O oooo-oo-oo, baby love, my baby love, why must we, ooo, hesitate, my love?
Why, indeed? If natally fixated designers have their way, babies--or rather, babes dressed as babies--will be toddling all over town this spring. We'd expect nothing less from kookmeister Anna Sui, who mixes her new baby-doll dresses with mohair baby cardigans, little-girl knee socks and baby T-shirts. But an Arnold Scaasi baby doll?
Anthropologically speaking, we get it. The protective instincts of society in general and men in particular are incited by the physical characteristics of the young and innocent. (OK, so that's a rip-off of Desmond Morris' "The Naked Ape.") But on a visceral level, well, the sight of a grown woman in pigtails and a baby-doll dress automatically makes us think of Bette Davis as that most famous baby of all, Baby Jane. Scary.
The Envelope Please: On the heels of complaints that inaccurate information had been leaked to the press, the Council of Fashion Designers of America set the record straight Wednesday night in New York with its official list of 1993 award winners. It turns out that the blabbermouths weren't that far off. As predicted, the best designer award for both women's wear and menswear went to Calvin Klein. Richard Tyler won the Perry Ellis Award for New Talent (another prediction) for his women's wear, while John Bartlett, who last season painted runway models with tribal tattoos, won for menswear. The awards will be presented Feb. 7 at Lincoln Center.
Too Beautiful For You: From his post-groovy velour shirts to his dark socks with thongs, Mr. Inside Out was--when we first set eyes on him--sartorially challenged. Thirteen blissful years later, guess what?
"You were right, honey," he says, pulling a pricey Margaret Howell overcoat from a Maxfield shopping bag. "You get what you pay for."
Maxfield?! "Theodore Man sounded expensive," he explains. "Maxfield sounded cheaper." Hmmm. \o7 And you realized you weren't at Target when . . . ?\f7
"When I saw all the sculptures in the back of the store, and a man opened the door for me, and I saw these beautiful Comme des Garcons shirts for $500."
It's hard to begrudge a guy who patches his worn-out khakis one measly trip to high-end heaven. But once, of course, is never enough.
"You've taught me about good clothes," says Mr. Inside Out, working the new coat, Bryan Ferry-style, in the mirror. And we might live to regret it.
There Goes the Neighborhood: Those Tiffany execs scouting the new Warner Bros. Studio store in New York this week weren't alone. According to Warner Bros. staff, visitors from F.A.O. Schwarz, Chanel and Bergdorf checked out the tricks of the Looney Tunes trade. What most impressed us, though, was hearing that bearded dinosaur-wrangler Steven Spielberg managed to shop with kids in tow and \o7 not \f7 buy anything. Alleged rent-dodger Rod Stewart did Spielberg one better, though--he just peered through the window.
Purchase With Purchase, Hold the Purchase: You know those tempting gift packs that cosmetics companies use to sweeten the pot this time of year? The ads go something like: "Get Elizabeth Arden's Red Door Holiday color and treatment products valued at over $350 for $29.50 with a $15 purchase of any Elizabeth Arden product." Well, what the ads never say is that bigger bargains can come to she who waits. About a week after these promotions start, some cosmetics counters sell leftover gift packs--very quietly, of course--\o7 without \f7 the required purchase. One ardent shopper scored at the aforementioned Arden counter this week, but was shut down at Estee Lauder. "All gift packs go back to headquarters at the end of the promotion," we were told, in no uncertain terms, by a Lauder saleswoman. Hey, just asking . . .
And the Eskimos Have 300 Words for Snow: With a new store in Beverly Hills, a baby on the way, and the opening next week of an in-store shop at Neiman Marcus in Scottsdale, Ariz., L.A. designer David Dart really is golden. In more ways than one. New York buyers were pleased, Dart said, by the warmth of the neutrals from his spring collection. Considering that the New York collections were dominated by neutrals, this was high praise indeed. "It's because they're flax-driven, not oatmeal," he explained. Subtle, sophisticated color extends to Dart's large-size line, available at Saks Fifth Avenue in Woodland Hills and Costa Mesa, and through Neiman's mail order. "Large-size customers are like everyone else--they don't want bright colors and big, obnoxious prints."
A Store of Their Own: Kathryn McConville, senior vice president and director of Bullock's stores, surveyed the scene at the gala opening Tuesday night of the company's Beverly Center Men's Store. "L.A. deserves this," she said. "These people have been through a lot." Beautiful Italian tailoring is just what the doctor ordered to put those nasty fires out of our minds! The store--where Conran's once stood--contains 40,000 square feet of serious menswear. And some serious shoppers, too. One man purchased a $2,000 cashmere jog jacket from the Donna Karan collection. Probably just needed something for the gym.
\o7 Inside Out is published Fridays. \f7