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HOT PROPS / THE WORD ON WHAT'S HIP AND WHAT'S HYPE

March 04, 1994|ROSE APODACA

Out on Top

While everyone else was showing off the top of their skivvies over their pants, Cari Frankson turned a pair of men's briefs into a tank top for an ad for a jeans company. Faster than you can say "Calvin Klein," demand turned the Burbank-based stylist into a fashion designer. She buys new men's CK undies at retail and resells the altered piece in stores such as Judys and Fred Segal's for about $27 under her Wild Cherry label. "BVD and Jockey just don't have the same cachet," she says. And Mr. Klein sanctions her work. Her line now includes a dozen original items along the underwear-as-outerwear theme.

Postcards From the Edge

For several seasons now, Pendleton has penned its prints inspired by the beauty of America. The spotlight this spring is on Maui, with shirts covered in postcards and signs of sights along the road to Hana--including a mug of a young George Harrison. The former Beatle lives at the end of the treacherous road. The shirt (short-sleeved, $44; long, $52) is already a hit, says spokesman Peter Bishop. "It got caught in the current Hawaiian shirt craze."

A Spring in Your Step

That heavy clunker of a boot ain't doing you right for spring? But you don't want to lose the solid lug soles for some dinky shoe? Vans tones it down with its Mary Janes. "There's been a heavy, bulky look for some time, but for girls there's a need for something slightly more feminine," says Sari Ratsula, head of design at the Orange-based sneaker maker. "This is two looks in one." It's available in natural, midnight blue and a combination stripe for about $44.

A Welcome Alternative

While there seems to be some unwritten rule that alternative clothing stores need to look like urban nightmares (chain-link fencing is a popular interior fixture), Pat Tenore and Vince Abel, both 20, grew tired of the look with their One 40 Five store in Costa Mesa. At a new location in that city, now near Rock N Java and Tower Records, the duo has gone minimalistic with gorgeous blond birch displays and uncluttered merchandising. "We just want to present a good vibe," Tenore says. Hipsters can find "non-corporate clothing" such as 24-7, X-Large, Junkies, Betsey Johnson and 555 Soul.

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