Clotheslines by Marylou Luther


         Q Dear Marylou:  I’ve gone along with fashion’s black mood because black is easy, situation-safe and practical.  I’m ready for color and I’m ready for more feminine clothes, but I can‘t see myself in the pastel pinks that made headlines in the recent runway shows.  Did you see any feminine clothes in more sophisticated colors?__L.L., Denver, CO.


The New Romantic by Bryan Bradley      Dear L.L.:  Purple and shades thereof and darker wine shades were favorite colors for many designers.  I also saw a lot of new-looking black clothes that did not appear so desperately urban and edgy.
   To me, the colors ahead are a big part of what I call The New RomanticFloral prints are also part of fashion’s new romance language.  And full skirts—by themselves as well as on dresses—are key.  The new femininity factor is much more sophisticated than girly.  More polished.  Less contrapuntally coupled.  More one-piece dress.  Less separates.  The dress illustrated here is by Bryan Bradley for Tuleh, the company widely attributed to starting fashion’s last romantic movement in 1999.  While Tuleh is no longer in business, its legacy lives.

Illustration by Bryan Bradley



     Q Dear Marylou:  What can I do to save my favorite pair of white gabardine pants stained from spaghetti sauce I spilled while trying one of those Wolfgang Puck maneuvers.  The label says dry clean only, but the drycleaner was not able to remove the stains.__D.A.R., White Plains, GA.__


        Dear D.A.R.:   Hide the stains with the apron you should have been wearing when you were cooking.  Tie-on aprons are high on the trend list for fall, appearing most significantly in the Chanel and Dries Van Noten collections. If you Google waiter aprons you’ll see a vast array of choices.  You could, of course, choose a classic black apron, but I suggest choosing a white one that you could then dye the color of your choice or decorate with drawings or jewels.  If you have an old skirt languishing in your closet, slit it up the back and add apron strings, then layer it over your white pants, or the dress or skirt of your choice.  When designer aprons/aka tie-on skirts hit the stores, they will cost way, way more than the waiter varieties on the Internet.



          Q  Dear Marylou:  You wrote about the return of gloves at the fall ready-to-wear shows.  And I just read your quote about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s glove-wearing that appeared in Erin C.J. Robertson’s Reliable Source column in the Washington Post.  Do you believe the Supreme Court Justice’s endorsement of gloves will cause “the average woman” to wear gloves?__G.H., Baltimore, MD. 


      Dear G.H.:   If Justice Ginsburg could become a spokesperson for women’s rights—as she most certainly has—she might very well become a spokesperson for “ladies’” rights.  (Gloves and ladies go hand-in-glove just as hats and ladies head off together.)  I read Justice Ginsburg as saying it’s okay to be a lady—that you don’t have to be a ceo in a pantsuit.
  Except for the wearing of mittens in winter, gloves—especially over-the-elbow gloves—have not been a fashion necessity for some time.  Now, with major designers such as Marc Jacobs, Haider Ackermann and Miuccia Prada proposing them, their future looks brighter.  And with Justice Ginsburg throwing down the gauntlet, who’s to say if glove-wearing will or will not succeed with the masses?



      Q  Dear Marylou:  Is alligator on the endangered species list?  I heard that it was but can’t believe that’s true.  Otherwise, how could designers make and stores sell alligator bags and shoes? ___T.R.A., Chagrin Falls, OH.


          Dear T.R.A.:   Alligators were an endangered species until conservation efforts increased their numbers and they were taken off the list in 1987.


  (Marylou welcomes questions for use in this column, but regrets she cannot answer mail personally.  Send your questions to


 ©2015, International Fashion Syndicate


      Marylou Luther, editor of the International Fashion Syndicate, writes the  award-winning Clotheslines column, a question-and-answer fashion advice feature read weekly by more than 5 million.

   In addition to her syndicated newspaper column, Luther is the creative director of The Fashion Group International, a non-profit organization for the dissemination of information on fashion, beauty and related fields.  Her twice-yearly audio-visual overviews of the New York, London, Milan and Paris ready-to-wear shows are must-seeing/reading for industry leaders. Her coverage of the European collections appears in newspapers throughout the U.S.

   The former fashion editor of The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Des Moines Register is biographied in “Who’s Who in America.”  She won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s coveted Eugenia Sheppard  award for fashion journalism, the Women in Communications award and, in 2004, the Accessories Council’s Marylou Luther Award for Fashion Journalism, which will be given every year in her name.

  Her essays have appeared in “The Rudi Gernreich Book”, “Thierry Mugler: Fashion, Fetish, Fantasy”, “The Color of Fashion”, “Todd Oldham Without Boundaries” and “Yeohlee: Work.” A book with Geoffrey Beene was published in September, 2005. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, where she received the prestigious Alumni Achievement award, Luther is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Tau Alpha, Theta Sigma Phi and Gamma Phi Beta.