Chenille chicYou've read about feathers. You've lusted...

Style File

November 15, 1998|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Fashion Editor

Chenille chic

You've read about feathers. You've lusted after fur. But maybe you're not quite ready to splurge on these ultra-fashionable styles. You're demure or on a budget, but you still want to stay current.

Enter the chenille boa. These soft, fluffy scarves are the preppie girl's way to go wild. Their versatility - they work with everything from suits to party dresses to blue jeans - has helped make them one of the season's best sellers at Wil-mington Country Store in Ruxton.

The store, which got them this fall, sold out once and already restocked in shades of black, taupe and olive. (They cost $30.)

"In sportswear, there are a lot of basic silhouettes - T-shirts, long skirts, simple blouses," says manager Susan Jacobsen. "These add something fun to the look. They spruce it up, make it look different."

The runway can be madness, and no one knows that better than Lucian Perkins.

For more than a decade, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer has chronicled the hype, spectacle and silliness of New York's elite fashion shows.

He has assembled his best shots in an impressive new book, "Runway Madness" (Chronicle Books, $24.95), that looks at the shows from all sides - the backstage anarchy, the star-studded crowd, the glamorous catwalk.

Perkins, a Washington Post photographer, captures Naomi Campbell in curlers, Cindy Crawford looking seductive and Vogue's Anna Wintour sans her signature sunglasses.

Post fashion writer Robin Givhan provides commentary, summing up the scene this way: "Fashion is the business of selling dreams, one garment at a time."

Thanks to Hanes, babies can now have it their way.

Playing off the underwear company's reputation for soft cotton at affordable prices, Hanes is introducing baby basics, including gowns, blankets, bootees and hooded towels.

"Through consumer research we heard that Hanes should be making baby wear," says Lacey Goodwin, marketing manager for the line. "We want to serve the whole family."

The line, which ranges from $2.99 to $8.99, is available at Wal-Mart and Caldor. Sizes go up to 18 months, and so far there's a bear-and-giraffe pattern or several mid-tone solids. (Designs with Disney characters and Winnie-the-Pooh are due out next year.)

But don't look for anything pink. "We're staying gender-neutral," Goodwin says. "A little girl can wear blue, but you don't see boys in pink."

Never mind the bubbles. The newest baths are filled with fizz.

One of the hottest trends in soaking and soothing is scented balls that act like Alka-Seltzer tablets when dropped in warm water.

Some, such as Banana Republic's Effervescent Bath Bombs, feature minerals and exfoliants to help relax muscles and soften skin. They are available in three fragrances: Classic, W and Modern. And at $6, they make a great holiday hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

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