Style Watch

updated 05/21/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/21/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Ever since San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted the accordion the city's official instrument on April 23, aficionados of the much-maligned squeeze box have pulled their keyboards out of the closet. Recently, Deborah Norville even overrode Bryant Gumbel's gibes to play a few bars of "Lady of Spain" on NBC's Today. But the accordion has been rising above its Lawrence Welk "champagne music image for a half-dozen years, as ethnic musicians like Buckwheat Dural and parodyists like Weird Al Yankovic have caught on. "My parents forced me to take accordion lessons when I was a toddler," says Chicago-bred comedian Judy Tenuta, who incorporated the clumsy instrument into her act—and has donated one of her seven accordions to New York City's Hard Rock Cafe. "Now big stars like Henry Winkler and Charlton Heston come up to me and confess they were forced to take accordion lessons too."

Not only does a working woman have to worry about whether her clothes appear too stiff or too sexy, but now she has to think about the emotional impact of her color choices. "Dangerous" shades to wear on a job interview include pastel pink (too wimpy), magenta (too sensual) and black and yellow worn together (lethal, as in bee sting), according to Atlanta image consultant Susan St. Charles, as quoted in Dressing Smart, The Thinking Woman's Guide to Style, by Pamela Redmond Satran. On the other hand, women who work at home and don't need to impress others would be advised to get decked out in red, yellow or orange. They aren't power colors, but in terms of personal success, you can count on them to heighten productivity.

House for Sale: Brand-new, fully furnished colonial. Five rooms, porch, sun deck, two upper balconies, French doors, completely wallpapered and decorated interior. Phone, appliances, lights, working doorbell. Available November. Uh-oh. Assembly required. It's Barbie's new 38 3/8-inch by 49-inch Magical Mansion, and the question is: At $400 will it sell in the current soft housing market?

Patches—flaunting designs as traditional as torn-up bandannas and as promotional as Harley-Davidson emblems—are a major warm-weather trend. In L.A., actor turned artist Kirk Saberson silk-screens $6 canvas appliqués with homages to pop art. Saberson's fans include artist David Hockney, who picked up two patches and a Saberson collage at a recent show. An environmentalist, Saberson donates 15 percent of his sales to patch-owner Ted Danson's American Oceans Campaign. Says Saberson, "I want to help patch up the world."

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