A young and funky look gives way to 'survival gear'


November 18, 1993|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

Her jeans are by the Gap, her blouses come from Banana Republic, but the look, says Amy Kushner, is all her own.

"I don't consider it a sense of style," says the 26-year-old zTC broadcast producer with W.B. Doner & Co. advertising. "It's survival gear."

Ms. Kushner does embellish the basics with offbeat vests, shoes and belts that she often buys during business trips to New York.

But even her funkiest accessory can't compare with what she wore in college.

"I remember standing in front of the closet slaving over what I could put on that would look different," she says. "I don't do that anymore, and it's made my life a lot easier."

How would you describe your look?

Casual. It's like Garanimals for adults. We all dress very much alike at Doner. For creative people, we sound really boring. But as producers, we need clothes that travel well. You need something you can shove in an overnight bag and pull out the next morning and put on. It's easy to do jeans and a T-shirt, and then dress it up with a beaded vest.

Have you always dressed this way?

This is really new. I used to go to clubs in these tight leggings and bra tops and combat boots. It really wasn't comfortable, but I did it for six years. I finally changed because of my career. I realized I could get more respect if I looked like an adult rather than a teen-ager.

What did you change?

I stopped wearing short little skirts, sheer shirts and tight jackets.

What's your reaction to your clothing now?

I know it's nondescript. I look in the closet, and all I see is black and white. But when I look at the styles today, they're changing much faster than they used to. It's more important to stick with standards, especially if you don't make a ton of money.

Do you ever get in a rut?

Yes. I was in Philadelphia on a project last week. I had been wearing leggings and big shirts. I thought I needed to do something different, so I bought three dresses -- one's vintage with an empire waist, another's a plain silk tunic, and the third has a wrap skirt with a matching vest.

What's your current favorite outfit?

I have a pair of navy gabardine trousers that I wear with black suede penny loafers, a white rayon blouse and a velvet vest with blue and red fireplaces all over it. I've worn the pieces individually, and no one says a word. But when I put them together, everybody really likes it.

Is there one outfit in your closet you won't wear again?

I have some funny tie-dyed stuff -- dresses and T-shirts basically. I also have this floral gauzy shirt that always fell off the shoulder. I used to wear it to work. Now I try to stay away from clothing like that. I tend to underexpress my femininity.

What's your weekend style?

I wear jeans to work every day, so I like to dress up when I can. I'm really into the velvet thing. And sometimes, if I'm going to a bar, I'll wear big platform shoes and something grungy.

What irks you most about women's clothing?

Pantyhose. I hate them. They're awful. They run all the time. They rustle when you walk, and they're hot. I think they should be banned.

Any dressing advice for people starting out in your field?

You can still be artsy, but stay within the realm of good taste.

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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