High fashion comes to townFashion for me is a spectator...

Style File

April 04, 1999|By A. M. Chaplin | A. M. Chaplin,Sun Staff

High fashion comes to town

Fashion for me is a spectator sport. Like an avid baseball fan, I watch every move of every player in the big leagues, but only rarely do I suit up myself (and then my game is nothing to write home about).

Unfortunately for me and other like-minded Baltimoreans, most of fashion is an away game played in New York, Paris or Milan. This month, though, we won't have to travel to look at the pros: There's a couture show right here in Baltimore.

It's small -- only 16 pieces -- but the names are big enough. Among them are Adolfo, Galanos (a 1985 gown is at right), Lanvin, Pucci, Trigere and Chanel (the real Chanel, not Karl "the un-Coco" Lagerfeld).

The clothes come from the collection of Baltimore City Community College's Apparel Technology Program, which offers associate degrees in apparel design and apparel retailing. The show takes place at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (1415 Key Highway) and will run for three weeks after its opening reception, which is at 6:30 p.m. April 7.

Call 410-986-5522 for more information.

The secret of youth?

Alpha-hydroxy peels were the big thing in skin treatment during the '90s, and skin-treatment manufacturers are casting about for something as salable for the next decade. Nivea has a hot new contender: coenzyme Q10.

CoQ10 is present naturally in the body, Nivea says, where it neutralizes free radicals, which are not bearded revolutionaries fresh out of jail, but substances that damage cells. As the body gets older, the supply of CoQ10 declines, cell damage occurs and signs of aging appear. This is where Nivea steps in, with Q10 Wrinkle Control Face Creme and Q10 Wrinkle Control Eye Creme.

If these are applied faithfully to the skin, its natural function will be enhanced, Nivea says, and the visible signs of aging such as wrinkles will be reduced. Aging bodies who wish to try this out for themselves should head for the nearest mass retailer, where the creams should be available this month at $11 apiece.

'Mod' Levi's

Fashion's relationship with TV shows and movies is a tricky one. Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot were both screen divas, but I can't think of any fashions specifically associated with Monroe. Bardot, on the other hand, helped set off mad crazes for bikinis, triangular head scarves, Jax gingham pants and pale lipsticks.

Closer to home in the '90s, everyone knows that Jennifer Aniston's long layered 'do on "Friends" was imitated from coast to coast (you can still see it in Baltimore). But although her co-stars Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow were just as admired as Aniston was, their coiffures were less widely imitated.

So it will be interesting to see what happens to the Levi's clothing line inspired by the movie "The Mod Squad," a reworking of the 1968-1973 TV show. The movie, which opened here recently, stars Omar Epps, Claire Danes and Giovanni Ribisi (above).

This is Levi's first movie promotion, and it's said to be the first time a major clothing firm has created a line based on a film (though movie actors have often worn clothing by famous designers on screen, from Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy to Gwyneth Paltrow in Donna Karan).

The "Mod Squad" line will be available at Commander Salamander in Georgetown and through the Levi's Web site, www.levis.com.

Timely accessories

Nine West means shoes to most people -- stylish shoes at a moderate price. But the company has been busting out of the shoe box in the last few years, expanding its fashion empire to include sunglasses, jewelry, bags and other accessories. This month it progresses to watches.

Just like Nine West shoes, the watches recapitulate most of the fashion-forward looks out there -- but cost a whole lot less than similar wristgear with fancier names. The watch with the brightly colored band, for example, looks very much like one by Emporio Armani, except that the face is square instead of round and it costs $39 (suggested retail) instead of $125.

The watches should be available in department stores and some of the Nine West specialty stores.

Style File welcomes fashion news and tips. Send suggestions to Mary Corey, Style File, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519.

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