Local designers share the fun


March 14, 2004|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When Melissa Sarkis Kirby moved back home to Maryland from Los Angeles four years ago, she brought a little something back. "I wanted to bring some West Coast flavor to Baltimore," says Kirby. "Besides, there weren't a lot of places to shop."

The result is Shine Collective, a little slip of a store in Hampden that's a collective of various artists and designers, many of them from Baltimore. Some of the stuff you'll find at the store with the hot pink and green painted brick facade: hip T-shirts (like the retro "Baltimore: The Greatest City in America" shirt), fun accessories like brief-shaped change purses ($12) and colorful, big, fat floor and throw pillows made from vintage silk scarves ($45-$112). Lucky, a national magazine devoted to shopping, featured the store in an issue last year.

We love the emphasis on local designers. Comatoast's skirts crafted from vintage fabrics ($75) are fresh and flirty. Free Speech's T-shirts with the fill-in speech bubble were cool ($30), and the pillows, beaded jewelry and funky patterned skirts by National Lust made a cold winter night feel like spring. Also look for clothing by Tricky, Votre Petite Lama and Soochi; cool watches with colorful leather bands by Majland NYC; and awesome cards and stationery by Saturate and Sapling Press.

Shine Collective is at 3554 Roland Ave. Information: www.shinecollective.com or 410-366-6100.

Or, to see clothing by a variety of Baltimore designers, head to the Ottobar (2549 N. Howard St.) on Saturday for Strut, a fiesta of local music and spring fashion from a variety of Baltimore stores, including Shine Collective, 9th Life in Fells Point and 10 Car Pileup in Towson. Information: 410-662-0069.

Power of flowers

Art school. Say the words and immediately conjure up images of messenger bags and basic black.

Celine's Boogie "art school" bags are neither black nor messenger style. The feminine suede bags are handpainted by art students in Hangzhou, China. The bags have images of three symbolic, traditional Chinese flowers: the bamboo, lily of the valley and magnolia.

We especially like the crisp citrine bag painted with feathery fronds of bamboo, China's symbol of spirituality and enlightenment. The bags are crafted in small quantities and available starting next month in Celine boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa and Bal Harbour.

Dedicated to the eye

You've got to love a compact that promises makeup for the eye, the whole eye and nothing but the eye. Diane Von Furstenberg's Perfect Eye Compact combines eye shadows, brow colors, eyeliner and brushes in a mirrored compact to ensure that everything you need is in one place. The compact contains:

* Three eye shadows -- Sandy Pink, Backseat Brown and Butterfly Kiss

* Two wet / dry brow colors -- Truffle and Gazelle -- that can be mixed to match your brow color.

* One wet-dry black eyeliner

* Two double-ended applicators / brushes made from natural hair -- one for shadow application, one for lining the eye.

* The Perfect Eye Compact costs $45 and is available at www.saksfifthavenue.com and select Nordstrom stores.

Set to snooze

The Juicy velour tracksuit is so over.

Update your loungewear with Natori's gray Shangri La jersey pajama set ($85) instead. The jersey top has feminine little fluttery cap sleeves and the pants are loose but flattering. Now that's grown-up, comfortable and pretty.

Natori pajamas are available at Nordstrom.

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