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Exercise Pro Previews Line of Action Wear

November 27, 1987|DIANE REISCHEL | Times Staff Writer

Breakfast was thick with sweet rolls and hollandaise--but the fashion message was: Don't touch a bite.

Exercise pro Kathy Smith--who instructs through videos, books, albums and cable TV--previewed her new Take It Down action wear one recent morning in a show that shamed most viewers into not eating the farmer-size breakfast being served.

Aerobic Paces

As lithe models sweated through their aerobic paces in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Smith explained her fashion concept was to create "clothes that go from the gym to the street." Her leotards, T-shirts, shorts, jump suits, pants and skirts--all produced by New Jersey-based Ballet Makers Inc.--create layers worthy of mall hopping after a workout.

Smith, 35, the picture of energetic health, says she's been intrigued by the idea of designing clothes "since I put on my first leotard.

"It's one of these fantasies people have, to be able to design clothes. These are the kind of clothes we wear all the time--and to have some say in what's being put out, there is very exciting." With her particular interest in cross-training, she says she wanted to make gear for people who switch between activities such as bicycling and aerobics.

A former host of the "Alive & Well" cable TV program, Smith says she made her exercise line with more than just a "jazzy" West Coast fashion perspective. Many regions, she says, aren't comfortable with the extremely high-thigh cut of some leotards, so she includes some more conservative pieces. "When you pull the leg line down, it gives you a softer, hourglass figure," she says.

So comfort-minded is this L.A.-based fitness careerist that she arrived for the fashion show in leggings under a loose, checked shirt. That's just about how she dresses most days for business meetings--with a jacket thrown over the outfit, says Smith, if that meeting includes a lawyer.

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