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MEN'S FASHION

Cracking the dress code

Befuddled by 'black tie'? It could be so much worse. You could've been faced with deconstructing the dictates of 'cowboy up' or 'green tie.' Here are some of the more, uh, memorable attire requests of the last few years:

December 09, 2007

'Fashion forward'

Event: Skin & Bones gala at MOCA, Nov. 18, 2006

Sounds like: A "Project Runway" challenge involving inertia

Meant to: Emphasize the intersection of fashion and architecture

Resulted in: More skin than bones, off-the-shoulder dresses

Standout: The anonymous woman who accessorized her blue ball gown with a denim pant leg re-purposed into an arm-length fingerless glove emblazoned with the words "DIOR NOT WAR"

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'Malibu whites'

Event: Donald Sterling's fete for sponsors and supporters of the L.A. Clippers, Sept. 9, 2007

Sounds like: A carjacking ring headed by Mel Gibson

Meant to: Create a relaxed but upscale country-club feel

Resulted in: Golf shirts and linen pants for men, resort-wear dresses for women

Standout: Elgin Baylor in white linen trousers, a white silk camp shirt and a pair of white bucks

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'Poolside chic'

Event: YSL-hosted pool party benefit at the Beverly Hills Hotel, 2006

Sounds like: St. Tropez without the jet lag

What it meant: Upscale warm-weather wear -- and YSL

Resulted in: A hodgepodge of the good, the bad and the unfortunate: dark, heavy suits, tuxedos, denim, floral prints, pops of aquamarine and turquoise, and lots and lots and lots of YSL

Standouts: Ashton and Demi, he in a relaxed-looking gray suit and she in a YSL shift dress

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'All black'

Event: A MOCA gala honoring donor Dallas Price-Van Breda, 2005

Sounds like: A convention of Johnny Cash impersonators

What it meant: Head-to-toe black wardrobe, a specific request of the honoree

Resulted in: Black, shades of gray with the occasional idiot in a white dress shirt

Standout: The honoree, who showed up in -- surprise! -- a head-to-toe silver ensemble

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'Urban safari'

Event: American Museum of Natural History Junior Council's 2003 winter dance

Sounds like: A manhunt sponsored by the Urban Cougar League

What it meant: A celebration of the animal kingdom

Resulted in: Leopard prints, fur, feathered headdresses and a cockatoo or two

Standout: Supermodel Eugenia Silva looked grrrrrreat in an orange, tiger-striped number

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'Glam rock'

Event: Race to Erase MS benefit, 2004

Sounds like: A chance for glitter overload, if you're a guy

What it meant: Full-tilt Ziggy Stardust

Resulted in: Bon Jovi leather fringe jackets and Motley Crue makeup on men

Standout: Kimberly Stewart's metallic boots, which helped blot out the image of Harry Hamlin in a rainbow fright wig.

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