St. John knits suit Wendy Rosen just fine

Candid Closet

March 19, 1998|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

Coordinating the Walters Art Gallery's annual Art Blooms event with the opening of the Monet exhibition was an inspired but daunting task for Wendy Rosen. As the co-chair of the weekend-long sequence of parties, lectures and auction that takes place from Friday March 27 through Sunday March 29, Rosen had to choreograph the comings and goings of Art Blooms participants, as well as museum members and non-members flocking to the exhibition. (For more information about Art Blooms, call 410-547-9000, ext. 305.)

But what better way to launch the exhibition of Monet's paintings of his famous gardens at Giverny than with a celebration of floral and garden design sponsored by the Walters' Women's Committee?

Rosen has been so busy, the last thing she wants to think about is what to wear to the opening night gala. A black, St. John knit suit with sparkly highlights will do nicely, she says. Coincidentally, her co-chair, Kathy Canzoniero, found a purple St. John suit to wear. Complementary blooms on a flowerful night.

What is your standard mode of dress?

Basically tailored, classic pieces for the most part, every so often with a flair. I love color or pattern. I tend toward black, taupe, red and purple.

Do you return to a designer year after year?

I've basically been living in St. John knits since I discovered that I could get size 2 off the rack. It makes it easy. When I see a St. John I love on rare occasions, I will get it and put it in my closet. It's there as my uniform.

If you have to go shopping where do you go?

Ruth Shaw in Baltimore and Harriet Kassman in Washington, which is a Ruth Shaw-type of store with a broader selection and has some more classic things as well. Kassman is great for major events, like bar mitzvahs and weddings. Once, they took a size 8 and reconstructed it for me.

Where else do you shop?

I do some of my best shopping in my daughters' closets. I find lots of great Gap velour turtlenecks.

Do they shop in your closet?

Yes. They come into my closet and find wonderful things left over from eons ago. I did get rid of some bell bottoms and platform shoes to their dismay.

Do you try to follow trends?

I like classic things I keep for forever and ever. I don't object to an investment on occasion.

L It doesn't sound like shopping is your favorite thing to do.

It's not like I don't like to find something I truly love when there is a special occasion. I don't find the activity of shopping for it to be particularly satisfying.

How do your daughters approach fashion?

They always look wonderful. They have a pretty good ability to just put things together and mix whatever they happen to find.

Do you shop that way?

I don't look for special accessories to go with things. Some people have a flair for mixing and matching, but if I can't buy the whole outfit at the same time, forget it!

What is your standard attire for meetings and outings?

I buy petites sometimes from Ellen Tracy or Anne Klein. They're perfectly adequate for separates or a suit or something like that. I'll throw on Ellen Tracy wool pants and a matching turtle neck. I stay monochromatic. Scarves are too busy. But at home, my meat and potatoes are my Gap jeans.

Do you have any sentimental favorites?

I love to pull out my Susan Summa sweaters bought at the Baltimore crafts fair. And my daughters like to wear my old Bonnie Doone knee-highs that I bought in the late 1950s. I had them in every color. No one will let me throw them out when they get holes.

Do you know any snappy dressers? Let us know. Write to Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

Pub Date: 3/19/98

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