One of the great things about Baltimore is that even stores with high hipness quotients are easy to shop in. In more pretentious places, a high HQ is an excuse for dangerously slender sales persons to sneer at customers with low HQs and normal body weight.
But that kind of rudeness just won't fly in this city. Thus Oh! Said Rose, at 840 W. 36th St., has modest, unpatronizing salespeople despite clothes and accessories that could make the hearts of even the coolest go pit-a-pat.
The shop's jewelry, for example, includes memory-wire bead necklaces that play on both the minimalist starkness that has dominated fashion for some years now and the romantic femininity that looks so strong for spring.
Wear just one of the plainer necklaces for a minimalist look, or two or more for a more frankly ornamental touch.
What's this? Elmore Leonard on the cover of a Lands' End catalog?
Yes, that's who the guy in the dashing white shirt is -- the author of such best-selling books as "Get Shorty." And on Page 3 is the statement that his "Get Shorty" hero, Chili Palmer, "wouldn't be caught dead in anything but a Lands' End silky Pinpoint."
The catalog also states that Leonard is the second in their Guest Copywriter series; George Higgins was first but didn't make the cover.
Hmmm. Fashion magazines have increasingly been putting celebrities rather than models on their covers -- Vogue, for example, has had Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jewel on recent issues. Do we see the influence of In Style magazine here, with its hugely successful marriage of fashion and celebrity?
Lands' End says modestly that there's "no formula" for their covers. If you want a copy of this one, their number is 800-356-4444. Chili Palmer's pinpoints can be had for $29.50-$72.50. And Chili himself can be found in Elmore Leonard's newest book, "Be Cool," which should be in area bookstores in early February. -- A.M.C.
SPLASH SOME GRASS
If you read an era's perfumes as a reflection of its attitudes, you might well conclude that the later '80s and early '90s were hung up on status and transgressive sex. How else to explain scents like Obsession and Poison, which cost a bundle and smelled, well, not exactly dainty?
But now assaultive perfumes are being replaced by more innocent aromas. Among them are colognes from Demeter Fragrances that seem determined to sidestep any blatant association of sex and scent. The likes of Rye Bread, Sawdust, Sugar Cookie and Vinyl aren't in-your-face, but in-your-head -- which may be where a lot of sex is nowadays.
These scents also turn their back on the '80s adulation of expensiveness with their under-$20 price tags for a 1-ounce spray. So if Dregs gets boring, you can move on to Gardenia, Grass, Woodsmoke or one of the 70 or so other scents without jeopardizing your stock holdings. Call 800-482-0422 for a catalog, or stop by Morgan Truesdell Interior Design in Stevenson for a sniff. -- A.M.C.
Fashion's new hipster pants and skirts present a serious challenge to faithful wearers of pantyhose everywhere. Women have to scrunch their hose down to get them out of sight, and then worry that they're going to make an unscheduled reappearance around exposed or only thinly covered midriffs.
For this fashion dilemma Hippies were invented. These are low-rise pantyhose designed to come up only to the hip. In front is an even-lower dip to permit full exposure of that newly essential fashion accessory, the belly button.
Hippies come in opaques and sheers in shades like Black Martini and Dizzy Blonde.They're available for $14.95 at the Up Against the Wall stores in Marlow Heights, Hyattsville and Waldorf in Maryland; at the one on Georgia Avenue in D.C.; and at Commander Salamander in Georgetown. -- A.M.C
Pub Date: 01/24/99