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Frocks and flicks

January 27, 2008|Erin Weinger | Times Staff Writer

Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" wouldn't have worked with emerald earrings, and "Men in Black" wouldn't have been the same if Will Smith had worn a blue suit. Downtown L.A.'s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising knows that movies wouldn't have magic without costume design, so for the 16th straight year, the "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibition pays homage to the talents behind the seams.

Outfits from 25 of 2007's well-dressed films including "Hairspray," "Sweeney Todd" and "Marie Antoinette" -- the latter of which was the Oscar winner for best costume design in 2006 -- will be on display beginning Monday, and the 125-piece exhibit just might provide a pick-me-up for fashionophiles mourning the diminishment of this year's red-carpet season. (Besides, the exhibit text is far superior commentary to Joan Rivers' prattle.)

Those more interested in commerce than culture can visit FIDM's Museum Shop and purchase items related to exhibit pieces. Play Harry Potter with your own wand and Coke-bottle glasses, or score Japanese textiles inspired by Francois Girard's film "Silk." Pieces from Hilary Beane's FIDM-exclusive line of "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"-inspired baubles are also for sale.

The "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" runs through April 12. The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, 919 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (800) 624-1200. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.



Runway at Maxx opening Thursday: T.J. Maxx, the bargain hunters' old faithful, is adding a new, designer-filled Runway department to the Mission Viejo store. The company is mum about which names will fill the section, but jaunts to other Runway locations have turned up Roberto Cavalli and Prada. New clothing, bags and sunglasses will be brought into the store each week at 20% to 70% off original prices. 27690 Santa Margarita Parkway, Mission Viejo. (949) 859-8619. 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Blue Dot Boutique Sale Saturday and Sunday: Summer is coming early in the form of a mega sidewalk-style sale featuring 16 of Orange County's best boutiques. Contributing storefronts include Costa Mesa's Goat, Corona Del Mar's Erica Dee and Laguna Beach's Black Flamingo. Clothing and accessories will be up to 75% off original prices, but leave the plastic at home; this is a cash-only event. And there are no fitting rooms, so follow mom's advice and wear emergency-ready underclothes if you want to try on something in public view. Orange County Fair Grounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 708-1500. VIP hours: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday; admission $25. General hours: noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; admission $12. Children under 16 free.

Il Primo Passo End of season sale ongoing: The "Sex and the City" movie hits theaters soon, and the countdown is underway. While away the days by shopping for shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti and Barbara Bui -- just two of the brands that are 30% to 50% off at this Santa Monica footwear boutique. Who knows -- you may end up with better shoes than Carrie Bradshaw. 1624 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 828-4149. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Wear Me Out Liquidation sale Friday through Feb. 28: It's a moving sale. That's right, before this workout-wear boutique pulls up roots and moves to Valencia, gear by Hard Tail and Juliet Michele will be 50% off. Other goods include leather bags and jewelry. 14322 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 906-8121. 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Alice & Olivia through Jan. 31: Alice & Olivia knows sequins. Sure, glitzy garb has saturated the streets to the point of nausea. But soon we will fall in love again with glitz and thank our lucky stars that we didn't miss getting blinged-out Alice & Olivia gear on the cheap. New merchandise has been recently added to the selection of party wear priced at up to 70% off. And until the end of the month, it's an extra 25% off, meaning that you might have enough extra green to buy something that you'll actually wear right now. 134 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 247-0120. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Benefit Thrrrob Event Thursday through Saturday: One would think cheeky beauty brand Benefit would be partied out after debuting two new L.A. area stores in so many months. Not so much. In celebration of Thrrrob, the company's latest face powder, guests can play with products while sipping complimentary X-Rated brand cocktails. Those who spend $75 on Benefit products will receive a gift from Hanky Panky lingerie. Space is limited, so RSVP to ensure a thrrrobing good time. Bloomingdale's Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 360-2851. Event hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Vintage Fashion Expo Saturday and Sunday: Fashion is a revolving door, so it's no wonder that the stylish set goes for the goods that our mothers and grandmothers wore way back when. Those who don't have access to great-granny's Chanel collection will be just as happy wandering through this traveling display of more than 75 vintage dealers that is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Try on Bakelite earrings from the 1930s and sift through '60s shift dresses. Looks spanning 125 years attract the fashionable elite, as do such notable offerings as Halston dresses, which would turn your Friday night romp at Green Door into a Studio 54-worthy experience. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. 1855 Main St., Santa Monica. (707) 793-0773. Regular hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; tickets $10. Early buying: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday; tickets $20.

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