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Gucci's hippie lookI'm not sure whether followers...


Gucci's hippie look

I'm not sure whether followers of minimalist fashion were more horrified or more delighted when Gucci's Tom Ford came out with a heavy-duty hippie look for his spring collection -- vehemently un-minimal stuff like feather-trimmed jeans and mirror-cloth tops.

But Ford is a take-no-prisoners kind of guy. Just as his earlier clothes pushed minimalism to a hard-core edge, so his spring collection is hippie to the flower-powered max. (He says he was thinking of Cher.)

Other designers also did the hippie thing, in every variation from flamboyant to gently romantic. When last I checked, this look hadn't established much of a presence in the chain stores, but it's alive and well at Something Else, 1611 Sulgrave Ave. in Mount Washington.

I saw mirror tops, for example, of bold and subtle persuasions (left). Both the bright embroidered version by Sacred Threads and the subdued patchwork number by Tienda Ho are $29 -- rather less than anything by Gucci.

Food for the sole

One of the many frustrations of my fashion life is my crybaby feet. They are the only skinny part of my anatomy -- my feet, for heaven's sake! why can't they be fat and my thighs be thin? -- and they complain incessantly. I can't take them anywhere nice -- not even into Nine Wests, never mind into Manolos.

They, however, are going to take me to a show at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City to see "Shoes: A Lexicon of Style," which is intended to explore the symbolism and social psychology of footwear through its presentation of 150 modern shoes.

It's curated by Valerie Steele, who has a book coming out this month under the same name as the show (Rizzoli; $40). The writing is sprightly and intelligent, and photos of snazzy shoes abound -- just the thing for those days when you want to put your feet up and read something fun.

F.I.T. is at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street, and the show continues through April 17. -- A.M.C.

Looking for the next fresh face

Like the sands of Ocean City, the idea of what is beautiful is in constant flux. Today's full-lipped models would have been unemployable in the Fifties, and in the Sixties a Brooke Shields would have had to take a mighty pair of tweezers to her brows.

So the search for fresh faces, ones that will embody The Now, continues -- and young women continue to hope that theirs will be the face of the era, and the source of hefty modeling fees.

For them, there is the Chanel New Model of the Year contest, promoted through Seventeen magazine. Eight finalists get a trip to New York and a makeover, and are photographed for the magazine. The single final winner also gets to go to Paris.

The contest is open to young women from age 13 to 21. Entry details can be found in the February (Page 23) and March issues of Seventeen; the deadline is March 15. -- A.M.C.

Suds and suds

Every action has a reaction, and the first generation to be mass-marketed has a huge hunger for niche products.

Think of boutique wall paints, cable channels de- voted to one subject and gourmet coffees with increasingly individual tastes. Today even suds can be singular -- as in microbrew beers and hand-made soaps.

Which brings us to Sam Calagione's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Calagione recently got together with fellow Delawarean Michelle Hardy, a soap maker, and last fall they started selling Dogfish Head Beer soap and shampoo. The soap contains the brewery's stout, and the shampoo one of its ales.

Both products come in hand-made 10-ounce bars that sell for $6 each. They can be bought at the Dogfish Head microbrewery in Lewes (22 Nassau Commons) and at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub (320 Rehoboth Ave.), both in Delaware; or through the Web site at www.dogfish.com. -- A.M.C.

Pub Date: 02/22/99

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