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Fashion 86 : Parties, Openings Prompt L.A. to Dress Up in Fetching Finery

December 12, 1986|ROSE-MARIE TURK

The last few weeks have been a party-goer's paradise. All the "in" people are going out, turning up at bashes and benefits, spreading cheer, cheering culture and supporting the charities of choice.

From the Beverly Hills holiday pageant to intimate private celebrations, from sleek celebrity fund-raisers to zany art happenings on Melrose Avenue, from debutante balls to four opening galas for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Fashion86 has been following the scene and checking out the good-time clothes.

Whether invitations dictated black tie, no tie or off-the-wall costumes, the question was pretty much the same for everyone: what to wear to look outstanding.

Solutions ranged from the sublime

to the seductive, from top-drawer traditional to tongue-in-cheek anti-Establishment.

Some women would only wear black to "black-tie" affairs because of its inherent drama. Others wouldn't touch it for fear of melding with the tuxedos and opted for pink, red, emerald green or shimmering gold lame.

Men eager for individualism often reached for unusual ties, shirts, cummerbunds or shoes. Some thumbed their noses at tradition totally and came as they pleased, usually accompanied by women who had remained faithful to the rules.

There were bare knees and bare shoulders, decolletages and see-through skirts, leather, feathers, lace, a hat here and there and not a whole lot of glitter. There were ball gowns from London, cocktail dresses and evening pajamas from Paris and a fair number of home-grown designs. There were fancy bustiers and elaborate puff sleeves, beaded bodices and billowing brocades.

So far, it's been the dressiest, peppiest pre-holiday season in recent memory.

And the fun has just begun.

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