A runway to BaltimoreUnable to make it...


A runway to Baltimore

Unable to make it to the recent fashion shows in New York?

Not to worry. The latest styles are coming to Baltimore in the form of the Ebony Fashion Fair's annual show, "Fashions 2000."

The world's largest traveling fashion show features extravagant clothing by such designers as Bob Mackie, Eric Gaskins, Kevan Hall for Halston, Yves St. Laurent, Oscar de la Renta and Emanuel Ungaro. Even better, the 13 models in the show aren't all Kate Moss types -- look for a full-figured female and two men on the runway.

The Baltimore show, sponsored by the Baltimore alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, is a benefit for the Delta Foundation Education Fund. It will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Tickets range from $20 to $35 and the price includes a subscription to Ebony or Jet magazines.

For information, call 410-448-1830. hed: Wiggle room for your toes

Wiggle room for your toes

Considering that jeans come with a scootch more room in the seat and T-shirts are pigment-dyed for that worn-in look, it was only a matter of time before someone went and made Keds more comfortable.

Keds Relaxed Fit Casuals, introduced this fall, are softer, more flexible and roomier than many other kinds of casual shoes. That's right, we're talking shoes here, not sneakers.

The company says its new ballet flats, mules, loafers and sporty Mary Janes are "already broken in ... no pinching or toe crunching."

Find out for yourself by checking www.keds.com for a retailer near you.

Keds Relaxed Fit Casuals have a suggested retail price of about $40. -- M.B.

Lip service

Everything old is new again. And lipstick that was once shiny is matte again. M.A.C., the company that started the matte lipstick revolution in the mid '80s, has relaunched its rich, intense, shine-free lipsticks, which fly in the face of the glossy, even gloppy lipstick so popular of late.

Just don't expect the same names, however. Although four of the six shades may look familiar, the names have changed.

A quick primer: Russian Red, a vivid blue red, is now Ruby Woo; Diva, a deep red-purple, is now Verushka; Chili, an orange-red brown, is now Santiago; and Taupe, a neutral brown, is now Bronx. Got it?

M.A.C. Retro Matte lipsticks cost $13.50 and are available at Macy's, Lord & Taylor and other stores. -- M.B.

The real stuff

What the experts say: "The fact is that women are interested in clothes, but the average consumer isn't interested in the 'fashion world,' " observes Martha Nelson, the editor of In Style magazine. Women want attractive clothes that function in the real world, "not something that is impossible to walk and drive in. You know, clothes that fit into your life." -- From "The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business" by Teri Agins (William Morrow & Co., 320 pages, $25)

What we say:

Amen. -- M.B.

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