Stylish exhibitsThe Metropolitan Museum of Art is...


Stylish exhibits

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the history of classic styles with two exhibits this spring.

The museum's Costume Institute will showcase more than 80 designs spanning three centuries in "The Four Seasons." The clothes -- which include summer whites from the Victorian era, autumn tweeds from the 19th century and modern-day Hermes bathing suits -- reveal how weather affects fashion. The exhibit opens April 8 and runs through Aug. 17.

The other exhibit, which opened last week and runs through Aug. 3, focuses on 40 years of jewelry innovation. "Cartier: 1930-1939" highlights the art deco period with pieces on display such as the emerald, sapphire, ruby and diamond necklace pictured here, which was created for a socialite in 1936. The show coincides with Cartier's 150th anniversary, for which a collection of limited-edition objects can be bought from Cartier through Dec. 31. The pieces start at $1,500.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibit information line is 212-535-7710.

When turning your watch ahead one hour today, you may notice that your wrist needs an update. If so, there are plenty of options. This season's most stylish watches include not only elegant retro pieces and sleek, modern, stainless steel, but also inexpensive whimsical items, like the Amitron Looney Tune line ($30-$45) shown here.

Don't just toss your old watch, though. The American Visionary Art Museum is collecting old watches for an exhibit titled "The End is Near! Visions of the Apocalypse, Millennium and Utopia." The curators' goal is to collect 10,000 used, even useless, watches before the show opens May 31. To help, send old watches, hourglasses, egg timers and metronomes to AVAM, care of the Watchlady, 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, Md. 21230.

As designers and retailers are waking up to the need for plus-size clothing, the demand for large-size models is growing. In Baltimore, Just Us Plus modeling agency is holding its sixth annual model competition/fashion show from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 20 at the Pikesville Hilton, 1726 Reisterstown Road. Those interested in competing should call 410-624-3193 or 410-466-7119. Those who would rather watch than strut can call the same phone numbers to order $20 tickets to the fashion show. Proceeds benefit the Bea Gaddy Women and Children Center.

On the national level, Lane Bryant, the clothing chain that caters to women who wear sizes 14 and up, is conducting a "Search for Real Women." Women interested in applying should write an essay addressing their personal aspirations and individual styles and fill out an entry form available through April 15 at Lane Bryant stores. All applications are due by April 30. The grand-prize winner will receive several prizes, including a new convertible, a Lane Bryant wardrobe and a consultation with Ford Modeling agency. Four other finalists will also be flown to New York City, where a gala will be held June 19 to announce the winner. The finalists and winner will all pose for a Lane Bryant photograph. For more information, call 888-346-3732.

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