Barbie look-alike has 50 gowns and shops for a living

CANDID CLOSET

March 30, 1995|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Staff Writer

She has the wardrobe of a beauty queen, a name like a soap star and a job where she's paid to shop.

Could life get any better, Candice Chancellor?

"I'd love to have an Armani evening gown, like the ones they wear at the Oscars," says the 26-year-old marketing director of Hunt Valley Mall.

But until then, this Barbie look-alike will have to console herself with her current collection of 50 gowns.

"I've only worn maybe 20 of them," she says. "The other 30 just take up space."

How did you get started collecting evening gowns?

Growing up in the South, they had a pageant for everything. If you wanted, you could be Miss Turnip Green. My mother entered me in everything. You're always shopping for dresses then. It stuck into adulthood. It's become a compulsion with me now.

Which are your favorites?

I love long, strapless gowns that are fitted with slits up the front. It's the old movie-star style -- very Marilyn Monroe. I have about eight of those. My favorite is black velvet with gold embroidery. I wore that in a sorority beauty contest when I went to the University of Mississippi.

Where you do find these gowns?

I love C-Mart. For other clothes, I like Hecht's, Macy's and Express.

What have been your least and most expensive finds?

I got my best buy at Hecht's. It's white silk brocade, long and fitted with spaghetti straps. It was originally $350 marked down to $9. I've never worn it, but for that price I had to have it.

My biggest splurge was a red gown with sequins and rhinestones that cost $900. I wore it in two pageants. It's a beautiful stage dress, but it weighs about 50 pounds.

Evening gowns take up so much space. How do you store them?

We have a three-bedroom townhouse, and all the closets are filled with my clothes. My husband even built a closet in the basement to store my gowns.

Is it really true you won a Barbie look-alike contest?

I love Barbie. Last summer, I competed in a contest in Virginia. I wore a pink satin dress and really overdid the bright lipstick and pink blush. I even wore blue eye makeup because Barbie does. During the question-and-answer session, my question was, "Which Barbie animal do you love the most?" We were supposed to answer as if we were Barbie, so I said, "The glitter pony because I love to sparkle." I won a Barbie watch and nostalgic Barbie doll.

To some, being compared to Barbie -- even if she does have a knock-out wardrobe and accessory collection -- wouldn't be a compliment.

I'm a very modern person. I kept my maiden name when I got married, and I work. But there's no reason you can't be glamorous and fun. Anyway, Barbie's a doctor now. She does everything.

In general, what look are you after in your clothes?

I like fitted, feminine, glamorous clothing. Even if I wear jeans, I'll put on a form-fitting sweater and blazer. My mother said when I was a little girl I wouldn't wear pants -- only dresses with tights. I love black, but pink is my favorite color in the world.

I understand you have matching shoes in many colors.

I'm a shoes hound. I have well over 100 pairs. At least 20 are just to match my gowns. I like to totally accessorize with the matching shoes and purse.

Who is your fashion role model?

Erica Kane on "All My Children." She wears sequins to breakfast. I love it.

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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