DESIGNERS READY TO PARTY
Byline: Rebecca Kleinman
ATLANTA — Glam is going to have a heyday this season, as designers specializing in junior looks prepare for the party of the millennium.
On the agenda are novelty fabrics like fake fur and pleather, and glamorous embellishments like sequins and rhinestones. Designers are also taking advantage of the millennium moment to promote sexier looks. Key items include low-riding pants, stringy halters or apron tops, and HotPants.
In addition to the millennium, designers list the movie “Velvet Goldmine” and its rekindling of interest in David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust glam rock character as a key inspiration.
“We watched Bowie videos all the time while doing this collection. When we saw him perform, we just went nuts with it,” said Pearl Hsiung, designer for Fine, a streetwear company in Los Angeles.
Karen Betzold, designer for Lip Service, a streetwear firm based in Los Angeles that is known for its club and Goth looks, says she draws her inspiration directly from the clubs and music, referring to a razor dress Blondie once wore, or describing a piece as very “Iron Maiden” or “Kiss.” Because her customers aren’t rock stars, Betzold says she designs wearable pieces with a flashy and trashy twist.
Camille Evans, head designer for Mecca USA, a New York-based urban streetwear line, is going into glam for holiday and describes the looks as a hybrid of sexy, elegant and trashy.
“Glam walks a fine line between good taste and wearable versus rock ‘n’ roll and trashy,” says Evans, who adds that the trend is not for “wallflowers.”
Designers cite fake fur as the most characteristically glam fabric, particularly when used for bolero jackets.
Sushi, an Atlanta-based junior/contemporary firm, will offer two versions in white or hot pink fake fur with silver threads. Lip Service has a bolero in four-inch fake fur the company calls “psychotic” and comes in hot pink with hot pink Lurex metallic threads, black with black, or white with silver.
Fine’s Hsiung will use the fabric for bushy legwarmers in black or white that can be worn over pants or with HotPants or skirts.
At Dollhouse, a New York junior sportswear firm, fake fur will turn up in a group with shimmer accents, according to Jennifer Stein, head designer. “Furby Me Happy” features a gray fake fur tube dress, tube top, hoodie shrug and peekaboo top with metallic threads. Novelty embellishments include sequins, rhinestones, holographic prints and feathers or charms.
At Lip Service, sequins will be rectangular for a “disco ball” effect, according to Betzold. Hot pink or silver sequins are combined with black on muscle T-shirts, zip-front halters, tight jackets with bell sleeves and low-riding boot-leg pants for a complete “rocker” look.
Dollhouse will use novelty gypsy charms on the cuffs of its stonewashed, stretch denim group. “Candyland” is a group that combines glazed cotton with contrasting colored sequin-trim in fuchsia and violet. Key silhouettes include a below-the-knee skirt, apron top, sleeveless shells and cropped pants.
At Fine, Hsiung applies large rhinestones that spell out phrases like “Tease” and “Rock Star” on T-shirts, or large foil prints with bold images of razor blades or safety pins.
Luxe, a contemporary sportswear firm based in Los Angeles, offers rhinestone-studded T-shirts bearing geometric patterns. Shredded cotton T-shirts in black, red and fuchsia, or rayon/Lycra spandex T-shirts bear airbrushed “heavy metal-inspired” images.
Sushi’s group, which includes a foil hologram on spandex, comes in candy colors like orchid or red. Its two key silhouettes are a slipdress with transparent elastic straps and high side slits paired with HotPants, or a strapless dress with side slits.
Sushi trims stretch denim pants and its apron top with brown feathers. A sheer knit sweater by Mecca USA has an intarsia feather design, while Luxe uses almond-colored feathers to trim a satin/cotton, stretch twill group, including cropped pants and a tube top.
For spring, Fine will add feather trim to cropped pants with wide cuffs, below-the-knee skirts with jagged hems, wristbands and halters.
Leather, pleather and vinyl also are important glam materials. Lip Service calls its vinyl group “Glam Slam Thank You M’am.”
Silhouettes include low-riding pants with buckles up the side and a “choker” halter dress that buckles around the neck.
Lip Service’s cotton-backed pleather group comes in a sleeveless motorcycle jacket with a sequined collar and “Mac Daddy” flares, their version of bell-bottoms.
But probably the most identifiable rock ‘n’ roll pieces are tight leather pants and motorcycle jackets. Luxe offers updated versions of the look with cropped leather pants and zipperless jackets.
Tops with a lot of “string action” best exemplify the sexy, glam silhouette. Popular versions are apron or bikini tops, and bras.
Mecca USA pairs five-pocket printed jeans with a matching bikini top. Sushi’s apron tops have long strings that wrap around the body several times.
HotPants are another a key item for the glam silhouette. Mecca USA’s versions come in either colored denim with five-pocket detail or a striped, silk/rayon knit with floral detail. Lip Service offers vinyl “drive-thru” shorts that unzip entirely to the back, as well as shorts with three side buckles.