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When Fashion Goes to the Dogs

Spotted fake fur, Cruella de Vil wigs and live puppies graced the runway of a Disney-produced show.

September 19, 2000|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The utility bag with the cellular phone holder is over. On opening day of New York Fashion Week for Spring 2001, the hottest accessory on the runways was the four-legged kind.

Disney staged its first-ever 7th-on-Sixth fashion show, teaming with designers Betsey Johnson and Nicholas Graham of Joe Boxer to create special collections inspired by the upcoming movie "102 Dalmatians."

Graham's one-of-a-kind couture line included a 150-pound coat adorned with 102 plush Dalmatian puppy toys.

"The clothes are not necessarily meant to be worn, they are meant to be cherished," said Graham in a phone interview before the show.

Johnson's clothes were for kids, some of whom wore outrageous Cruella de Vil-inspired wigs. One mini-model came down the runway in a faux-fur, animal-print dress with matching coat; another wore a white dress with black spots and a fabric red rose.

Disney's own line, which will be sold beginning Oct. 15 at Disney stores, ranged from children's' jeans with Dalmatian cuffs to sexy--yet spotted--lingerie for adults.

"When you mix puppies, fashion and film, you hit all the heads," said Dan MacDonald, Disney's executive producer of the show. Disney is trying to start producing adult-friendly fashions to complement its popular children's clothes, MacDonald said.

Glenn Close's actual Cruella de Vil costumes from the film, designed by Anthony Powell, were shown too. Powell said he doesn't expect the character's greatly exaggerated look to end up on the runways next season, but "it may stimulate the thought process and get the imagination going. Cruella is into the sharpest, most cutting-edge fashion, although it's not street fashion."

Models for menswear designer Ron Chereskin, who also previewed his spring 2001 collection on opening day, were walked down the runway by playful puppies, but they had a more serious message to carry. All the dogs that strutted the catwalk were available for adoption from the Humane Society of New York.

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