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They're dressed to kill the chill

January 29, 2006|Robin Abcarian | Times Staff Writer

Park City, Utah — SOME people want to be warm. And some people just want to look good. This would account for the midriff-baring cropped down jackets and miniskirts that one frequently spots on the incredibly crowded Main Street of this frigid but adorable town.

Ashley Dyas, a 22-year-old from Salt Lake City, came up to Sundance for a temporary job handing out free copies of Plenty, a -- gasp! -- hip magazine about the environment. Dyas and two cohorts were walking down Main Street last week, an increasingly heavy snow falling, the temperature hovering around get-your-tush-near-a-roaring-fire-or-it-might-fall-off.

Dyas was in a very cropped down jacket, wide open, the better to show her low-cut top and necklace of big black beads. "I'm such a girlie girl," she said. "I'll wear sandals in winter. I'll, like, freeze my butt off as long as I look good."

For those who are too old, too sane or not the right gender for short skirts and cropped jackets, keeping warm was the overriding concern. (Well, except for the guy from National Lampoon who stood on the sidewalk in big baggy shorts and moccasins with no socks.)

The temperatures hovered in the 20s last week, sometimes dipping into the teens at night. Big furry boots, big furry hoods and big honking sunglasses are Park City fashion essentials.

Michael Noonan, eastern regional sales manager for Nordic Track exercise equipment, was standing outside the metal barricade in front of the Village at the Lift, a warren of mini-retail outlets providing a massive giveaway of goods and services. Noonan, from Rhode Island, was wearing oversized sunglasses befitting a mogul or rock star.

"I love Bono and the glasses he wears," said Noonan. "I looked and looked and looked and finally found these" -- in a comic book store -- "and they called my name. My wife told me if I wore these in public she'd never speak to me again."

Men and women alike donned big fur hats or pulled their hoods tight. And speaking of fur, Kenny Perez, a salesman at the Alaska Fur Gallery, stood in a full-length black mink watching the action outside his window. He said his store's $19.95 fur jock strap (the rabbit fur faces out, by the way) was selling at a good clip -- 40 in the previous day alone.

Swaddled, even the stars look like regular Joes -- albeit really good-looking ones. Many could be spotted in North Face jackets and Ugg boots. Was it just a coincidence that both of those companies had high-profile swag suites, dispensing hundreds of dollars of goods to the already affluent?

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