Designers create clothes. Stores select from those creators and sell clothes, but people make fashion. Not very long ago designers would have fits if their clothes weren't worn the prescribed way. . . their way. But last year, at the end of he showing, Paris designer Sonia Rykiel sent models down the runway wearing her new designs partnered with those of other designers, all clearly marked to show that she was not taking credit for aher colleagues' creations. "my best customers mix my things with the work of other designers. Why shouldn't I show them that way?" she asks.
So that is how we are showing the clothes for spring. We picked the best-looking clothes for the season to go with people who have a self-assured style, letting them inject some of that style into the new clothes. (We only missed once, and we won't tell you with whom.)
For the most part, we considered price as one of the factors. But in some instances, we thought that the shape, the colors, the general look were so important that price didn't matter hoping this will give you ideas of what to look for at a price you can afford. Always doing it, as these "models" have, without forfeiting a personal sense of style.
Gail Gray is in jeans 75 percent of the time, usually with a big sweater. "I'm just more comfortable that way.
Trained as a pharmacy technician, she is on leave from Doctors Hospital in Prince George's County to try her luck in modeling. She always carries a big bag, and a recent inventory revealed 10 eyeshadow colors, 15 brushes and six lipsticks. "Do you know you have on four different earings?" people often ask her. Of course, she knows. For evening, she leans to "very flowery" clothes and prefers to shop at Ann Taylor or Lord & Taylor.
Gail Gray is wearing Cathy Hardwick's short-sleeved shirt and narrow slit skirt in white linen, available later this month at Ann Taylor and Claire Dratch. Straw hat is by Marsha Akins for Makins at Neiman-Marcus.
Richard Mauro's distinct advantage is that he can dress any way he'd like for work as a photographer and creative director for Pla and Associates. He doesn't buy much. He's got a tweed jacket of his grandfather's, a Brooks Brothers jacket that he had in high school, dancing pumps from his first precotillion. He idos is Fred Astaire: "He's elegant but not like everyone else."
Mauro's strictly cut from "the dressed-down" school-sweaters and jeans, mixed patterns and mixed colors. A fun hour is poking through second-hand stores and thrift shos. Friends like to accompany him to say, Classic Clothing, to watch him "work the place" and to get his help in finding things for themselves.
Richard Mauro wears a Joan Vass hand -knit cotton string sweater from Neiman Marcus, with silk shirt and pleated linen pants from Britches.
Georgia Vavra first thinks about color when she picks clothes for herself or makes them for others. A textile and clothing designer, she says that "working with fabric gives me a chance to play with colors and use them in interesting combinations." She uses bright splashes of color on black and mixes prints in similar color combinations for what she makes for herself or sells to friends and to stores like Nuevo Mundo and Liberty. Vavra made the staff outfits for the Bread Oven and soon will do the same for their new branch. If her work clothes are chosen strictly for comfort, for evening she likes a total switch to "something quite sexy."
Georgia Vavra wears Rafael's linen jacket trimmed in suede and black chintz pants from I.Magnin.
Jewelry by M & J Savitt at Chas. Schwartz & Son, hair is by Salon Jean Paul at Garfinkel's.
Jewel Robinson Shepperd, deputy director for congressional affairs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, makes her buying decisions seasonally, rarely on impulse. She tilts to the tailored, "almost severe" she says. "I try to be organized about my clothes because I don't want to spend much time on them." She buys good things, takes care to last three or four years. Preferring specially stores and bouitques, she ofthen shops at Harriet Kassman, "where the saleswoman knows my taste." If there is something she really likes, she buys it in several colors. She now has less time for sewing, but makes one outfit a season from a designer pattern, always in natural fibers.
Jewell Shepperd wears a hank-knit cotton-string sweater and Liberty print pants by Joan Vass, from Bloomingdale's. Hair by Salon Jean Paul, Garfinckel's.
Francesca Chiascione, a sophomore at Georgetown, would never describe her clothes as "updated preppy," but they are. The gray flannel and plaids are thre, and the crew-neck sweaters jeans, oxford shirts and tweed jackets. But so are the designer labels, especially Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, and the French-style oversize sweaters and highheeled boots. For goint out, her favourites are a silk shirt and skirt or a silk dress with high-heeled sandals. Cotton knit T-shirt dresses, she's sure, will be part of her unifor when the weather gets warm. She shops at Loehmann's and other discounters, particularly Syms. "I can't remember the last time I paid full price for any clothing," she says.
Francessa Chiascione wears a cotton blend T-shirt dress by Liz Claiborne, available later this month at Hecht's, Woodward/Lothrop and Raleights. Hair by Salon Jean Paul at Garfinkel's.
Dorothy Wexler remembers wearing red lipstick in college in the 1950s but not since then. She doesn't see any need for it. Her prime activity for the past couple of years has been her children "with the usual assortment of part-time jobs," some volunteer and occasional consulting and editing for the Word Bank. She keeps to simple, untrendy styles-shirts, sweaters, pants. "I dress for comfort rather than looks." But she sense style changes, then looks for something new. "Shopping is something you toss in when you have a spare minute," she says. As a result, most of her shopping is confined to Georgetown, even for the elegant chiffon things she wears for special occasions.
Dorothy Wexler is wearing linen windowpane check pants and jacket by Perry Ellis, available at Garfinkel's and An Taylor. Hair by Salon Jean Paul at Garfinkel's.
Julia McGirt, a singer wears silk pants or dresses at work" always free-flowing. . . so I feel comfortable," she says. She shops for those itemsat Woodies and Ann Taylor. For her daytime watiress job, it is strictly jeans or khakis with bulky sweaters. It took her 10 hours to make her 200 braids-they'll last six weeks.
Chuck Nixon, an assistant director at WDVM-TV, usually wears jeans and sweaters and occasionally a blazer. For dressing up, it's a mix of blazers, slacks, tweeds, and silks, often from Regent Place, with cowboy boots. The ethnic items, mixed with everthing he wears, he picks up at the Artifactory or Toast and Strawberries.
Chuck Nixon wears Rafael's chintz jacket, linen T-shirt and pleated pants, from Saks Fifth Avenue, and his own kuffi hat. Julia McGirt's linen T-shirt and linen pants by Private Label, from Diana Parker, and a kente cloth belt borrowed from Chuck.
Fay Webber's first and second-grade students at the West School, a public school in the District, usually check out what she is wearing before the class begins. It might be a Calvin Klein pantsuit one day and jeans and blazer, vest and a tie the next. "And the kids really let me know if they like what I'm wearing, or if they don't," she says.
She shops at lots of places, and a particular saleswoman at Woodies calls Webber when clothes she would like arrive in stock. But she also goes to New York with friends, stays at the Plaza Hotel and the shops the lower East Side for bargains.
The ground rule for choosing things for evening is that they be the kind of clothes that work for a lot of different kinds of occasions, such as silk dresses.
Fay Webber is wearing Bill Haire's gabardine jacket with suede camisole and a gabardine skirt, from I.Magnin.
Rodney Glover is a law clerk for the judges of the Circuit Court of Alexamdria. In the courtroom he sits the next to the judge. The judge usually wear three-piece suits under their judicial robes in court, so Glober is always in a three-piece suit in court too. "I might like a job someday with someone out there," he says.Most of his suits are European cut, a habit he picked up at Oxford, he says. He favors pin stripes, narrow ties, small-collar shirts with collar pins.
For hanging around his aparment,he's in jeans; for "running around," its's corduroys, tweeds, sweaters, often a patterned vest. He's had a moustache since law school. "I've got a long, long face and I think a mustache broadens it," he says.
Rod Glover wears a wool patterned sweater-vest by Britches, with their cotton shirt and cotton knit tie. He provided his won favorite Levi's.
Mary "Matt" Mosser, an art director for the National Geographic, concedes to dressing up for the office by wearing skirt and boots one day, jeans the next, pantsuit the next. She needs to buy expensive clothes to get a good fit for her super-skinny (5-foot-7,108-pound) frame. She tilts toward Jones New York, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. "Actually, anyone on sale," she says, "I like to wear things that are blousy; they put some fat on me." Suits and shoes are her biggest investment, but everything has to be simple and classic, rather than avant-garde stylish. "I like to use acessories to dress things up, than buy a lot of differect clothes.
"Last year's clothes were perfect. Everything I put on added 10 pounds."
Matt Mosser wears a silk middy blouse with frontpleat skirt by Private Label, at Saks-Jandel.
Diane Rulka shows up often in Washington ads and occassionally in European magazines. Once a Washington secretary, she now supports herself modeling, dong both fashion shows and print work here and in New York and Paris. Her favourite recetn purchase is a pair of black leather jeans she picked up in Spain. "This is my belt year," she says, using them to update what is in her closet. Putting padding in the shoulders, particularly in coats, helps her not-so-new clothes look current. "My lips are my most obivous feature," she says. Her daytime makeup is totally natural, but for evening, she say, "I'm into a European look-black eyes and red or pink."
Diane Rulka wears Calvin Klein's reversible silk dress, at Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue later this month Jewelry by M & J Savittat Dolly Kay Designs and Diene-Jackson Jewelers.