We'll wear "monokinis," eat meatloaf sandwiches and search for something real . Sound like a plan? We'll ponder the surfer, the sequel and Suzuki Samurai. We'll see denim miniskirts most everywhere.
Each summer presents a new set of escapes, diversions and answers to the question: "What's hot?"
As this round begins, Fashion87 asked the trend watchers what temporal pleasures will likely take hold. Their verdict: long hair, little-girl chic and the craving to drive a convertible.
In other words, we need fun.
"Whenever the political going gets mean and nasty, the fun quotient goes up," says Jerry McGee, managing director of the L.A. office of Ogilvy & Mather Inc., a marketing and advertising firm. "We have huge problems overseas with the dollar. A big political scandal. We have no good news, and everyone says: 'Let's just have some fun.' "
To that end, we'll be dining Caribbean at places like Cha Cha Cha, 656 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles, or noshing late-night comfort foods. The neon-lit Kate Mantilini, 9101 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, and the '50s diner Ed Debevic's, 134 N. La Cienega, Beverly Hills, are newest of the hot for late night.
And forget lightweight nouvelle cuisine--the demand is for meatloaf. "On Wonder bread," says Mantilini general manager Mark Weinstein. "We serve it with mayonnaise, sweet pickles, lettuce and tomato." Mantilini's sandwich is $5.50; Debevic's, $3.85.
At the Ivy, 113 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, last year's dud is this summer's desired entree: grilled tuna and herbal iced tea--not Perrier. Chefs are coining names for all this plain-Jane cooking. Michel Richard of Citrus, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, calls it "healthy country food."
Despite these caloric heights, the hottest cosmetic surgery--"liposuction"--indicates fat remains the enemy.
"People who look absolutely normal are not only clamoring to have fat suctioned out, but they're concerned about areas that are concealed from the rest of the world--the inside of the knees, ankles, the so-called love handles," USC clinical professor of surgery John Goin says.
He calls liposuction "the coming thing"--it has already surpassed breast augmentation and face lifts in nationwide popularity. But he cautions it's not without risks and to rely on a board-certified plastic surgeon for the procedure.
As for a less drastic route to thinness--exercise--the biggest crowds at the fitness club will be hovering near the cardiovascular equipment: treadmills, rowing-, skiing- and stair-climbing machines, says Nanette Pattee Francini, executive vice president of Sports Connection and Sport Club/LA. "They're all great for burning fat."
Many bodies will squeeze into the "monokini"--a two-piece suit connected to make a one-piece--which industry-watchers say is the fastest selling suit this season. L.A.-based swimwear designer Anne Cole traces the trend to last year's bikini revival.
"Not all women can wear the bikini," she says. "The monokini is the newest shape to bridge the gap."
Rubberized swimsuits will take to the beach, hinting at a surfer in wet suit.
In fact, anything that says surfer will suffice, from cartoon surfer T-shirts and tank tops to beach lines, such as Surf Fetish, Maui & Sons and Gotcha. Baggy jams will shorten to mid-thigh by summer's end, Gotcha president Michael Tomson predicts.
"Surfing, for some reason, is the chic thing to do--internationally," adds Paul Holmes, editor of Surfer magazine, the San Juan Capistrano-based publication, which experienced a 30% increase in subscribers in the past year. The June issue was a record 204 pages.
Holmes says the in surfer will use a tri-fin, five-pound board--preferably covered with decals.
"Because the whole industry is so buoyant, more and more surfers are being sponsored by surf companies. They're plastering their boards with their sponsors' logos--like race car drivers," he says.
Proof the fad isn't fading yet: Surfer bars are spreading to New York. The Big Kahuna in Manhattan, which opened in January, has 20-foot-high fiberglass waves, surfboard tables, sharks in a tank and sand on the floor.
"The whole sensibility of surfing is very attractive--particularly in New York, where you can't do it," says owner Michael Weinstein, president of Ark Restaurants Corp., which runs several theme eateries in New York.
Off the beach and on the street, look for bare shoulders, midriffs, backs and knees. Women's fashion takes two tacks: One is gauzy-flouncy--a style some call a peasant-turned-St.Tropez. A second, tighter theme is based on the slinky, stretchy tank dress.
For evening, "bustiers with a pouf at the bottom"--as served up by designers Christian La Croix or Azzedine Alaia--are the rage among Maxfield's show business-based clientele, owner Tommy Perse says.
Tresses also take a romantic turn, with a long square shag among the sought-after styles, stylist Allen Edwards says.