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Fashion Police

Teeny Minis OK for Tina, but Not for Teacher

April 02, 1998|JEANNINE STEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Fashion Police: We were having a discussion on skirt lengths and seem to be having some varying opinions on what is a proper skirt length (and still fashionable) for school administrators and teachers. What is an acceptable and proper skirt length for the professional woman?

--TOO MUCH LEG SHOWING

Dear Too Much: Let's tackle the second question first. What is an acceptable skirt length for the "professional woman"? For a professional woman like Tina Turner, it's the upper regions of her thigh; for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, it's probably at or below the knee. Do you see what we're getting at here?

Fashion has become less dictatorial in recent years, so there isn't a universal hemline for everyone with two X chromosomes. Individual taste, body type and workplace style are the deciding factors. An executive with a record company or modeling agency could very well wear a mini to the office without causing shock waves. But the same skirt on a manager at Corporate Drone Inc. would likely take office gossip to a new level.

Now to your situation. School administrators and teachers are not just authority figures; they're also role models. So if you, indeed, have "Too Much Leg Showing," you may want to let your hems go south a few inches. But don't worry; you'll still be stylish--many top designers are loving that below-the-knee look right now. And you don't want your miniskirts to inspire some kind of bad Van Halen "Hot for Teacher" video flashback.

*

Black and Blue, Part 2: We thought we had finished with the can-or-can't-you-wear-navy-and-black debate that's been raging for the last few weeks, but it seems to be The Issue That Will Not Die. A couple of readers are now asking about brown-and-black combinations, one even saying, "In my opinion, this is a true crime of fashion!"

Hold on--no need to haul anyone off to the pokey. Black-and-brown is a classic color duo, and there's no reason to avoid it. Why is that different from navy and black, you ask? Navy and black are so close in color that your eyes are forced to do pinwheels. Black with cobalt, royal or French blue is great. Now, can we please move on to something else?

*

From the Fashion Police Blotter: A couple of weeks ago, we asked readers to keep an eye on the fall runway shows in Milan and Paris and bust any fashion designers who had their models made up to look like strung-out drug addicts. For several seasons, that look--for God knows what reason--became extremely popular, showing up as well in ads and magazine editorial layouts.

We're happy to report that most designers have given up that heroin chic trend of pale, drawn faces, smudged makeup and matted hair. But still clinging to that low-life style is designer Dries Van Noten, who showed his line in Paris. His models looked like they had spent the night in an alley after a hefty crack binge. That might explain the women's expressions, which ranged from forlorn to ticked off. We probably would be too.

* When reporting or preventing a fashion crime, write to Fashion Police, Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or fax to (213) 237-0732. Submissions cannot be returned. No telephone inquiries, please.

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