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For young L.A.’s arty types, the New Image Art gallery’s opening of “Lead Poisoning,” an exhibition of pencil drawings by Ed Ruscha, Karen Finley and a host of lesser-known artists, provided the perfect excuse to vamp. While New York-based artist Masaki Kawai chose comfy trousers and a printed shirt, her friends went for ladylike pumps and dresses, and Marianna Palka went in for grandma chic — literally. “This is my grandmother’s old Scottish cashmere sweater,” she said.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Rowley, who stayed in New York, sent a sketch that was included in the show. But her piece championed the ultimate antifashion statement — nudity.

This story first appeared in the June 30, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Every week I draw nudes at my friend Will Cotton’s studio,” she said. “After designing clothes all day long, it’s fun to think about what’s underneath.”

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