All tied up in silk and food labelsSomething old...

Inside Fashion

July 23, 1992|By Karen Conley | Karen Conley,Fort Lauderdale Sun-SentinelKnight-Ridder News ServiceEdited by Catherine Cook

All tied up in silk and food labels

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and red and yellow and green . . . This describes the scarf designs of June Critchfield and her company, Antique Labels International. Her silk scarves are emblazoned with the vibrant fruits, vegetables and flowers illustrated on the antique labels of such firms as Hershey Foods, H.J. Heinz, Whitman's Chocolates and McCormick & Co. "I prefer to license the labels of companies that are 100 years old or more," said Ms. Critchfield.

Ms. Critchfield, who lives in Columbia, sells her scarves and ties around the country. They can be found in Baltimore at "Delicious Scarves" on the second floor of the Light Street Pavilion at Harborplace. The 32-inch square and 10-by-52-inch oblong scarves are $20 to $24; the ties are $24.

Her current collection includes a scarf with the label of McCormick Salad Herbs in a delicate, pastel print of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Another McCormick scarf pictures a poppy seed label with the original poppy sketches. "My scarves feature local products, which causes people to buy them for emotional reasons as well as fashionable ones," said Ms. Critchfield.

Ms. Critchfield is currently working on a fall collection that will feature floral designs from antique Hallmark cards and new designs from McCormick. She also hopes to license the checkerboard and antique cereal labels from Ralston Purina. "I design a museum-type scarf based on the graphics of American history," she said, "My work is linked with the past, yet modern at the same time."

Music and fashion have long been cozy bedfellows, but in George Michael's new music video, the marriage has been . . . consummated.

Sure, musicians have worn some wild couture creations -- think Grace Jones and Boy George.

But Mr. Michael's "Too Funky" video displays unabashed fascination with superstar models and the fashion world. Michael Jackson and Prince also reveal fashion fetishes in current videos. And Right Said Fred made a killing mocking the haughty nature of the runway set in "I'm Too Sexy."

Is this a mini-trend in the making? Has the music video industry -- an art form that has exhausted every tired visual cliche -- found a shortcut to hipdom? Will video makers continue taking their lens caps off to high-fashion models?

Maybe for now, says Jeanne Beker, host and segment producer of "FT: Fashion Television" on VH1. But like everything fashionable, a change already is needed.

"It is an interesting coupling," she says. "Models make strong visual statements, and that seems to translate well on music videos. But how long can it last? I mean, it's a brilliant combination, but I think it could wear thin after a while. You get tired of that insincere smile and posing."

"Too Funky" isn't tough to take at all. Models Linda Evangelista, Shana Zedrick, Nadja, Tyra, Estelle Lefebure and Beverly Peele strut down the runway wearing outre Thierry Mugler glam-gal duds.

Michael Jackson is another musician who finds the combination stimulating. He used zillion-dollar-a-second special effects in his video for "Black or White," but for "Keep It in the Closet," he used one simple special effect: supermodel and runway goddess Naomi Campbell writhing all over him. It helped to have Guess? ad lensman and fashion photography legend Herb Ritts directing. One of the latest rookies in the fashion biz is filmmaker and social conscience Spike Lee, who has opened Spike's Joint in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The store -- and others that will open soon in Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, London, Paris and Japan -- sells three sportswear lines produced by Mr. Lee's Forty Acres and A Mule Products.

The clothes will also be available in select department stores.

Mr. Lee's concept, not surprisingly, is based on street fashion, with a twist of his politics. Example: slogan T-shirts reading "Make Black Films By Any Means Necessary."

Of the three labels, the least expensive is Spike's Joint, which features T-shirts, shorts and baseball shirts for fall. Prices range from about $20 to $60. Bomber jackets will cost $200-$400.

Joints By Spike Lee will include jackets, jeans and woven shirts, with prices from $50 to $400. The Forty Acres and A Mule line isn't yet in production, but plans are for it to be a higher-priced, more complete sportswear collection.

While Mr. Lee doesn't do the designing, a company spokesman says, he does suggest concepts and has final approval on all designs.

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