Best Trimmings - 2002
Ben Raymond Fabrics and Trims
Last summer, every pair of jeans was capri-length and had wide strips of colored fabric festooning the hem. They had a hippie-dippy, homemade feel, as though do-girls had raided their mothers' fabric bins in a mass convulsion of originality. This year, designers have taken the trend further into embellishment and the hippie past, with elaborate appliqués, sequins, pieced fabric insets, embroidery, studs, and all other manner of frou-frou. Instead of paying a quadzillion dollars for this fad, do it yourself. For 35 years, Ben Raymond has been carrying trimmings at his Hollywood store with the motto, "If we don't have it, you don't need it." While that might not be literally true, one step inside this shop might make you wonder. There are three rooms stacked to the ceiling with cards of trimmings, bin drawers stuffed with appliqués, and bolts of fancy laces. Among the selection: chains of large white daisies with black centers, strands of cord knotted with colored beads, giant sequined leaves, alligators, and a red sequined pump. The crotchety Raymond, who lords over the Hollywood store, is alone worth the visit, as he is often clad in strange and inspiring concoctions stitched from the store's fabrics and decorated with the trimmings.