Crazy for cashmereWondering what on earth to wear these...

STYLE FILE

March 22, 1998|By Holly Selby | Holly Selby,SUN STAFF WRITER

Crazy for cashmere

Wondering what on earth to wear these days? Should you dress for a chilly day? A warm one? And is it going to rain?

Cashmere, that wonderfully soft and notably expensive fabric spun from goat wool, is being touted these days as a good answer to the spring fashion conundrum.

Aficionados these days toss around terms for cashmere with the aplomb of oenophiles describing a Bordeaux. There's pashmina, a cashmere that's hand-woven with silk. And eight ply, a thicker knit. For spring, however, just say: single ply, the thinnest knit.

The craze for cashmere makes a certain sense. The wool can be both elegant and casual and is being marketed as a year-round fabric. Designers are blending it with Lycra or spandex to give it shape. They're creating long, slinky tank dresses, cardigans and little sweater tops. (And if you're the sort who worries about price, consider this: Cashmere had more than a cameo role on the runway shows for fall, too.)

The ideal body

Special K wants to send a special message to women. In recent years, advertisements for the cereal have depicted a perfectly slinky model wearing a white bathing suit or zipping up her tight blue jeans. Now Kellogg Co. has launched an ad campaign titled "Reshaping Your Attitude" that pokes holes in the idea of the "perfect 10" female body.

Inspiration for the commercials came in part from a survey of 503 adult women commissioned by Kellogg, says a company spokeswoman. The study showed that 62 percent of women felt pressure to conform to an "ideal" shape and weight.

A TV commercial features men sitting around a bar, worrying about their weight. A print ad features an image of a woman that is blurred so her body type is not apparent. The words next to the picture say: "Perfection is about accepting yourself the way you are."

Hmm. Listen up, fashion designers. Please.

Eau de bookstore

Now when you stop in at your college bookstore in search of some sense, you can purchase some scents, too.

Calvin Klein Cosmetics has teamed up with Follett College Stores to sell "cK" fragrances in about 90 campus bookstores nationally, including Baltimore's Loyola College Bookstore. The fragrances, which sell for about $35, have been on bookstore shelves since early this year.

This isn't the first time that Calvin Klein has targeted the 18-to-24-year-old bunch, says a Calvin Klein spokeswoman. In '94 and '96, cK was available at 80 Tower Records stores throughout the nation.

"It's just a different way of getting the product out to cK consumers, she says. "And it's part of the trend of keeping college shopping on campus, which includes one-stop shopping and college bookstores becoming lifestyle stores."

Lift and hide

Whoa. What does this say about us and our times? Here's a new product made especially for those embarrassing bruises caused by cosmetic surgery. La Prairie this month introduces the Camouflage Kit, a collection of skin care creams, foundations and powders designed to "conceal the temporary redness, discoloration and bruising associated with post-operative procedures."

The kit includes (among other items) "Cellular Defense Shield Cream," a moisturizer with a Vitamin C base, and a choice of one of three shades of loose powder. La Prairie products are carried by major department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.

The idea for the $150 cosmetic package "came from talking to makeup artists and dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons," says Freida Taylor of La Prairie. "It is good for pre- and post-operative needs and also is good for people who just have a spot of a scar that they want to cover."

Pub Date: 3/22/98

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