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The Metropolitan's First Annual Fashion Hike

By Alissa Pea

Pea Personality Pop Quiz

Select one:

  • Don't buy Nike because they promote and utilize cheap slave labor in Third World countries.

  • Workers should be glad to have jobs, and especially ones that pay them above and beyond the country's average of $3 a day.

    Me? I plead the fifth. It's so PC to be PC, mmhmm (would that be ... a double-entendre or an antiquated phrase, or does it merely require contextual clarification?). Anyway, the Nike store is open. If you care. If you dare. (Just do it?) I haven't been there.

    Spring has arrived, hence the flowering plums and pollens. Hehchoo! And provided by the one and only Lady Luck, last weekend harbored two--yes, two!--"kiss the sidewalk!" beautiful days. And thus was it born: The Metropolitan's first annual fashion hike. Whoohoo. Time to refresh that winter wardrobe. So with my only dilemma being my start-up ensemble--a tossup between trek-around-town-wear (that "I swear I just got back from the gym" look) and an outfit that the sales people will talk to you in--I was on my merry way. I went with somewhere betwixt and between the two looks--oops, my mistake--and then consequently had to look at my bad outfit in every full-length mirror from here to Timbuktu. Pea Theory of the Week: As long as you make an impression, it's OK. Just don't forget to override the memory by looking great the next time.

    So. Trailhead Hayes Street, 300-600 blocks. Make a stop at She (say she-he) and then ask Mr. Jeffery to call you a cab. Or if you prefer, do it my way. (I gave up cars after a 200-pound sand-filled ashtray totaled mine. Sign from G-d? Anvil from the sky? Call for details.) I traversed the Western Addition by way of Fillmore in search of anything.

    Until ... Over the Bush Street threshold we go. Coup de chapeau. Duck and cover. Custom millinery. Develop hathead (it beats ponytail lump anyday). Add to your collection. Start a new hobby. Go incognito. Think up new phrases like "hat today, hat tomorrow." All right already. Just don't miss it.

    Now, it is not as if there lies nothing in between. But as in all of life's little lessons, time is a precious thing and we're going for the gold here. Bing. Here's what we dug up.

    Up the Fillmore trail, Nest. What you always wanted from grandma. Even if you come out empty-handed, which is relatively impossible, it's worth looking at. Vintage and good reproductions ... jewelry, linens, glassware, buttons, lampshades, hardware. Someone who has good taste apparently owns this place. In my humble opinion of course (IMHO, as the Net geeks say). Is there another one?

    Cross the street and have it your way at Bebe. One problem, though: Unless waiting for a flood is back in style (which, judging from what's hangin' around the racks, it is), if you've got legs up to here the pants won't fit. I tried on eight pairs, all too short. That's OK, we Amazon girls have other virtues. Send him over to L'Uomo International for the latest in Hugo Boss and D&G.

    Sharp left to a little gold mine out on Sacramento. It's a hearty sprint from Fillmore Street, so depending on whether or not you opted for speed or style, choose your method of transport carefully.

    OK, off the tangent and hello Good Byes (ah, now there's the not-so-hidden meaning). But it's true, and they have men's AND women's, new AND used. Lots of great designer outfits ... DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Escada ... I caught my friend squeezing into a 2 when she's really a size 4, just because it was such a great bargain. The sales people watched us like hawks. I hope they just got out of one of those go-get-'em sales pep rallies, or maybe they were just concerned about my bad outfit and thought I was lost? Still, it was more than worth the stop.

    If you are into appointment onlys, phone Goldberry up the block. Since I just discovered it, I obviously didn't have an appointment and never ventured in, primarily because of the locked door. Peering through the glass, I saw a lot of black and white (fancy that). Sorry about the nose print, folks.

    One can never own enough French lingerie, no? Bettina has plenty, as well as sexy Made in Italy robin's-egg blue, pepto-pink and dafodillian yellow dresses and halter suits and plenty o' party attire. They didn't stop talking long enough to notice us, but that's OK.

    There are two more stores absolutely worth the look on Sacramento Street, and gee, you're already there, so check them out. Same people, different stores. For upscale funky and $$! one-of-a-kinds, you can spend all day--and all your money for that matter--at Susan. D&G, Helmut Lang, et cetera et cetera, plus plus. Don't miss the green-and-blue faux fur sleeves, the day-glo jeans, and the pony hair shoes. More power to you if you have somewhere to wear them. Try the supermarket for full effect.

    Their "other store," aka The Grocery Store, offers fashion from the streets-cum-vogue. With names like Industria and Urbanati, you can only guess what goes on here. Don't get me started. But if you are into the fitted grunge look, you may want to pop in. There was a pretty slick black Christian Lacroix jacket, and they play elevator techno in the background ... go figure. It was only a matter of time.

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  • From the March 1997 issue of the Metropolitan

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