If you want to know what clothes will be hot this holiday, why not ask the gentleman who will be leaving a spectrum of styles under Christmas trees around the world?
In between his visits last week with shoppers at The Mall at Robinson, a very jolly old St. Nick shared in a phone interview which looks and fashion-related toys are popping up most on wish lists this year.
Requests for apparel by brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale and Justice are common for 10- and 11-year-olds. They tell him, "I want some clothes for Christmas, and they have to be cool," Santa said.
As many as one in three Santa's lap sitters are hoping for new boots, he said. This number is down from years' past, when closer to 40 percent of those he met asked for a pair.
As far as toys, the Barbie fashion closet has many wishing for a spot on the nice list. "It is just huge," Santa said. "It's just all kinds of pretty cool stuff in there," including Barbie shoes, clothes, accessories and hangers for keeping everything organized.
The man in red gets lots of fashion inspiration by checking out what the people who parade by him are wearing.
"This time of the year, especially the little girls coming in 10 and under, [are] all dressed to the T's. They're wearing the long red dress that sparkles," as well as good shoes, fancy tights and jewelry. Coats that are styled to look like animals, with hoods made into manes, and Batman T-shirts with a detachable Velcro cape are some of the other styles he has spotted.
"When the kids get dressed up, it's important to make a fuss."
But "I wants" and "please give me" aren't all Santa is hearing from the hundreds he talks to each day.
"They're real happy to have the things that they do have," especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he said. Many kids are asking him to make sure the families whose homes were at the heart of the storm are among his stops on Christmas Eve.
"I think the biggest thing more than anything else is Christmas is not about just gifts. It's about spending time with someone you know and love, what's going to help make them happy," he said. "We hold each other up and we strengthen each other. ... I just think that's where I'm seeing more and more of that, that family kind of a feeling."
Spending time with family is what he's hoping for once the big night is over.
"Mrs. C and I are going to take some time after the first of the year and find a place that's nice and warm and quiet for a while."
Holiday Shopping Extravaganza: Tackle some shopping and support a good cause at the JMDF Cancer Resource Center's daylong holiday sale Thursday. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Cancer Resource Center. It's in the cafeteria on level A of UPMC McKeesport. Information: www.jmdf.net.
Rent the Runway Girl's Night Out trunk show: Find the perfect holiday party dress at a trunk show 7:30 to 10:15 p.m. Thursday at Peter's Pub in Oakland. Rent the Runway at the University of Pittsburgh will be on site with designer dresses guests can try on and rent for the weekend, joined by local hairstylists, makeup artists and the European Wax Center. Online women's magazine Her Campus Pitt will collect donations at the door for She's the First, which helps fund the education of girls in developing countries. Information: www.renttherunway.com/upitt.
Holiday Promenade on Walnut Street: Nadia Salon at 5519 Walnut St., Shadyside, will feature a full day of holiday fashion, music and performance art starting 11 a.m. Sunday. Guests can shop gift baskets, sip cider and browse creations by local artists. At 3 p.m., a VIP reception will be held, which will include light bites, cocktails and music by Round Black Ghost. Those in attendance will be entered into the specialty gift basket auction. Fashion and dance will take center stage at 4 p.m. with a runway show of looks by local designers inspired by Continuum Dance Theater's production "THE MOVEMENT." Audience members will get to vote for their favorite designer, who will have his or her apparel worn by Continuum Dance Theater at a performance in New York City in January.
Tickets are $30 for the VIP reception and runway show, or $15 for runway show admission only. Admission for vendor shopping is free. Information: www.thedanceticket.blogspot.com.
Study detects cancer-causing chemicals in fast-fashion brands: Think you know what's in your closet? Think again. That's the message behind a new report from Greenpeace International, which found potentially hazardous substances, such as nonylphenol ethoxylates, phthalates and azo dyes, in the 141 pieces of apparel it tested from Calvin Klein, Mango, Levi's and Zara, among others. Zara was the only retailer in the study with clothes found to include chemicals from dyes that can break down into cancer-causing amines.
The study aims to point out links between hazardous chemicals used in textile manufacturing and the presence of such chemicals in the clothes produced at the facilities. Read the full report, "Toxic Threads -- The Big Fashion Stitch-Up," at www.greenpeace.org/international/big-fashion-stitch-up.
Protesters urge Macy's to "Dump Trump!": Business mogul and "Apprentice" host Donald Trump's line of conservative neckties and dress shirts carried at Macy's seem pretty unassuming, but the partnership has some people threatening to literally cut their ties with the retail chain. Last week, a group gathered outside Macy's flagship store at 34th Street in Manhattan and demonstrated their disgust for some of The Donald's views by cutting up their Macy's credit cards.
"To me, Trump's brand is bigoted and bullying. If [Macy's] seriously evaluates what they say their brand is about and what it is that Trump represents, I think they will recognize an inconsistency," organizer Angelo Carusone told Fashionista.com.
Protesters are upset about Mr. Trump's political views, tweets regarding global warming and that some of his products are made in China, when he claims to support American industry. So far, more than 600,000 signatures have been collected as part of an online petition posted at signon.org. Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement: "Many of the individuals associated with products sold at Macy's ... express personal opinions that are not related to the merchandise we sell or to the philosophies of our company."fashion
To have a style or fashion event considered for Stylebook, send listing to Sara Bauknecht at firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published November 27, 2012 5:00 AM