April 2011

Image: The Style List

by Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Gregory Harris / Makeup: Karan Franjola / Hair: Kayla Michele / Manicurist: Anna Maria / Model: Aline Zanella / Dress: Vintage Isabel Toledo (Albright Fashion Library, NYC )

SINGULAR SENSATION

We find celestial inspiration in this necklace of silver-and-gold-etched hematite spheres strung on a leather strand, from the 1985 YSL Couture collection. Necklace, $1,800. Decades, 8214 1/2 Melrose Ave., 323-655-0223.

FASHION ALCHEMY

SHAPE SHIFTER

Alexander McQueen’s De-Manta clutch is a floral-printed fold-over with an origami-like shape and a tobacco brown leather base. $475. netaporter.com

SOLID GEOMETRY

Monica Rich Kosann’s 18K yellow gold and diamond dodecagon locket (12 sides) is more than meets the eye. There’s a secret compartment with an accompanying 18K white-gold key. Locket, $4,950; 30-inch 18K handmade octagonal chain, $7,500. shop.fineartoffamily.com.

SUN WORSHIP

For those who don’t want to see their sunglasses perched on the noses of every Tom, Denise and Harry, Morgenthal Frederics’ unique Aurora specs are handmade from buffalo horn and painted in crimson enamel. $1,695. Optica, 309 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-274-6008.

TREND REPORTString Theory

Fashion’s unifying thread
by HAYLEY ATKIN

Unzipped What Lies Beneath

Should we live in a world where stretchy outerwear coexists with fancy undies? by CAT DORAN

A couple of months before the Pajama Jeans incident—a disturbing infomercial about a pull-on-pants hybrid that seeks to give the illusion of denim with the comfort of pajamas—on which I opined (heavily) in my Nines blog, I began to practice yoga in earnest.

After being something of a yoga dilettante for years—flexible enough to fake my way through pretty much any class—I now have a seven-day-a-week practice (officially making me a Southern California cliché!), which means I must leave my house in stretchy clothing every single day. And this is not something I am taking lying down.

I have nothing against spandex or its brethren fabrics when worn for sporty activities. It’s just the whole “yoga pants in the daytime” aesthetic that seems so prevalent—especially on the Westside—that gives me fits. Personally, I refuse to stay in my yoga clothes all day, so I rush home to change into “real” clothes. And still I live in fear that someone will catch a glimpse of me should I happen to stop to run an errand on my way to or from the yoga studio.

And yet my research indicates I am twisting in the wind on this one. The things people will leave the house in astound me. Pajamas styled like jeans, actual PJs and yoga togs are on the tame end of the spectrum. Take a look at sites like peopleofwalmart.com, and you will come away from the experience with a whole new appreciation for creative dressing...and the tensile strength of spandex. No wonder the sartorial reputation of Americans internationally is less than stellar.

The other day, I observed a woman who totally qualified as yoga-pants-in-the-daytime—but in an odd twist, she was sporting some seriously fancy undergarments. I know this because the underwire was visible beneath her Lycra top and because her cups spilleth over with lace, among other things.

This, to me, was defying all logic. Was the woman too lazy to dress on the outside like she cared, but on the inside she was willing to put up with the special breed of discomfort caused by fancy underpinnings? I guess I’m trying to parse the sartorial psychology: Is there some movement afoot I am missing? I suppose it would presume that wearing lacy underwear is dressing purely for yourself and not to please a partner. Sorry, that’s way too meta-feminist for me to wrap my head around.

Granted, lingerie is big, big business. (Victoria’s Secret alone has $5.3 billion in store sales and another $1.3 billion in catalog and online.) And while everyone who shops there is not necessarily buying uncomfortable lacy unmentionables, VS is not known as the place for comfy granny panties.

Am I the only fool still doing the reverse of this trend: dressing up on the outside while going basic under my peacock-like outer garments? Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t died and gone to old-lady land in a giant pair of cotton knickers and a sensible bra. I’m somewhere in between in the undergarment department—more along the lines of sleek and sporty. Do I smell a trip to the lingerie store, where I drop far too much on frilly things that are bound to gather dust? Oh the pressure!

Wait a second, it just hit me...I’m totally yoga pants on the inside. Maybe it’s just a matter of time till I become Pajama Jeans on the outside, too.