Clothes Suited for Dolls


August 07, 2005|By Crystal Sayles | Crystal Sayles,SUN STAFF

Since 1996, Natalie Graham had a vision that one day she would make ladies feel like pretty little dolls.

When she opened her chic and eclectic boutique, The Doll House, 525 N. Charles St., in September 2004 her vision came to life.

Once inside this Mount Royal area storefront, the dollhouse theme is apparent.

"Do you want to play dress up?" asks a saleswoman to a patron who just stepped inside the store.

This place has an exciting and funky vibe, with creative collages of celebrities and fashion, a collaboration of small unique art, and small contemporary furniture that brings the "dollhouse" theme alive.

FOR THE RECORD - A Style File item in Sunday's Home & Family section misidentified the neighborhood where the Doll House is located. The store, at 525 N. Charles St., is in Mount Vernon.
The Sun regrets the errors.

The boutique showcases Graham's signature line, Ragdolls by Design. She also has other designer wear including Madison Walker, Madison Elle Evans and Joyce Van Hooke of New York.

The bold exhibition has a Jamaican and Bohemian appeal -- or a "Gwen Stefani punk" style, says Graham. The Doll House also offers beauty makeovers in the Ragdolls Styling Studio, says Graham of Randalls-town.

"I treat my customers like dolls," says Graham. "This designer work showroom provides personal styling, hair, make-up...the list goes on."

Before opening the boutique, Graham, 29, was a buyer and designer for the popular but now shuttered Foot Fetish. Her clients come from all backgrounds. She says mothers, daughters and even grandmothers shop at her place. Graham opened in Baltimore because she thought the city by the harbor was ready for a little piece of New York's fashion sensibility.

"I would be one in a million in New York," Graham says. But, Graham decided to offer her creative touch to her hometown -- Baltimore.

In come corduroys

One last year before her Mids fly the coop It's almost back to school time. So students, this fall start off the school year with a bang when you enter your new classrooms with cords.

Cords -- the hip name for the good old-fashioned corduroys that you once wore in the 1980s -- are in for fall. You hated them then, but you'll love them today. Fall's cords are stylish with a lot more variety and bolder, fresher colors. Of course, you can still wear the original corduroy jeans, but now trendy fitted blazers -- a big craze throughout the year -- have a "cord" appeal. Corduroy painter's pants, jackets, purses, sneakers and even ballerina shoes are showing up next season, for both young and old.

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