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By Design : Trial by Style

August 24, 1995

The fashion commentary spewing forth from the O.J. Simpson trial has been relentless. Prosecutor Marcia Clark's hair has served as unending grist for the mills of the most distinguished journals in America and her clothes are analyzed daily.

But the rush to fashion judgment hasn't stopped there. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro's look was deemed "too Hollywood," O.J. Simpson was outed as a buyer of custom-made suits, songwriter Carol Conners' piano-themed vest was decried as self-promotional. And on, and on, and on.

As the defense case draws to a close, we invite you to walk with us through the style peaks and valleys of the O.J. Simpson trial.

Clothing Arguments

Fashion-watchers applauded when Marcia Clark left her poodle curls on the cutting room floor. Her desire to make a good impression was detailed in court papers filed last spring in connection with her divorce. "I have purchased five new suits and shoes at a cost of $1,500," she said in court papers asking her estranged husband for more support money. "I am under constant scrutiny and on public display. It has been necessary for me to have my hair styled as needed and to spend more money on my personal care and grooming...."

Hair Say

Perennial house guest and prosecution witness Kato Kaelin introduced the nation to "surfer hair," wherein sun and saltwater spin gold into straw. Only thing is, Kato doesn't surf.

Prosecution witness Candace Garvey told reporters that she had only 45 panicked minutes to prepare for her courtroom appearance. That would explain the perky headband and highly important roots. "I can't believe how many people have called me about that headband," she d later told The Times.

No word on the reaction to Rosa Lopez's headband, although the defense witness reportedly has at least one admirer: a ventriloquist from Baltimore who saw her on TV and tracked her down in Central America.

Defense witness Gretchen Stockdale is clearly not the headband type.


In a courtroom full of the loudest ties since the Al Capone trial, Robert Shapiro's shout the loudest--but not by much. Now, gentlemen, about those monster shoulder pads....

Amicus Curious

A sensational trial is, as Martha Stewart puts it, "a good thing." As was the ensemble worn by Will B. King. Or so he thought. Judge Lance A. Ito ejected King--who had won by lottery a seat for the trial--from the courtroom.

Accessories After the Fact

The folks at Bruno Magli (pronounced MAH-lee) were less than thrilled with being singled out by the prosecution's footprint expert. "It's just a discontinued shoe to us," a company representative said of the now infamous Lorenz demi-boot.

Bloomingdale's owned up to once carrying gloves like the ones dropped at the crime scene and the Simpson estate.

Denise Brown was admonished to remove the flock of putti she sported in sister Nicole's memory.

The Dream Team

The defendant's beautiful daughter Arnelle joined her grandmother and aunt in wearing bring-our-man-home yellow on the witness stand.

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