From the August 1998 issue of Entrepreneur

Classic tv shows never die--and neither, apparently, do some of the fashion styles their characters flaunt. Oh sure, there are plenty of TV threads just too shudder-inducing to ever come back into vogue--think "The Brady Bunch"--but by and large, retro clothes have probably never been hotter. Two shows in particular--from two very different eras--are currently generating buzz among the young and the hip.

Not surprisingly, one of these blasts from the past is the 1950s icon Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) of "I Love Lucy" fame. Even as Mattel came out with its Vitameatavegamin-pitching Lucy doll, the fashion sense of the real Lucy (and Ricky) is being appreciated anew. We're talking elegant sleeveless dresses, oversized collars and pink-and-white gingham patterns--for Lucy, that is. Ricky's fashion essentials, on the other hand, include high-waisted trousers and jackets with contrasting yokes.

Speaking of contrast, one can hardly find a show less like "I Love Lucy" than the 1960s spyfest "The Avengers." Given heightened visibility of late thanks to this summer's feature film of the same name, "The Avengers" blends well-tailored, bowler-hatted English aristocracy (male) with sleek, mod-styled fashions (female).

So when will this boom in retro-TV wear begin to unravel? It's a clothes--er, close--call to make. As for us, we'll gladly accept the tailored looks of the '50s and '60s--particularly if it staves off any interest in popularizing those unbelievably short-hemmed skirts worn by Fox's Ally McBeal.

Flash!

. . . who's top dog? Presidential canine Buddy is cute, but not cute enough to keep the country from catching a bad case of Chihuahua fever, courtesy of a certain fast-food spokeshound.

. . . hot wax alert:Gifts & Decorative Accessories reports that berries have beaten vanilla by a nose to become the most popular candle fragrance of the moment. Rounding out the top five were spice, evergreen and florals.

. . . heeeeeere's noddy! One children's character to keep your eye on during the coming TV season is Noddy--a wooden toy who, naturally enough, resides in Toyland. The successful British import is set to invade PBS.

. . . it's enough to make us cry uncle: Word is, yet another big-studio film about ants is in the works.