Inspirations

November 20, 2005

SPLURGE OF THE WEEK

THE WARMEST ART

Wrap yourself in decadence with handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces of "wearable art," by local designer and artist Linda Gravina Ridings. These rich wraps, scarves and mufflers, made of vibrant silk velvet, are hand-stretched by Ridings on a special frame and then painted from the back using Chinese brushes. The result: unbelievably plush prints in tiger, tortoise shell, Serengeti and maru pois (big dots). Available at Ridings' Charles Village Studio: 410-662-1915. Ridings also will be showing her wraps from noon to 5 p.m. today at Hampden's Mill Centre, 3000 Chestnut Ave. Admission is free.

RETAIL PRICE: $85-$300

STEAL OF THE WEEK

YOUR COZY LITTLE SECRET

As the weather gets colder, you start rooting around the storage bin for your trusty long johns. But what if you could have the layering effect without all the bulk? Cuddl Duds has come up with a set of nylon and Lycra long underwear that warm, slender, and also offer a bit of light control. Available in tank tops, crew necks, bike shorts and long pants at area Hecht's stores.

RETAIL PRICE: $22-26

STORE OPENING HOT MAMA BOUTIQUE

204 W. Saratoga St.

410-244-7250 or hotmamaboutique.com

Say "never never" again to Peter Pan collars and cutesy bows when you visit Hot Mama Boutique, a new shop in the Mount Vernon / Lexington Market area that caters to the hip Mommy-to-be. Owner Princess W. Williams couldn't find maternity clothes to suit her youthful, trendy personality when she was pregnant, so in August, she opened the maternity shop she'd always dreamed of. Expectant mothers especially love Hot Mama's reasonably priced embellished jeans ($20-$56) and the custom-made Mommy & Me shirts ($20), complete with sonogram photo. Awww.

The Inspirations page will rotate among four weekly themes: fashion, gardening, home decor and body. Send suggestions to harry.merritt@baltsun.com.

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