Convertible Clothing Is a New Twist for the Cost-Conscious

January 21, 2011  |  

(New York Times) — CALVIN TRAN was darting around his shop on Mott Street the other day, fiddling with a fan-shaped slice of wool. “You can wear this as a poncho, a dress, a kimono or a hooded cape,” Mr. Tran said as he pulled the fabric over his head. With a high-pitched laugh, he added, “See, when you go to Iraq, it becomes a burqa!”  That puckish performance is surely known to viewers of “The Fashion Show” on Bravo, where Mr. Tran routinely shows off his antic personality. It was certainly familiar to Renita Bernard, a longtime client who stopped at the shop last week to try another of his designs, a swath of hammered silk that mutated, in Mr. Tran’s hands, from a knee-length skirt to a maxi, and from a one-shoulder Amazon dress to a lavishly draped Aphrodite gown. Witnessing its transformation, Ms. Bernard was charmed. “Four pieces for one,” she exclaimed. “That works for me.”

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