Fashion according to BlassBill Blass is both...


Fashion according to Blass

Bill Blass is both a famous and familiar name. You'll find it on more than 70 products ranging from fashion collections for women and men to sheets, shoes and even a car -- the Bill Blass Lincoln Continental.

In San Francisco recently to launch his newest fragrances, Basic Black, Nude, and Hot, he talked about his upcoming spring 1991 collection and his views on the way American women dress.

His collection, to be unveiled Oct. 29 in New York, will include "lots of color," he says. "There's such an absence of black. Women don't want black. People want color."

On the subject of American women, he says, "I think there's a tendency to wear much too much makeup in the daytime. A tendency to wear too many things, to over-accessorize, that is due in part to the increased affluency of women in the '80s. A tendency to quickly adopt a new style whether it suited you or not because it was new and immediate."

The Japanese have an unusual -- and typically efficient -method of advertising that big trophy fish.

Instead of perching muscular marlins over mantelpieces, the Japanese paint their prize fish with colorful ink and press it onto sheets of rice paper, which are then hung up to dry.

The practice is known as "gyotaku," and is being performed bBlue Water Art Productions of Ruxton, albeit with a fashionable twist. Instead of rice paper, T-shirts, canvas bags, and backpacks are used. And there's no need to catch your own fish, either -- they already have those. (Although they will use your own fish if you want, if it's usable.)

Jennifer Bovey and Andrew Greenblatt, the fish-loving founderof Blue Water, have mostly based their marketing strategy on national and international trade shows, but also market through distributors and retail outlets.

Locally, Blue Water pieces are available at MCX at Green Spring Station. Appointments to see the collection can also be made by calling their studio in Ruxton at (301) 823-2583. *Fashionable Birth Control, Part II: Safe Ears, the newest condom-in-an-earring entry, come in packs of three -- "two to clip on, one to slip on." The "condom compacts," as they're called by their developer, Watson and Associates, look like gold coins, and contain Gold Circle Coin condoms, which the company claims have been rated No. 1 by Consumer Reports. Although the humor and novelty of the earrings are stressed in their promotion, one interesting element to the company's marketing strategy is their appeal to women's embarrassment at buying condoms in a drug store or supermarket. The golden gewgaws are available locally at Standing Ovations in White Marsh Mall, or by calling (800) 847-4198.

*Eddie Bauer, an outdoors-oriented catalog and retail store concern based in Seattle, opened three stores in Maryland last month: at White Marsh Mall, at the Mall in Columbia, and in St. Charles Town Center, Waldorf. Skiers, sports enthusiasts, and anyone who just likes to keep warm and toasty might be interested to know that Mr. Bauer was the creator of the goose down insulated jacket, developed after a close brush with death by hypothermia on a fishing expedition.

Donna Peremes Get ready for the donning of the Age of Aquarius.

A new generation is donning wigs and hairpieces -- long falls worn with headbands, short flips and even frizzy Afro styles -- first popularized in the '60s heyday of hair.

It started in Paris at the fall ready-to-wear collections last spring. Karl Lagerfeld's models wore long, straight falls, topped off by "I Dream of Jeannie" headbands. Thierry Mugler's mannequins turned up in frothy over-teased wigs in blatantly false colors.

Why are we harking back to an old era when the millennium is just around the corner?

"All of the major younger designers had their childhood in the '60s, and what they are doing in their design is bringing back those happy times," says Edward Oberhaus, senior vice president of the company that markets Kanekalon, a modacrylic fiber found in 80 percent of today's wigs, hairpieces and extensions.

Because so many women have cut their hair boy-short in the last few years, long wig styles are most popular.

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