Eclectic hair stylist believes fashion should make a big bang

CANDID CLOSET

April 08, 1993|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

Karen Wilson doesn't have one look. She has many.

Depending on her mood, the 32-year-old hair stylist may turn up in a leopard jacket, torn T-shirt or even a pink tuxedo.

"I thought by the time I turned 30 I'd have a style of my own. But I don't," says Ms. Wilson, the owner of Bang Bang Hair Studio in Fells Point. (She named the salon after "too many margaritas one night.")

She actually prefers life that way, especially since it allows her to browse through flea markets and secondhand shops in search of her eclectic self.

"I'd rather wear something funky I bought for 50 cents at a thrift store than some designer thing that costs $500," she says.

How would you describe your clothes?

I like to mix things. I'll take a feminine floral dress and wear it with clunky men's shoes. The next day, I'll be in jeans, cowboy boots and a turtleneck. I own my own hair salon so I don't have to look a certain way. I can wear anything I want. I look in my closet and say: "What kind of person do I want to be today?"

What are some of the answers?

I've always had images in my mind. Audrey Hepburn, the young Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret in the '50s. Those are images I have in my mind when I buy clothes. When I look at my wardrobe, I think, "Let's mix a little Elvis with Holly Golightly."

Sounds like you have a sense of humor about your clothes.

Dressing can be fun. It's all costume in a way. I don't know if anybody would want to emulate the way I look.

Have you received odd reactions?

A couple times. I have a pink satin Las Vegas tuxedo with rhinestones. It's very Elvis. I wore it to a wedding recently and got some pretty strange looks. But I had just gotten it at Goodwill for $50, and I was dying to wear it.

What are some of your most unusual buys?

My cowboy boots. They're red, yellow and white. I bought them (( three years ago in New York.

What person would you most like to take along on a shopping trip?

Cher. I'd ask her if she'd let me try on one of her Bob Mackie dresses.

Any new trend that even you won't try?

I told a friend to shoot me if I'm ever in bell bottoms again, but they're starting to look good to me. I've never had a power suit. I could never wear one. My body would reject it.

What's been your biggest fashion mistake?

A year ago, I got rid of about 10 flannel shirts. That was the stupidest thing. Now they're really big with the grunge look.

Do you wear grunge?

I think it's really anti-fashion, which is cool. But it's a little too casual to wear for work.

What do you wear when you're in a funk?

Jeans and cowboy boots with a T-shirt or a turtleneck. It's my armor.

If you could change one thing about your style, what would it be?

I wish I wouldn't get sick of things so fast. Sometimes I'll buy something, I'll love it, wear if half a dozen times or so, and then it gets shoved to the back of my closet. I don't know why that happens.

Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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