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Artist adds her own touch to clothes


The closet of artist and jewelry designer Sherry Wolf is a many-splendored thing. There are old T-shirts to paint in, designer suits for meetings and chiffon ball gowns that rarely leave the rack.

Long before the 40ish mother of two ever painted one of her super-realist paintings or crafted a gem-studded charm bracelet, she cared passionately about clothes.

"I've always been creative," says Ms. Wolf. "Since I was a kid, I thought I'd end up in the fashion business."

At 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, she and Octavia are sponsoring a cocktail reception at her Owings Mills home to benefit cystic fibrosis. There will be a jewelry trunk show, a fashion show and a tour of Ms. Wolf's house. (Call 323-1652 for more information.)

You have such an individual style in your home and art. Does that extend to the way you dress?

I have a look for everything -- from casual to business to funky. My casual outfits are straight pants and Donna Karan bodysuits. I'm slim so I can wear figure-fitting clothes.

If I'm going to a personal appearance, I'll wear an Armani or Chanel suit. I don't like the stodgy-looking Chanel suits. I don't like things that scream this is a certain designer. The most recent one I bought is a black jacket with fake fur around the cuffs and collar. It was real simple: beautiful nubby wool, flowing pants in a very subtle black and gray pinstripe.

What about when the funky Sherry Wolf comes out?

Then I'll put on a short skirt, cropped top, sneakers and socks. That's more if I go to Florida.

Which is the most you?

If I had to pick one outfit, it would be a pair of straight-legged pants with a camisole, blazer and pair of boots. That's my look.

What makes your look different from everybody else's?

I try to put a little casualness in everything I wear. Even when I'm dressed up, I'll wear flats. I like to bring it down to a different level, so I don't feel like I'm wearing a coordinated outfit. I like the feeling of having put it together myself. If it looks like a regular person wouldn't have put it together, I like that.

Where do you shop in town?

Octavia, Jones & Jones, Ruth Shaw and Saks Fifth Avenue.

How do your art and jewelry influence how you dress?

Being an artist, you take chances. You're more of an individual. You don't care as much what people think. When I paint a painting, I don't really think about whether someone will like it. The same feeling spills over to my clothes.

What's the most unusual thing you've put together?

When I was younger and lived in New York, I had this knit skirt andtop. After a while, I wasn't crazy about it. So I cut it up, tied it up and put some gold cording around it. People flipped out over it. It was very theatrical looking. In New York, you can never be weird. There's always someone weirder walking down the street.

What outfit has garnered the most reaction?

I had a strapless brown leather dress that snapped up the front. I wore that a lot and people loved it.

Is there something you most regret buying?

I have bought a lot of clothes that were too dressy for my lifestyle. I had this Bill Blass gown. It was black chiffon with colored stones and feathers. I'm not sure I even wore it once.

You're petite. How does that affect what you'll wear?

I'm a size 2 or 4. Being thin you can get away with more. But I get overwhelmed when clothes have a lot going on. I keep most of my clothes pretty simple.

Do you see your own style showing up in your daughters' wardrobes?

No. They have their own. My daughter, Jenna, 9, likes really wild clothes -- ragged little shorts and cropped tops. The younger one, Chelsea, 8, is more into flower print dresses. They go to McDonogh, so most of the time they wear their school uniforms.

Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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