Busting out all over 

Spring fashions are on display.

Toys for grown-ups.
  • Toys for grown-ups.

Spring’s in full fling these days, and so are spring fashion shows. So if you’re not too embarrassed to be seen in last year’s camisole top and white jeans, head on out and get some inspiration:

• The next Fashion Friday at Nu Cuisine Lounge is April 21, with clothes from Green Envvy this time.

• Monday, April 24, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is hosting one even the guys might be interested in seeing: Called “Passion for Fashion: Underneath it All,” the show will feature styles from Barbara Graves Intimate Fashions. Va-va-va-voom, darling. Tickets are $75 and $50 (it’s a fund-raiser) and include martinis beforehand and Champagne and chocolates after. Call the Rep at 378-0445 for more info.

• Box Turtle will be showing off new spring designs from Missy Lipps, Georgia Ashmore and Erin Lorenzen at Ciao Baci. The show goes from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the store will be open for about an hour after that for the folks who like what they see.

More tidbits:

• If you spend any time at all on the Internet you’ve probably come across Archie McPhee, purveyor of hilarious, wacky toys for grown-ups — like the Avenging Unicorn play set, which allows you to impale a mime, a hippie-looking woman or a suit-clad man on the long, sharp horn of a unicorn. Many of those toys are now available locally at Sandalwood Forest, a little boutique at the intersection of Markham and Kavanaugh that also carries a lot of beautiful embroidered cotton shirts and skirts and handbags, among other stuff. My favorite from the Archie McPhee shelf has to be the “What Would a Pirate Do?” folder. (“Maroon a scallywag,” “Keelhaul a scurvy dog,” etc.)

• A couple doors down from Sandalwood Forest is a store called the Broom Closet. Think witches, not maids — there’s nothing for cleaning here unless it’s your aura that’s dirty. Owner Karin Hall-Willis said her goal is to help people improve themselves spiritually, however they feel led to. She’s got books, candles, jewelry (including cross pendants), and a wall of dried herbs — from nutmeg and lavender to bladderwrack and soapwort. There are also a couple of ornately carved daggers “for cutting energy, not people,” Hall-Willis assured me. My favorite item in the whole store, though, is the bright red Dragon’s Blood Uncrossing Bubble Bath. Sounds like just the thing for a particularly, um, severe bout of PMS.

• Arkansasflagandbanner.com has a coupon good for 25 percent off any single in-stock item — the catch is, you have to go to their downtown showroom to use it. (Saves you shipping charges anyway, right?) I dropped by last week and couldn’t believe the variety of stuff this store carries — every kind of flag imaginable (including the Jolly Roger), plus those cutesy ones that aren’t really flags, American flag luggage, pink-ribbon breast cancer awareness items, all kinds of patriotic gewgaws. The coupon is good through April 30. To get it, go to the website, www.arkansasflagandbanner.com, scroll down until you see the coupon, then click on it and print it out. The showroom is at Ninth and State streets.






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