Betty Rosen says fashion isn't a top priority, yet the 76-year-old Pikesville resident is known around town for her style. She and her husband, Buddy Rosen, love to travel, and that's when she does most of her shopping - that is, when this professional photographer isn't taking pictures of faraway places and people.
Whether she's headed to Asia, the grocery store or Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art for Moveable Feast's annual "Dining Out for Life" event, Rosen always looks picture-perfect.
The look: Black wool crepe Lida Baday dress. Leopard-print pashmina. Chanel-style camel leather and black patent leather spectator heels. Camel and black alligator-pattern satchel. Gold pearl necklace. Gold and diamond pave earrings. Black sheer pantyhose.
Where it came from: She bought the dress at Bergdorf Goodman "about 15, 16 years ago." She got the pashmina while on a trip to South Africa. Her shoes were a find in Hong Kong. The bag was a purchase from the Lederer de Paris store in New York City. She found the pearls in China, and she's had the earrings a long time.
Where she shops: "We've spent 22 years going to Phuket, 32 going to Bangkok. It's part of the world that we love. I buy a lot of things in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Phuket. I buy a lot of things in Chiang Mai in Thailand, and in Myanmar. ... If I go to India, I buy a lot of things there. I would say most of my things I've bought when we're traveling."
Her travels fit her style: "I like things with an Oriental style. A mandarin collar, a button across the shoulder. That's really my style. I have a woman that I go to; a tailor that I use in Bangkok."
Her life - not her wardrobe - is colorful: "I have a turquoise blouse to wear with white pants and I have one or two navy tops. Everything else I wear is black and white. ... I only travel in black and white because then my things are always interchangeable."
Her signature look: "[I'm known for] the chignon knot and the red lipstick. I don't ever remember wearing anything but red lipstick. I wore Sisley lipstick No. 28. Then, they stopped making it, so I had it repeated by a guy at Bergdorf. ... I've worn my hair in the knot for 52 years. The only time I had short hair was in 1972 when my hair was cut by the Mudmen [tribe] from the Asaro Valley in New Guinea. I was taking photographs. They were coming toward me, and I thought they were going to be friendly. I had my hair long in a braid, and they cut it off with a knife."
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