Mary Ellen Brown


Sartorial Baltimoreal: Hat Head, but in a Good Way



Photos by Lee Kriel

In the 40s and 50s, women were considered in fashion and properly dressed when they went out wearing a coat, gloves and  a hat. Aside from European weddings, it was rare to see a beautiful woman wearing a hat. But the recent popularity of fedora hats has made women in hats fashionable again! When we saw one walking down the street in Fells Point on a beautiful spring evening, we had to stop and talk.

Sartorial Baltimoreal: Student Sartorialists


Recently named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top art schools in the nation, MICA attracts college students from all
over.  We talked to five freshmen who stood out from the crowd with their eclectic and individual looks. We found their art (majors) to be just as unique.



There is no better place to run into friends than Stone Mill Bakery at Green Spring Station. Stacy Lebow and Elise Morris, old friends, both showed up wearing Lululemon tops. (And they didn’t even call each other!) The hot Vancouver-based company sells yoga-inspired athletic clothing that has become the uniform for chic exercising moms. We’re lucky enough to have a Baltimore store on Aliceanna Street in Fells Point (soon to move to Harbor East, we hear).

Stacy Lebow and Elise Morris, Stone Mill Bakery, Green Spring Station

We talked to Stacy first.

Hi. I love your top.

Thanks. It’s Lululemon, my favorite thing to wear when I work out.

How would you describe your fashion style?



That would explain the feather I see in your hair. 

It’s trendy fun! It comes out in a week. Like nail polish! 

What do you wear for an evening out?

I dress according to what fits my body. And I love scarves and wraps and shawls — and dresses! I do get my hair blown out occasionally. That’s my one indulgence. My mother
was a photographer so I’ve always had pictures taken of me. And pretty hair is an important accessory!


How do you two know each other?

We met when our children were very young at preschool.


And Elise, where did you spend your morning?

I just came from playing tennis!


And you both love Lululemon! Are you sure you didn’t plan your matching tops.

Of course not!  But I’m glad we ran into each other!  (Stacy)  

With a Twinkle in His Eye


Belvedere Square at lunch time is a bustling and crowded place.

Among the hubbub, we spotted Mr. Clark sitting quietly at a table alone, eating his soup. He looked old-school cool in his hat and faded ski sweater and was more than happy to talk to us.

Herb Clark, 80, Belvedere Square


Hi. Do you come to Belvedere often?

I come almost everyday for lunch. Atwater’s and Ceriello are my favorites.


You look so natty. Tell me about what you’re wearing.

Jeans, ski sweater, and a hat. Same thing in summer but no sweater.


Do you ski?

Yes, in Aspen or Snowmass. In the summer, I golf.


I love your Derby hat. Sometimes called a Bowler right?

Yes. I got it at Sears.

Men used to wear Derbys to baseball games. Now all they wear are baseball

caps. I wear those too.


Are you married Herb?

Yes. Fifty-one years. 


And does she influence what you wear?

I’m 80 years old. My wife does not dress me. I know a man 

whose wife dresses him. Not for me!  


Ladies Who Lunch


We walked into the Roland Park brasserie Petit Louis last week and immediately saw a table of smiling, pretty women — laughing in the corner. They were sartorially festive without being, well, dressed in red and green. No Christmas sweaters for these girls!

From left to right:

Sarah Rhea, Stacey Vandiver, Jodi Lebow, Brigette Meushaw and Lauren Gordon.

Hi girls! Can we interrupt? You all look so happy. What’s the occasion?

We are breaking away from a busy holiday season to go to Paris for lunch!

How do you know each other?

Two of us grew up together, three live in the same neighborhood and two have children
in the same school. We all met through each other.

You all look great. Did you make a special effort when you got dressed today?

(They all laugh.) Sarah (a pharmaceutical rep): I came from work. Stacey (a teacher at Soul Body): I just taught a barre class. Jodi (a personal trainer): I had a doctor’s appointment. Brigette: I came from my store, the Lily Pad in Towson. And Lauren: I’m a doctor. I have been up all night at the hospital!

Okay, so you are all smart girls. Do you care about fashion? You each have a unique style.

We are all fashionistas at heart. And we all care about what we wear. Some days more than others!

But today all you needed to look beautiful was to wear those smiles.

Lunch in Paris will do that for you. 


Shop Window Perfect


Having made a career in dapper menswear, Ken Himmelstein — who owns the Samuel Parker store in Lake Falls Village — loves clothes and has a knack for putting together his own Ken-authentic look. As he stands amid cashmere sweaters and English button-down shirts, he looks elegant enough to be a mannequin in the smart shop window.

Ken Himmelstein


You look great Ken. But a little summery with the orange T-shirt and white shoes! 

Touch my jacket. It’s cashmere.

And the shoes?

My white bucks. I wear them year-round. 

So you call your style…?

Modern traditional.

How long have you been in the business? 

I was on the wholesale side for 30 years. I was a Ralph Lauren rep and also worked for high-end menswear firms.

Is there anything you feel you can’t wear in Baltimore?

No, I have big (nerve). If I don’t dress like this, who will?

Who will? The customer who appreciates beautiful suits and tweed blazers, pants, shirts and a cashmere sweater in every color. And great shoes.

My customer is the professional man who likes clothes.

Like you? 

Like me.

Rebel with a Cause

Great style is all about expressing individuality, and it turns out Chris Warren’s clothing tells a very personal story. The hip and trendy South Moon Under men’s department manager (spotted outside the Harbor East boutique) uses his fashion savvy to hook people into giving to causes he cares about. Giving while getting. That’s the best style.


Chris Warren, 26

You look like you’re going to class not work!

Yeah, I like to dress in jeans and a T -shirt most of the time and sometimes a woven.
A woven? You speak a designer’s language. Are you a fashion designer?

I design T-shirts with a friend. We are just starting our company.
Did you design the one you’re wearing? What do the letters stand for?

TSP?  The Shift Project. We design T-shirts now but hope to get into wovens and sweaters.
Where did you get the name?

We both believe you have to contribute to change the world and when you hit the shift button on your keyboard everything changes.  And it’s a project. So, The Shift Project. 
Have you sold any T-shirts?

We are now on Facebook and developing a website.  But we’re trying to keep the cost down so we can donate six or seven percent of what we bring in to a different charity or institution each month. The first one is personal. We hope to give to Kennedy Krieger because my brother is there in rehab after a football accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. At 15. And the next month it will be the Susan G. Komen Foundation because my friend’s mother had breast cancer.  Selling our collection will hopefully allow us to give to many causes we believe in. 

I wish you great success. And how is your brother today?

He’s great. He’s 23.  And he wears our T-shirts all the time!

A Far East Hippie with American Style


Ken Wong, 27

What is your personal style? 

I am a hippie from the Far East!  When I was 10, my mother moved to Baltimore where I learned to speak English. I would speak Mandarin and Cantonese with my mother (still do).  As I grew up, I would visit family in Hong Kong and dressed in vintage Americana clothes from thrift stores when I traveled.

What are your tattoos?

They are the story of my life.

Like for example?

Here I have a tough guy tribal tattoo that was put on when I was competing in martial arts. I was 17 and it gave me strength.

And your hair?

It is a dredded Mohawk. It’s stylish and out there, but comfortable. I am a hairstylist so I don’t want to have to deal with my hair every day. Plus it’s cool.

Do you ever dress up?

For weddings and funerals.

What are you doing for the weekend?

I’m doing yoga tomorrow and going to listen to electronic music Saturday night. I’m crashing a Baltimore cookout on the fourth!

Scouting for Talent in Roland Park


Virginia Bertholet – Producer

Virginia was sitting against the south wall of Eddie’s of Roland Park when we approached her–the graffiti framed her cute face. She was on a conference call. Ten minutes later we talked.


 What made you put those black sneakers on this morning? They are very funky.

They are fake Vans. I got them at Target! I love Vans.

How ’bout that scarf? It makes the outfit with all that color!

I always wear scarves. This is from World Market! 

Your style is very urban. What do you do?

I’m a producer. We are scouting for a commercial right now. We love Baltimore (she lives in Richmond) because it is so centrally located. We bring talent here from New York and DC.

You seem to dress with ease: all black with statement making accessories and a pop of color. 

Well I mostly wear black. I just lost 35 pounds!!

That’s great! How’d you lose it?

Eat less. Exercise more.

Yeah, that usually does it…

At that point a man and a woman dressed in all-black walked up and Virginia was off. A little bit of Hollywood in Roland Park!