No nonsense for energetic Edie Brown

Candid Closet

August 22, 1996|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,SUN FASHION EDITOR

The irrepressible Edie Brown can outdistance a dozen Energizer bunnies. She's the public relations voice for the Baltimore Arena, but she will also pitch in, help out, bend your ear or twist your arm for any cause that sheds a positive light on Baltimore, a city she loves.

The PR career is her third. She taught school at Garrison Junior High, where Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson was one of her students. "That should give you a clue how old I am," she says.

After teaching, she took up pottery, which evolved into a crafts store called Hands of Man in Pikesville. "I then decided I needed regular 9 to 5 hours and was fortunate enough to be hired on when the Convention Center complex was forming 17 years ago," she says.

That job kept evolving, and she now boosts the Arena. Her job there is to smooth the way for bookings for everyone from evangelists to wrestlers.

"I meet the stars and make arrangements with their managers. Some are difficult and some are charming," she says. "I have learned never to make assumptions about people based on their star persona. [Wrestler] Macho Man Randy Savage is a really nice man."

Brown is the mother of three and the grandmother of eight. Her daughter's triplets gave her a head start in the grandmother stakes. Summer weekends are for family at the beach place in Bethany. Come fall, you'll see Brown and husband Stanley out and about all over town. She's not even thinking of slowing down.

With your schedule, how do you put yourself together to approach a working day?

I try to get to the gym as often as I can. The evening before, I pack my gym bag and carry everything I plan to wear and get dressed [the next morning] at the Downtown Athletic Club. The regulars who work out at 6 in the morning are dedicated fools. It's not uncommon for women to bring along different shoes and blouses and get some critical advice on what goes better with what.

Does workout wear include those thong things?

Are you kidding? I do comfort for weight machines and treadmill. Had to give up on aerobics classes since my knees went. I dress professionally, in a suit, even when there's a rock concert in the works. Once I'm dressed, I stay dressed all day.

Does your wardrobe have a color key?

I stick to neutrals. They're easier and I don't have to think as much. I use a lot of little silk T-shirts under jackets so I don't have to worry about matching patterns. I do like scarves or jewelry that can dress you up or down.

Do you do strong accessories?

Depends on my mood. I go through periods. Sometime I use them sparingly, other times I have a tendency to pile them on. I like to throw a lot of pins on suits.

Last year's pins of the moment were little glass and gold stick pins I bought from a friend. I wore them in combination with other pins.

Do you have a regular shopping program?

No, I'm a hectic shopper. I realize I have a need and then scramble to find something. There's never enough time. We're out a lot between committee work and work socializing. It's hard to talk to anyone from the office during a busy day, so I do a lot of my work over a quick bite to catch up.

Fashion pays a lot of attention to hemlines; where are you wearing yours?

These days, above the knee. I've been going to the same dressmaker for years. Molly Ritzes is wonderful and she knows where my hemlines should be.

Will you raise and lower your hems along with the trends?

Up to a point, but I'm not that trendy.

Do you have an outfit you can't do without?

It's a basic black evening pantsuit from Tomatsu, which I get out for dressy occasions. I haven't been able to find anything else that works as well. A lot of evening wear looks too costumey for me, so I end up wearing that black jacket, shell and pants and changing my jewelry. Most of the dressy events I attend are work-related and I believe I should look understated.

Do you keep a separate beach wardrobe in Bethany?

Nowadays, all you need is a jeans skirt, some T-shirts and a light jacket and you can go just about anywhere. And of course I always have lots of scarves.

Do you do those fancy scarf tricks?

Heavens, no. I have friends who know how to fold and tie them just right, but I just throw them on.

Any favorite labels?

I really like things by Tomatsu because they're sleek and well-tailored and work well for me. I look for them at Jones & Jones and Nordstrom. Once you find something that works it's smart to stick with it.

Are you gearing up for any fall galas?

I volunteer for Cystic Fibrosis, and the FootBall will be their fund-raiser. There is also the Baltimore Book Festival coming up and events for the Sept. 6 preview of the Convention Center.

I'll figure out what to wear as the time gets nearer.

Do you know any snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Vida Roberts, Candid Closet, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

Pub Date: 8/22/96

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