Bitten by the Glitter Bug
Prada plainclothesmen may just have to learn to love the resurrected eighties rhinestone-and-crystal look – it isn’t going back to Bob Mackie’s workshop anytime soon. Allure editor and design dilettante Sasha Charnin is studding Pucci scarves and vintage bandannas with hundreds of gems for rhinestone cowgirls to tie around their necks ($150-$225, available at Kirna Zabête). London designer Gaby Harris’s Studd Label tank tops and tees ($175-$195, available at Searle) embellished with jeweled ticking have been spotted on Brit stars like Patsy Kensit and the Spice Girls. And don’t expect the glitz to be packed away like Christmas-tree tinsel after the holiday season: Designers from Sonia Rykiel to Alexander McQueen have added plenty of sparkle for spring.
Take a Number
While Issey Miyake presents his clothing-as-art exhibit at the Ace Gallery, some fashion-forward boutiques are peddling their own togs in the name of high art. At Frida’s Closet in Brooklyn (296 Smith Street), designer Sandra Paez numbers her scoopneck tees and slip dresses like a series of lithographs. The designers at A Détacher in NoLIta (262 Mott Street), who liken themselves to curators, produce just six A-line skirts at a time. A few stores away, the gallery-like Zero offers as few as three pieces of each avant-garde item. The museum mood may be a bit much for Banana Republic regulars, but it almost guarantees that you won’t see anyone else wearing your new asymetrical dress at the corporate Christmas party.
Instead of waiting tables to earn rent money between theater gigs, downtown actress Judy Bauerlein decided to sew a few skirts to sell during the leaner months. The resourceful designer retails Booty Wear, a line of silk and wool bustle skirts and camisoles ($20-$50), outside her friend Mary Gearhart’s photo gallery at 252 Mott Street. Her Saturday-afternoon stoop sales in the heart of NoLItaville have been sellout performances since last summer: Neighborhood bohemian girls crowd the sidewalk hoping to snatch up one of Bauerlein’s bargain-basement designs between pit stops for lattes at Café Gitane and kitten mules at Sigerson Morrison. For those who miss the weekend street fair, some of the hot-ticket items are available at boutiques like Louie (68 Thompson Street) and Max and Roebling (189 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn).
It looks as though some of us won’t be seeing the year 2000 through rose-colored glasses. Hip eyewear designer Robert Marc, who dresses many famous eyes (including those of Brad Pitt and Ellen Barkin) has issued the Freudenhaus Millennium sunglasses ($258), a limited-edition pair of platinum wrap frames with cerulean lenses (Pantone’s official color for the millennium). A Marc spokesperson says the concept is “spaceship or Logan’s Run” (though earthly revelers could mistake them for just another pair of Canal Street Ray-Ban knockoffs). While they might be a bit too sporty to wear with your New Year’s Eve gown, they’ll certainly come in handy the morning after.
BETH LANDMAN KEIL