Dressing for success
It's called Strategy Clothing Co.," says 35-year-old Erick Washington, a local designer of men's and women's urban wear based in Pasadena. "And there's a reason for that. I want to be successful, and this is my strategy to become a millionaire."
Washington, pictured at left, is referring to what he hopes will become the umbrella corporation over the many design branches and labels he plans to create. Right now, there's just one: Asa Kane, the label on the clothing Washington currently produces and markets to area retailers.
"It's a lot of T-shirts -- with designs hand drawn by artists -- and jeans," he says, "but eventually I'll move into more of a dressy style."
What sets his clothes apart from the masses, he says, is their message and their design work. "My stuff is more positive," he says, explaining that the term "Asa Kane" (taken from two biblical characters, one good, one not so) reflects the good and the bad and the competition between the two. Presumably, the good is supposed to win out and lead the way for our own internal struggles. For Washington, the struggle is to get his business rolling.
"It's not easy," he says, "but this is going to happen. I just feel it."
Asa Kane clothing sells for $18 to $55 and can be found at The Shopp in Marley Station Mall and at Evolve Board Shop in Annapolis or online at www.asakane.com.
Flair and sparkle of '40s
Jeanne Yang, a Hollywood wardrobe stylist who's worked with Angelina Jolie and Sarah Michelle Gellar, has deemed this fall's fashion theme to be one of pure opulence with 1940s flair. And crystal accessories, she says, "not only complement, but complete the look." Enter Swarovski, a century-old Austrian company that manufactures cut crystal. Yang and Swarovski teamed up to produce these affordable ($20 to $250) must-haves for fall, which are available at major department stores:
* Pave pins and brooches: Pin them to a fabulous '40s hat or fur collar for a classy vintage look.
* Crystal mesh bracelets (pictured at right) in varying lengths: They double as eye-catching straps on a strapless dress.
* Matching bezel-set jewelry: Match an amethyst ring to a crystal bezel bracelet for that country-club look.
-- T. B.
These lips are dangerous
MAC cosmetics threw the traditional notion of "less is more" out the window when it recently introduced its sexy Lady Danger collection. The red-hot line, which bills itself as a "fiery range of lava-licious reds," is definitely not for those trying for the natural look. But what would you expect from a makeup company that's used RuPaul as a spokesperson? Lady Danger wouldn't be caught dead in soft hues. Dark, crimson lips, smoldering, smoky gray eyes and cheeks flecked by electrifying sparks of gold make up her M.O. They could be yours too for about $8 to $19 apiece. (At area stores, including Nordstrom, or check out www. maccosmetics.com).
-- T. B.
You can exercise your sock options and heal hardened heels with BlissLab's new "softening socks." A polymer gel lining nourishes the foot with vitamin E, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil. They all work together to alleviate dryness and prevent the buildup of calluses and corns. BlissLab also sells "glamour gloves," which provide the same therapy for your hands.
The products sell for $44 each and are available online at www.blissworld.com or through the Bliss-Out catalog of home spa supplies (888-243-8825).
-- T. B.