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Michael Tomlinson's place

Michael Tomlinson, fashion designer, lives in Benton Park, on Sidney Street. It's a nice residential neighborhood, and his place sits directly across from the ultraswank, Lexus-lovin' Sidney Street Café. Talk about location. The clever ones turn this fact into an opportunity, and Tomlinson's no dummy: He created a window display in the front window of his house -- boxed it in, painted it black and installed a few display lights and a podium, which holds a mannequin, which wears one of Tomlinson's creations. He's kind of out-there, fashion-wise, as all the interesting ones are, and his sense of style is elaborate and elastic: form-fitting dresses -- he usually displays womenswear, although he does design menswear as well -- stretch in antigravitational directions (we sense some wire's involved); clothing that's as much sculpture as fashion. Right now he's displaying a luscious red dress with a sort of Victorian/Asian thing going on, with deep shiny reds and patches of gold patterns, a pink cape (we think), asymmetrical sleeves and a winding gold rope that wanders like a tributary down the front. It's odd and beautiful and quite obviously a bit extreme for the coifed and powdered women of the Sidney Street Café. But hell, every night a limo or two is parked out front, and visiting celebrities often frequent the place, so why not? If nothing else, he's got a few neighbors very excited about his spring 2003 women's line.

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