Style notes: Kooky hats spell winter

January 07, 1993|By Roy H. Campbell | Roy H. Campbell,Knight-Ridder News Service

The new kooky hats of winter.

See them here.

See them there.

See them everywhere.

The hot hats -- elongated knit or cloth hats with a knot or shreds at the end -- are topping heads of young hip-hoppers in Philadelphia, D.C., New York, Norfolk and Chicago, among other large cities.

They showed up on the runways in New York in the grunge-style fashion presentations from Christian Francis Roth and Marc Jacobs, designer for the Perry Ellis company.

The hats also are sported at underground clubs and at Rave parties where, as Techno or house music blasts to a peak, the hats are tossed in the air.

What are these hats called?

Take your pick.

Mark McNear, a vendor in downtown Philadelphia, said they were called skullies. "Yes, sir, they're the hot style. I'm selling 30 to 40 skullies a day," he said.

The skullies, street slang for skull cap, are priced from $5 to $25, depending on the design or fabric. A black Lycra "X" hat was going for $5, while a knit multicolored hat cost $15.

But his partner, said the hats were called nightcaps.

"Yeah, they came out a few months ago. The rap group Naughty by Nature wore them in a video and -- BAM -- everybody wanted a nightcap," said Neal Richardson.

Nightcap and skullies are but two of the names associated with the hats. In various newspapers and publications they are labeled knot hats, Dr. Suess hats, Cat-in-the-Hat hats, stocking hats, and sock hats.

Not only do these hats have several names, they are worn several ways: the knot hanging on the side, the knot at the top, the knot hanging at the back, the knot hanging over the forehead.

Some of the hats have no knot, just a knit ball at the end.

By whatever name or style, the hats are happening. Tishawan Coles, 19, of Southwest Philadelphia, picked up her $5 black knot hat recently.

"I had to get one. They are all around," she said.

DESIGNER NEWS: The Council of Fashion Designers of America's lifetime achievement awards goes this year to Pauline Trigere, not exactly a big-name designer. But she has been in the business for 50 years. Trigere is noted for her ladylike fashions, which are sold in a handful of upscale boutiques.

Marc Jacobs of the Perry Ellis label picked up the women's wear designer of the year award and Donna Karan won the menswear honors for her new ultra-hot menswear collection. The upset was the new fashion talent award, which many in the industry expected to go to Byron Lars, the king of whimsical fashion. Instead the award went to Anna Sui, the mistress of grunge and 1970s-style fashions. Awards will also be granted to fashion photographer Steven Meisel, the lensman behind Madonna's controversial bestseller, "Sex." Mr. Glitzy himself, Gianni Versace, will receive the first international award. The winners will receive their awards at a Feb. 1 gala ceremony at New York's Lincoln Center.

Emanuel Ungaro has decided not to hold a runway show, to protest the Chambre Syndicale's decision to hold the fall ready-to-wear shows in March instead of the February dates agreed upon by most designers. Ungaro will schedule private showings for press and buyers.

IF YOU ASK ME: Thankfully, the Christmas season is over for another year, but one new trend of the season will undoubtedly continue into the new year. That's the so-called "gift that keeps on giving."

Department stores and several manufacturers and charities, hyped as Christmas presents those items that, when purchased, trigger a donation to a charity. While such charitable endeavors are indeed commendable, it seems self-serving to offer a $50 sweatshirt with the come-on that a few dollars will go to a charity. Often the donation is figured into the marked-up price of the item, guaranteeing profits to the store and the manufacturer.

I for one would rather send a check for $50 to the charity of my choice than buy a $50 sweatshirt.

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