Sometimes we forget just how powerful black and white can be. Too often we treat them independently, when they exist merely as the absence of color. But when the two are combined, they can often produce the boldest, most graphic images. Consider these checked deck shoes made by Cool Shoes of California. They aren’t for everyone, but they’re perfect for the more adventurous soul in search of a new attention-getter during the waning summer months (try walking downtown during lunch hour on a Monday). They’re also available in a star print, leopard print and in solids (pastel blue, pink, white, etc.) for $24. All from the Hawaiian Shop, 223 Preston Royal Plaza. Open Mon & Sat 10-6, Tue-Fri 10-9. Closed Sun. 823-4422.

Shown above the shoes are more black-and-white nonessentials: futuristic plastic hair ornaments made by Layers (a New York-based company). All sorts of shape combinations are available, from the complex circle within a circle within a circle within a rectangle to the simple triangle within a triangle. Both the hair ornaments and earrings are also available in vibrant primary-color combinations; prices range from $4.50 to $9. At this report, the Artifactory was the only store in Texas to offer Layers. The Artifactory, 1122 Preston Royal Plaza. Open Mon-Sat 10-6. 363-7360. Also, 3014 Greenville. Open Mon & Sat 10-6, Tue-Fri 10-9. 823-4422.


Putting together a picnic used to be simple enough: You grabbed a bucket of the Colonel’s, a bottle or two of cheap wine, a few paper napkins and an old blanket, and you were set. But now, with such ritzy innovations as triple-tiered wicker baskets and matching heavy-duty pastel-tone paper plates and napkins, the process can be as involved as the planning of a full-fledged dinner party. One welcome addition to the craze is this multicolored (red, yellow, blue and green) Lexan plastic place setting made by Lauf-fer. It’s sturdy and intriguing enough to use just about anytime. The package -four sets of four (knife, fork, spoon and soup spoon) – $19.95, is available at Crate and Barrel, 220 NorthPark. Open Mon-Fri 10-9, Sat 10-6. 696-8010.


Granted, the demand for home-carbonated drinks has deteriorated significantly since the Thirties. Most of us just aren’t willing to take the extra few minutes required to carbonate a drink. But that’s certainly no reason to bypass this classy mesh Czechoslovak ian spritzer bottle. If nothing else, it could really liven up your next boring party -at least, it worked for the Marx brothers. (For those of you unfamiliar with how the spritzer works, you put the liquid in the siphon, put the lid back on, then insert a cartridge filled with CO2 into the side nozzle.) The siphon ($55) and cartridges ($4; six cartridges to a box) are available at Vertu, formerly the lnwood Via Condotti, 7803 lnwood. Open Mon-Fri 9-5:30, Sat 10-6. 350-0424.


For those businessmen who spend more time flying between offices then they spend actually in one, here’s an idea: Rent an office at Love Field. At Spare Moments, created by Shirley Kaska, you can rent an office or conference room by the hour. The next time you’re hopping between cities and don’t particularly feel like grabbing a cab, going downtown and getting a hotel room for a few hours while you type up a deposition or put together a sales presentation, you can rent an office at $12 an hour ($60 a day maximum) or a conference room at $20 an hour ($60 a day maximum). Kaska’s rooms come equipped with phones and Xerox machines, but if you give Kaska two days notice, she can arrange for typewriters, a secretary and catering-or whatever you need, she says. But you don’t have to plan ahead: A phone number is listed on the door of the rooms; just call that number and someone will tell you the combination that will unlock the door. Spare Moments, Love Field across from Gate 8. Call 351-2543 for reservations.

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