The next time you're cruising the malls, take a look at the mannequins. Their figures and poses reflect current attitudes about fashion and family.
"Now we're featuring female mannequins that are a little more endowed than they used to be," says Leslie Bott, president of Greneker Mannequins in Los Angeles, which sells to Nordstrom, the Broadway, Robinson's and Saks Fifth Avenue, among others. "We've gone from pencil-thin fashion models to a much healthier, prettier figure. They're more voluptuous."
Male mannequins are changing their poses. "We introduced a new men's collection this year that's never been done before," Bott says. "These men were sculpted specifically to be with children. For example, there's a man with each hand on the shoulders of a child, or a man holding an infant up over his head."
You'll also notice more ethnic mannequins. "Black, Hispanic and Oriental mannequins are very important now," Bott says.
Department stores routinely buy a new collection of mannequins every season, at a cost of roughly $800 each; these stores want the latest look. Older mannequins are recycled to less visible parts of the store.
Bott also notes that a realistic look (rather than heavy stylization) is coming back into vogue. Nonetheless, don't expect to see them bearing any liposuction or face-lift scars.
at the Mercado
Imagine going to the grocery store and having fun.
At the beginning of next year, Vons is opening its eighth Latino marketplace in Southern California--and its first in the San Fernando Valley. Called Tianguis (tea-ON-geese), the 50,000-square-foot store is under construction at San Fernando Road and Mission Boulevard in San Fernando. (The name is Aztec for "marketplace.")
"This is not a token attempt to meet the needs of the Hispanics. It is an actual Hispanic store, although anybody will feel comfortable shopping there," says Vickie Sanders, a spokeswoman for Vons. Personnel and signs will be bilingual.
An abundance of specialty departments--including a sausage shop, cheese bar, lunch counter and general merchandise section-- contribute to the market atmosphere in the stores. Customers can watch tortillas being made by hand and listen to mariachi music on special occasions.
The regular grocery section will feature Anglo and Latino products, according to Sanders. "For example, next to Kellogg's cornflakes you'll find Maizoro, the Mexican brand," she notes. Fresh fish will come with the head attached for use in soups.
See you in San Fernando?
Shaping Up That
It's a question that keeps some interior designers up at night: As homeowners turn spare bedrooms into home gyms, how do they make the room look homey?
"It's really one of the easiest rooms to decorate because the equipment stands by itself," says Jarrett Hedborg, a Sherman Oaks-based interior designer. (Jack Nicholson works out in an exercise room designed by Hedborg.)
"Gyms are a great place for contemporary art. Some clients of mine had bought very aggressive paintings but then had second thoughts about hanging them over the living-room sofa. These pieces work very well in an exercise room."
Half of the homes Hedborg is working on have home gyms. He advises clients never to put the gym in a low-light room because they'll never use it.
And, yes, he has been asked to convert exercise rooms into yet another kind of room. "A couple of times they've gone from being exercise rooms to billiard rooms," he notes.
There may be something to that low-light theory after all.
After a 20-year fascination with longer locks, short hair for boys is back in style. "Nowadays you just can't cut a toddler boy's hair short enough to please his mother," says Tony Gardoni, a barber for 35 years and owner of Cuts Unlimited in Panorama City and Van Nuys.
"Business went downhill in the mid-'60s, but I stayed with it because I had a family to support and was too old to start something new," he says. "In the last two or three years, it's really been good, and it's getting better all the time."
The current flattop look is especially lucrative. "After three or four weeks, it looks shaggy, and they need to get it cut again," Gardoni says. "Whereas even up until six or seven years ago, you were lucky if you saw a boy once a year."
According to Joe Nozzi, owner of Captain's Hair Galley in Canoga Park, who has been cutting hair since 1937, boys more than 10 years old know exactly how they want their hair cut. "Now they want a haircut with a ledge--where the hair is only about a quarter-inch long on the sides and a little longer on top."
This kind of cut was called a barber-school haircut in the old days, Nozzi says. "The student would start with the clippers on the side and then stop because he didn't know what to do next. It leaves an abrupt line on the hair. It was like a mistake back then but now it's called a haircut with a shelf and it's the style."
Overheard at . . .
"This is his equivalent of drinking a couple of beers."
Father watching his toddler son spin around in circles at a Sepulveda playground