Retro Stop

March 8, 2013

Retro Stop
In a reality TV landscape clogged with housewives and Kardashians, the Smithsonian Channel’s new “L.A. Frock Stars” catwalks out something refreshingly different: A look at how top vintage clothing dealer Doris Raymond shops for and sells 20th-century garb to movie stars (like actress Debi Mazar, shown). Tidbits of fashion history (Chanel invented the little black dress! Paco Rabanne got famous for metal skirts in the 1960s!) interweave with scenes of shopping and try-ons.

Green Machine
You crave greenery, but it’s still chilly outside. And the concept of hauling dirt inside isn’t appealing. Enter Click and Grow ($59-$69, Clickandgrow.com),
the cleanest, techie-est way to have a green thumb yet. Simply insert a plant cartridge for basil, flowers, etc. into the plastic pot where a pump, water reservoir and sensors could turn even the most horticulturally challenged person into a gardener. Yes, seeds and a terra cotta vessel would be cheaper, but that would impress no one on the space station.

Flat Out Cool
When we wore Jump From Paper’s “Cheese!” bag around the city, we got more than a few stares and comments (shown, $98, Jumpfrompaper.us). The head-scratching, cartoon-inspired bags make you look as if you’ve stepped right out of a comic strip, albeit a stylish one. Though flat, the purses contain multiple pockets that hold a shocking amount of personal items.

Fedora For Ya
Hats off to Jonathan Adler for his new line of ribbon-and-straw caps ($98 each, Jonathan Adler, 1267 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-965-1416). Made for bad hair days and outfits in need of topping off, the black, blue and orange fedoras from the mid-century-modern-inspired designer come with a smiley sun pin to welcome warmer temps.

Seoul Food
If doughnuts are the new cupcakes, perhaps kimchi — the pickled, stinky Korean cabbage — is the new bacon. A dried version ($3, Trader Joe’s) of the salty Asian snack suggests that’s entirely possible: The salty, crunchy take on the ages-old snack/condiment/folk healer’s remedy works equally well crumbled onto a salad or shoved in your mouth, much like our favorite pig product. Plus, it’s got no fat, making it a good chaser for doughnuts.

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Vicky Hallett · March 8, 2013