Lisa Lazar is a painter who does figurative and narrative...

CANDID CLOSET

March 11, 1992

Lisa Lazar is a painter who does figurative and narrative work in mixed media with a current circus and magic theme. She participates in Impossible Industrial Action Theater and has designed for David Mamet's "The Water Engine" which opens at Theater Project April 2.

How would you describe your taste in clothing?

I guess I'm a definition of the eclectic. I wear everything from Edwardian lace to the obligatory leather biker jacket -- mine is a Harley vintage jacket from the '50s.

What's the newest thing in your closet?

I just finished making a jacket in a pseudo-Elizabethan style. It's black velvet with slashed sleeves that reveal iridescent taffeta. It's a contemporary version of a pattern I invented.

What's the oldest thing in your closet?

Some Victorian, jet-beaded shawls and collars. One was a gift and the others came from my high school theater department which was cleaning out costumes and gave them to me.

Do you have a true standby that you wear to feel good?

I'd have to say black, but I have a kind of uniform look of clothes that look a lot alike -- usually something big and bulky on top and smaller on the bottom.

What have you held on to for sentimental reasons?

It's a nightgown my grandmother wore on her wedding night, a '30s cinema satin number cut on the bias. I'm going to wear something like it to the Deco Ball next year.

What is your wardrobe weakness?

Vintage black dresses. I have an embarrassing number of them. Whenever I go on vacation and browse through antique shops I seem always to find yet one more.

What's the most expensive item in your closet?

I bought a coat on sale at Saks last year. It's a very full trapeze shape and almost touches the ground.

What's the least expensive item in your closet?

I found a glamorous opera coat from the early 1900s in a basement. It's embroidered in gold and has a big fur collar and cuffs. The lining is double silk.

What's the wildest outfit you ever bought?

I made it. I covered the bosom of a 1950s black merry widow with gigantic rhinestones. It works as an evening look.

What are your favorite accessories?

My glasses. I have two pairs, but my favorite is the purple and gold frames by Alain Mikli. The other glasses are lacquered frames from the '30s which I'm having refitted with my prescription lenses.

Do you have any shopping tips to share?

With me it's not a matter of shopping, but rather deciding what I would like to own then making it by integrating an existing pattern with interesting fabrics. I taught myself to sew out of necessity. I was working the Renaissance Festival and had to turn myself into a court lady and a jesterette.

Do you know some special dressers? Tell us about them. Write to Vida Roberts, Candid Closet, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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