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The Latin Grammys

The Runway of All Flesh

The emphasis is on the epidermal at an eye-popping music awards show

September 20, 2002|MICHAEL QUINTANILLA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

They came dressed up and dressed down with a few cultural style references--a charro ensemble, zoot suits and cowboy hat-adorned tuxes at the third Latin Grammys on Wednesday night.

But mostly, as comedian Paul Rodriguez noted, the trend along the red carpet (which really was green because of a Heineken beer sponsorship) was cleavage.

Alejandra Guzman, exuberant and tattooed (monkeys dancing around one arm, the letter "A" on her neck) looked every bit the award-winning rocker with punked-out hair, black fingernails and a gothic spider-woman get-up--one shoulder encased in webbing, the rest of her on the brink of spilling out of the short fringed black dress with a train. "I told my designer in Mexico that I wanted to look wild. I wanted to come to Hollywood and shock everybody."

Thalia drew fan approval in a lavender "I Dream of Jeannie" lace and chiffon creation with a head wrap. Soap star Eva Longoria turned heads in a tight strapless red cocktail sheath, courtesy of the wardrobe department at "The Young and the Restless." "I'll wear it on the show next month sometime," she said.

Actress and dancer Roselyn Sanchez wore a revealing chartreuse Eduardo Lucero mini. "I wanted to wear something striking and said, 'Let's just do it!' " Which also meant she had to look lean and mean. "And so the only thing I've eaten all day is a bag of Cheetos." Nelly Furtado struck an elegant silhouette in a mustard-green Betsey Johnson patchworkfloor-length silk gown, reminiscent of yesteryear Hollywood. Sombrero-wearing ranchera singer Aida Cuevas chose a creme-colored, silver embroidered two-piece charro outfit made in Mexico City.

For the most part, the men donned tuxedos or trendy suits with open-collared shirts--Hugo Boss the winning brand of the night on Emilio Estefan, Jon Secada, Gian Marco and Noel Schajris of the duo Sin Bandera.

The rock en espanol posse such as the guys from Kinky broke tradition with vintage outfits: a rose-embroidered cowboy shirt, a ruffled shirt with ragged hems, a T-shirt with a tie painted on it and a striped shirt embellished with rows of buttons.

Banda Pachuco members dressed in tough guy zoot suits--knee-length coats and high-waisted trousers complete with a cadena or long chain attached to belt loops-- from Fullerton's El Pachuco shop. Willie Oropeza said the band decided to go with the look "because we're not embarrassed by it. This look is part of the history of East Los Angeles. We wear these suits with pride."

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