Skin deepConde Nast, the people who brought...


Skin deep

Conde Nast, the people who brought us Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle, and GQ, are adding another colorful cover to their cavalcade of publications: Allure.

The distinguishing feature of Allure will be its emphasis on beauty, beauty, and nothing but beauty. "Some of the other magazines we've focused on have fashion and other interests being of equal importance to beauty," says Jean Karlson, marketing services director at Conde Nast. Not so with Allure. The magazine will emphasize beauty in all its permutations -- in relation to health, fitness, even fashion or travel -- but its path will never veer from that all-important central focus, she promises.

The new magazine will be headed by editor-in-chief Linda Wells, former food and beauty editor from The New York Times Magazine and should be out on newsstands Feb. 26, though advance subscribers might have them in their mailbox already.

Remember the fashion rule, "Don't mix patterned ties with striped shirts"?

Well, here's the neat thing about fashion: You can break the rules and no one is going to arrest you. In fact, if you break them with enough flair and confidence, you'll be regarded as a man of superior style and taste.

This spring's shirt and tie styles practically demand that the don't-mix rule be broken.

The plain white shirts that were the height of fashion two years ago are being shoved aside by bolder, more assertive colors and patterns. And the tame, dotted or striped ties that flourished in the '80s are being overrun by wild flower prints and abstract designs.

This can be viewed as an intimidating development, especially for the man who has become used to safe, easy choices. How does he mix a bright, crazily patterned tie with a striped and colorful shirt?

The easy way is to play an eye-catching tie off a subtly striped shirt in neutral colors. The key is to match the colors in both -- not in intensity, but in tone. If the shirt is lilac with a gray stripe, the tie should include deeper versions of these colors such as purple and charcoal.

As a rule of thumb, make sure that neither overwhelms the other. A medium-width shirt stripe calls for a medium-size print on the tie. A wider stripe is balanced by a bigger print. And both shirt and tie should have at least one color in common.

Governor Schaefer, take heed. The Eastern Shore holds lots of appeal for at least one influential person: designer Ceil Ainsworth. The woman behind Amy Carter's 1977 Inauguration Day dress is moving her design production from The Big Apple down to Pocomoke.

The creator of fairy tale fashions for little girls was turned on to the idea of moving to Maryland by Holly Todd, the proprietor of Peas and Carrots, an Easton children's specialty boutique. To counteract the shoddy work the designer was encountering elsewhere, Ms. Todd suggested, why not try out some of the local talent?

The designer took her up on the suggestion, and was happily surprised at the quality of work provided by Bernco Inc., a Pocomoke-based manufacturer of nightgowns and dresses. Thus was the production partnership born. The design studio and some executive offices will remain in New York City, though. Bernco is looking for a few good seamstresses (male or female) "with a sense of Maryland pride" who'd like to try their hand at sewing some of the demanding, detailed designs that have made Ms. Ainsworth famous. Interested persons should call Michael Bernstein at 957-1816.

Donna Peremes Courreges is back, and Bloomingdale's has got him.

Now that the 1960s have been revived by a new generation of designers, the department store has created in its New York store a shiny white vinyl and Plexiglas boutique for Andre Courreges, who changed the look of fashion in the '60s.

"So much of what we saw in Paris last season seemed to be influenced by the Courreges of the '60s that we wondered what he was doing now," said Kalman Ruttenstein, vice president for fashion direction of Bloomingdale's.

"So we went to see him and we liked what we saw. He had a very young, fresh-looking line that was very Courreges, yet looked very modern."

The new collection, which will be available at the White Flint Bloomingdale's next Thursday and Friday, has strong echoes of the architectural silhouettes the designer was known for, but now they are done in lighter weight fabrics without the stiff


The stark whites and soft pastels have been revived, along with the square-cut armholes and the trapeze shapes. Instead of catsuits, there are bicycle shorts to team with vinyl jackets.

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