with a new pantyhose called Body Toners which feature a control top that extends all the way down to mid-thigh. She claims they take a woman down a size; a woman trying them on in department store fitting room recently exclaimed, "Now I don't need liposuction!" The customer, wife of a plastic surgeon, said, "They just clean up, shave away all that cellulite and flab."
What they do is give a smooth line to tummy, hips and thighs. They come in a jersey weight (about $18), as well as an opaque, ultrasheer and satin (about $12.50 to $15). The latter three contain the most Lycra -- 23 percent as opposed to the 6 percent used in the jersey (Ms. Karan's personal favorite). They come in neutrals -- black, navy, nude. (Locally they're available at Saks Fifth Avenue in the Owings Mills Mall).
@ Forget that nonsense you've maybe heard about how European women wouldn't be caught dead wearing jeans on the street. Blue jeans -- almost always faded, as opposed to acid-washed or straight-from-the-store indigo -- and a snazzy, blazer-style jacket was the uniform of choice among shoppers of zTC all ages seen recently strolling the Milan Galleria.
And virtually every woman who wasn't wearing jeans was wearing a short skirt and fishnet stockings.
(Incidentally, the Rizzoli bookstore in the Galleria has devoted an entire window to "Rossella," by Alexandra Ripley. Doesn't ring any bells? Would it help if we told you it's il sequito di "Via Col Vento" by Margaret Mitchell?)
Custom-made party dresses are often distinctive, but rarely practical. The pleated designs of Ellen Hauptli currently on display at Gazelle in the Village of Cross Keys, however, are the exception.
Her featherweight cocktail dresses created from delicate Fortuny-like pleats never wrinkle and can be laundered in your own washing machine, says Gazelle owner Amanda Black. They also make great traveling companions -- just twist them into a knot and shove into any spare corner of your suitcase.
Gazelle is hosting a trunk show of Hauptli day and evening wear through the end of the month. Customers can select their favorite fabric from hundreds of samples and have it fashioned into one of several designs, most of which include an "obi" accessory -- a pleated tube which can work as a belt, neck piece or even a hair ornament. Prices range from $195 for a dress to $650 for multipiece ensemble.