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Shop Talk

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Shop-Snooping is a lot of fun these days. The shops are full of high heels for ladies, high hats for gentlemen and high hopes for everyone. Since we threw Prohibition over our shoulders, everyone feels better. I’ll confess that a dash of legal sherry in my turtle soup and a sip of brandy after my coffee have made a braver and gayer snooper of me. The hotels and restaurants with their busy luncheon hours, pleasant cocktail times and gay dinner parties prove to this generation that New Yorkers in the Age of Innocence (pre-Volstead) knew more than a little about gracious living and that the stories told of past elegance and grandeur are not just folk-tales. Again New York is a swell place to live in, to holiday in. Again it is a cosmopolitan city full of life and laughter. You must come up some time.

#uring the Neurotic Decade, only very lately laid to rest, we watched with helpless eyes the disintegration and decay of fine things Above this decay and untouched by it were a few brave souls, and I nominate one of them for our very own Hall of Fame—Rose Clark. Her star is again in the ascendancy, and the examples of her deftness that I saw left me silent in appreciation. One was a street dress of beige French homespun. A turnover collar buttoning down the back and cuffs to the elbow, made of brown grosgrain—a subtle trimming. A champagne toast—no less—to her wizardry (her prices are not in the champagne class).

I wandered in to see the jewelers Kohn, at 608 Fifth avenue These brothers believe that, with the return of elegance, a lady must be seriously concerned about her jewelry Personality must be expressed, as well as elegance, When you order jewels from the Kohns, they study you, and talk with you, and then submit designs. When both of you are pleased, they start to work. Seldom have I seen such exquisite finish as theirs. Their workers are free from Demon Time, with results that to me, at least, have the artistic finish of a Cellini product.

Irene Franks is what I call a miracle worker, a Merlin of anachronisms. She certainly has a way of taking past delights and remaking them into modern heart’s desires. A patron of her shop, having tested her magic, came in the other day with her grandfather’s topper—a thing of antiquity and hatter’s plush, reeking with mothballs. Miss Franks confessed to me that she expected to see three little mice, not pigs, scamper out of it. Well, Madame wanted Miss Franks to make of this old topper a late 1934 hat, and Miss Franks did, without even cutting the crown. Is that good, or is it good? For about $5 she can make an old hat look like something pretty special.

Tomorrow at 4 P. M. has been scheduled as the Children’s Hour at Macy’s. The Code Authority representing the entire infant’s and children’s wear industry will show for the first time the latest styles in children’s wear and millinery in an elaborate children’s fashion pageant. The collection will include everything from an infant’s first dress, a coat and hat up to junior-deb evening gowns, and the youthful live models will range in age from a nine-months-old baby to girls and boys of fourteen, including twins and triplets. The children themselves have volunteered their services to the Code Authority as a patriotic service. Each garment and hat which they will wear upon the runway of the fashion show will dramatize the NRA label and illustrate the variety and beauty of the clothing made under the protective wing of the Authority.

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