`I love the way I dress'


Candid Closet: Barbara Friedland of Canton has mastered the art of matching funky with fine.

April 01, 1999|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

In her material adventures, Barbara Friedland routinely travels from funky to fine, so it's no wonder she's an enthusiastic promoter of tonight's "Funky to Fine: A Charles Street/Mt. Vernon Fashion Show Extravaganza," a First Thursday celebration at the George Peabody Library, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place. It starts at 6 p.m.

Friedland is a faithful customer of People United, a Charles Street business and fashion show participant that offers an eclectic profusion of clothing, gifts and furnishings produced by women in developing nations. Previously, when Friedland's office was above the store, she even waited on customers.

A Canton resident, and head of development for Lewis Advertising, Friedland, 47, is committed to living and shopping in Baltimore. With People United skirts and silk blouses from her favorite Highlandtown thrift store, there's no need to go anywhere else.

How do you build a professional wardrobe at People United?

I have a very certain sense of style. I'm very conservative in terms of fabric and straight lines, but I like to do things with color. I have a funny story about where I work and clothes. I had been there for a few months and my boss came in and asked, "Would you like to borrow money and buy some clothes?" and I said, "I love the way I dress, thank you." He meant it only out of kindness. I think he expected me to wear a navy suit.

What is important in a wardrobe?

I enjoy color and whimsy. And I buy a lot of things at People United with texture, texture, texture.

Talk about your other favorite shopping experience.

I've discovered thrift stores. Especially Value Village in Highlandtown. It's fabulous. Any amateur can go in and find an Evan Picone piece with the tag still on it. I know quality, and I find Picone, Pendleton, silk blouses. I found a skirt with the $189 price tag still on it, the color of toast. One of my fun things to do is wear a $400 jacket I have with a $1.98 skirt.

Sounds like shopping is a treasure hunt for you.

I love the fact that if you go to XYZ store, you know what you're going to get. But if I go to Value Village, I don't know if you're walking out with a silk skirt or jeans for my son.

It's also shopping for the community. When I see really good buys on clothes and toys I take them to a day care for homeless children called the Ark. Plus, I also distribute clothes in my neighborhood from time to time. I love the energy of moving clothes around, of getting them to people.

The way you approach it, shopping sounds like a healthy addiction.

Having stuff is fun. It's important to give as well and to just recognize that you live in a community and have an obligation to that community.

What is a good thrift shopping skill?

I can remember colors in my mind. I had this fabulous skirt I got at Loehmann's. It wasn't brown, it wasn't green. It wasn't black. And I found a blouse with that exact color in it.

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

Pub Date: 4/01/99

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