Expressing artist's flair, head to toe

Candid Closet

November 23, 1995|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,SUN STAFF

Larry M. Blizzard wanted to be an artist, but he couldn't paint or draw. So he put his creativity in another place: his closet.

His designer labels and accessories have garnered praise around Catonsville Community College, where he's director of the Educational Talent Search Program. Colleagues there compare his outfits to "works of art."

But it's not work for him.

"Shopping is a recreational activity for me that relieves stress," says Mr. Blizzard, 46, of Southwest Baltimore. "I try to exercise daily."

What sets your style apart?

I'm an eclectic dresser. In my closet, you can find a little bit of everything -- from Armani to Mickey Mouse. But accessories are a fashion passion for me. I'm a sucker for lapel pins and hats. And I have all kinds of socks -- socks with flamingos, socks with musical instruments, socks with gorillas.

Where did your look come from?

I'm kind of like a frustrated designer. I like color and fabric. I try to keep upbeat but conservative in my dress. I don't like to stand out in a crowd, but I like to be recognized. I grew up in an East Baltimore community where dressing was important. I looked around at what made an outfit special. What accentuated it wasn't always the garment but the hat, the gloves and the shoes.

How do you apply your artistic flair to your wardrobe?

I try to reflect harmony in my attire, which enhances a positive relationship with people. I also try to be as color-coordinated as I can.

Where do you shop?

Any place that has a cash register and my size. I like T.J. Maxx, Value City and Nordstrom. And I'm going to really miss Saks.

What designers do you like?

Jhane Barnes, Missoni and Bill Robinson.

If you could trade closets with anyone, whose would you most like to have?

Bill Cosby's. For me, he's the epitome of sophisticated yet witty dress that also reflects his Afrocentric flair for clothes.

How does working with young people affect your style?

Appearance is very important to them. I try to dress well to let them know I appreciate the finer things in life. I want to dress to make them feel comfortable, but I still have to keep authority.

Has their style rubbed off on you?

I often pilfer the current hot colors from them -- orange, yellow, purple, neon green. However, instead of going with the big shirts or big pants, I'll look for neckties, socks and caps in hip hop colors to spice up basic pieces in my wardrobe, such as black trousers.

What one outfit best sums you up?

I have three components to my closet: fun clothes, work clothes and dress clothes. With fun clothes, it would be a Euro Disney Mickey Mouse sweat shirt, a pair of jeans and a baseball cap.

For work, I'd say a dark green Tommy Hilfiger jacket with a white embroidered shirt, black pants, wild socks and a lapel pin.

As for dress clothes, I like my navy pinstripe wool crepe Perry Ellis suit with a black fedora, gray shirt, gray silk tie and suede shoes.

What in your closet are you most thankful for?

My Million Man March T-shirt, my stepfather's fedora and my lapel pins -- sea horses, birds and others -- acquired from my travels.

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

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