Store Opening

December 24, 2006|By [STEPHANIE SHAPIRO]

REMEMBER WHEN

16 E. Cross St.

Hours: Noon until 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; noon until 5 p.m. Sunday

410-234-0400

Even as a child, Carrie Benney felt at home with vintage accessories and family antiques. Now some of those very items grace her boutique, Remember When, in Federal Hill. The lovely rowhouse space reflects Benney's tastes in other ways as well: It specializes in dresses with a retro feel. Benney wears them almost exclusively. "I'm big on wearing dresses, and they're the hardest thing to shop for."

Priced from $100 to $250, the frocks shimmer, flounce and copy glamour from the 1930s through the 1950s. There are Hollywood-elegant black gowns by Adrianna Papell, high-waisted halters by Max & Cleo and a dress by Tart, made from super-soft jersey knit, with an empire waist and cowl neck.

A fashion design major in college, Benney hopes to introduce her own line of dresses to Remember When in the future. Her own clothing muse is Rory, of Gilmore Girls fame. "I absolutely love her style," she says.

Benney has found an array of baubles in offbeat hues and chunky shapes that lend a modern touch to the inventory. One piece -- with large, translucent beads that favor ice cubes -- picks up ambient color and costs just $30. There are also handbags, cool costume rings and fragrant handmade soaps in enchanting jewel tones.

That's not all. Under the same roof, Benney's boyfriend, photojournalist Preston Mitchum Jr., operates GroundBreaking Enterprises, a special-events videography company. Remember When also offers one-stop shopping for those who want to get and to give. The boutique houses the Preston Mitchum Jr. Foundation, created to inform and assist disadvantaged city residents.

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