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The Times Shopper: Cherry Creek

Casting a Lure for Scandinavian Clothes and Fine Jewelry

August 23, 1987|JENNIFER MERIN | Merin is a New York City free-lance writer

Charming and upbeat Cherry Creek, Colo., deserves its reputation as the center of the good life.

Among the attractions are fine dining places, stylish salons and first-run cinemas. And as sophisticated Denverites know, Cherry Creek's commercial district provides an exceptional shopping stroll.

Within a 14-block square centering around East 3rd Avenue are more than 250 fashionable boutiques, gift shops and galleries. The shops occupy charming single-story buildings on attractive, tree-lined, clean and rarely crowded streets. The informal, friendly atmosphere encourages leisurely browsing.

Cherry Creek's excellent clothing stores include Mondi, Polo, Pendleton and other well-known fashion chains, but the area's small boutiques reflect local good taste and offer unusual selections of wearables at reasonable prices.

Bik Bok (2628 East 3rd Ave.), America's only outlet for Scandinavia's trendy line of casual clothes, includes great cotton shirts ($40), slacks ($38) and jackets ($80) for men and women. Winwood's (2839 East 3rd Ave.) sells Albert Nipon's line--raw silk jackets ($80) and locally made hat boxes with flowered fabric coverings ($7 to $13).

Collectible Costume Jewelry

Panache en Plus (2827 East 3rd Ave.), with Givenchy, Judith Ann, Schrader Sport and other top labels in size 14 and up, has a "50% sale" rack with everything from sweat suits to beaded evening gowns. Masquerade (300 Fillmore St.) specializes in natural fiber contemporary business suits ($150 and up), casual outfits ($80 and up) and knitwear by local and international designers, as well as collectible costume jewelry.

Local jeweler Randi Lee's Goldworks (303 Detroit St.) custom designs magnificent, gem-studded pieces for clients. The ready-made range includes stunning silver or gold bow pins ($125 and up), parrot pendants ($40) and ankle bracelets ($150 and up).

Vermeil (3000 East 3rd Ave.) updates vintage jewelry and makes unusual necklaces, rings and other pieces with silver, gold, Colorado gemstones and shells. Tapestry (2859 East 3rd Ave.) has unusual jewelry, including crystal pins ($20 and up), antique kimonos ($70 and up) and Oriental handicrafts.

Local artisans sell their crafts at the Artisan Center (2757 East 3rd Ave.). The delightful display includes finger puppets ($7), feathered hair ornaments ($5), children's clothes and silly mobiles ($9), wooden spice racks ($25 and up) and ceramic mugs ($10).

Indian Crafts Showcased

Southwestern Indian ceramics, other crafts and artwork are carefully selected and tastefully shown at Canyon Road Gallery (278 Fillmore St.). Cherry Creek Gallery of Fine Art (221 Detroit St.) exhibits paintings, constructions and prints by Vasarely ($1,500 and up), Ed Pieters ($300 and up) and other contemporary artists.

Outdoorsmen head directly for The Flyfisher (315 Columbine St.), an outlet of the Orvis Co., a sporting goods mail-order firm established in 1856. The shop in a charming old house lures fishing enthusiasts from around the world to buy its extraordinary range of hand-tied flies (priced $1.50 and up), designed to catch all kinds of fish in all kinds of conditions.

The Complete Fly Collection with 79 classic flies in a convenient case costs $150; the Most Popular Fly Collection, with 36 flies in a case, costs $70. The shop also offers a full range of supplies for do-it-yourself fly making. The Flyfisher's stock of rods, reels, baskets and other equipment is guaranteed to satisfy the most demanding fisherman.

Flyfisher has men's and women's waterproof overalls (about $60 and up) and boots (about $55 and up). The multipocketed vests and jackets ($20 to $80), chinos ($32), rain slickers ($41) and full wardrobe of casual and outdoors clothes would fit nicely into anyone's closet. The shop also sells attractive waterproof folding wooden chairs ($75) and a selection of books, posters and original art dealing with fishing and other outdoors activities.

The Aspen Leaf (222 Detroit St.) is a large sporting goods store with magnificent tennis and ski shops and a complete line of men's and women's casual clothes, including slacks, skirts and sweaters suitable for a country club. The store's vast selection of top-quality stock and excellent reputation makes a visit worthwhile, but prices are somewhat high. This is not the sports store in which to stalk bargains.

For Book Lovers

For those who enjoy sport of the mind, the Tattered Cover (2955 East 1st Ave.) is so large (40,000 square feet) and complete (more than 100,000 titles) that patrons need floor plans to find requested categories. All current releases and many out-of-print volumes about history, political science, architecture, interior design, business, computers, biography, music and women's studies--to name a few--are neatly arranged over three floors.

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