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LAUGH LINES

Spring's Classic Couture Sets Them Humming

March 24, 1997|RICH TOSCHES | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Spring has always been an exciting time for the fashion-conscious, a time when very talented, world-famous designers unveil their latest breathtaking lines and then hide in a back room, laughing so hard at us that fancy buttons come out of their noses.

This annual fashion reawakening means many things to many people. For renowned fashion critic Mr. Blackwell, for example, it means it's time to stop manicuring the poodle's nails and start taking notes. These notes will later be used to make fun of famous people--some of them so arrogant that they claim not to care much what an eccentric, elderly man thinks.

For journalists, the longer days and warming rays mean it's time to head for our Seasonal Clothing Storage Facility--the French call it Le Garage--and retrieve our very finest spring/summer attire: the 1967 Polyester Cabana Collection.

For those few who want to strut slightly above the average journalist, however, there's some good news from Paris, via the New York Times news service:

"With Elvis Presley's greatest hits being played on a kazoo, Yohji Yamamoto continued last season's commentary on classic couture, twisting it around an avant-garde sensibility."

Here you might be asking a very important question in terms of the latest fashion trends as they pertain to international sensibilities: If you tried to play "All Shook Up" on a kazoo, wouldn't your eyeballs burst clear out of your head?

The answer, according to leading fashion experts, is no. They do, however, point out that trying to play "Hound Dog" on a tuba could leave a man impotent.

We will now get back to the story from Paris about what Yohji Yamamoto thinks we should be wearing: "The result was sometimes intentionally droll, and sometimes more beautiful than even couture can hope to be. Silver squares decorated sharply outfitted suits, a modern take on outdated beading."

Just last Tuesday, in fact, I returned from lunch with silver squares decorating my sharply fitted suit and got quite a reaction from my bosses. Despite my insistence that they were expensive designer silver squares that were a modern take on outdated beading, the horde of people who approve my time card were of the impression they were cocktail coasters from Buddy's Bar.

One even went so far as to point out the words "Buddy's Bar" on the silver squares stuck to my suit. Not wishing to waste more of my valuable time on the fashion ignorant, I called a cab and went home, where I slept until, well, until just now.

"There were bra tops peeking from a stern herringbone suit cut to fall from the shoulders," the fashion story continued.

It did not say what the bra saw when it peeked from the stern herringbone suit, but I'm guessing it was a guy holding a drink and trying desperately to stuff his wedding ring into his pocket.

As for the suit being cut to fall from the shoulders, I would say this: I once had a pair of pants that were cut to fall to my ankles whenever I sneezed. This did not seem to make me any more attractive, even to the most fashion-conscious women.

Of course, it might be the person wearing the clothing that makes it attractive. For example, asked if Cindy Crawford would look terrific in a "pantsuit made entirely of long grass and wet leaves," nine of 10 men said "absolutely." The 10th guy did not answer because he had sprinted into Le Garage and fired up his Toro Yardmaster.

"The models, hair like Veronica Lake's, pink rosy cheeks, cobalt-rimmed eyes and a beauty mark, represented an image of women played out in the clothes, equal parts sexually charged, contemporary, otherworldly romantic and intellectually disdainful of it all," the story added.

I think what we should learn from that New York Times news service paragraph about the models is this:

Anyone can look "otherworldly, romantic and intellectually disdainful of it all" if you haven't had solid food for three months and have been blowing a hunk, a hunk of "Burning Love" into a kazoo for five hours.

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