- are innies out? -

Once again the last Sunday in February brings us that pinnacle of journalistic endeavor, The Los Angeles Times Magazine - Spring Fashion Issue.  Hard-hitting questions like "Who's the reigning royalty in casual wear?" and "What can I do with my old hot-pink leg warmers?" assure me that I'll be in-the-know once I get past the ads for wrinkle cream and... um... well I'm not sure what some of the ads are for.  I see full page blurry photographs of shiny laughing people -- and who doesn't want to be shiny and laughing -- so whatever it is they're selling, I want some.

I'm not exactly sure what scenario may be playing out in the photo on the right.  Quite the study in contrasting fabric, yes?  "Damn these modeling sessions" we can almost hear crusty Pedro grumble.  "Why is it I'm always chosen only for my looks.  At least we got the gig at the post-shoot party.  Okay mi muchachos, from the top, La Vida No Vale Nada En Guanajuato!"

I love the celebration of multiculturalism in commercial art, don't you?  Makes me feel better about how far we've come.

Actually, I think the ad is aimed at the Ladies Who Cruise.  On ships, I mean, visiting the various ports of call and posing with the native fauna.  "Oh, Brad, do let's take one with the band."  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  A peso is a peso.  And who knows?  Maybe that dress was sewn in a factory by... no... that would be too... too...  yo no sais que.

But getting back to me and my own burning fashion questions, now answered, isn't it good to know that this man is now on the job, working to make sure that I am not out of sartorial step?  He is the Senior Buyer at one of our More-In-Than-In boutiques.  I wouldn't have known this if the L.A. Times hadn't been there for me, looking out, posing the tough questions.  Thank goodness there's such a thing as the Pulitzer to dangle like a carrot in front all those hard-working men and women with a nose for news, otherwise where would I be?  Huh?  Where?  I'll tell you.  I'd be one of those guys out there dressing in Dockers and button-down Arrow shirts, that's where.  I'd be lost in the Levi's aisle at Mervyn's.  I'd be so Yup I'm Nope.

What seems to be missing in all this fashion coverage, however, is the navel news.  What's the poop on the belly-button?  A long time ago, when it was hip to be fit and have washboard abs or be cut or ripped on a six-pack or whatever it was when you had good stomach muscles, having an outty was a good thing.  A nice substantial flap of flesh was perfect for piercing and hanging jewelry (or, if you're into obvious illiteracy, jewlery) off of.  But then came Madonna and the like with that little something extra that said hey girls, let go, don't phreak over a little phlab, it's your belly -- own it!  And once again women everywhere owned their own bellies and innies were in.

But now, nothing.  At least not in the Times.  This year.  So what's the style?  I can only surmise that neither innies nor outties are in, and that both circumstances have been eclipsed by the perfectly aligned navel with just as much tissue pointed outward as in, and that Melrose Avenue will be the battleground for the next great push in bellybuttons, and perhaps, and this is a gigantic perhaps, plastic surgery will come into play and the wave of the future will be no navel at all.  Just a plain expanse of undimpled belly, the blank look, ripe for personal expression or commercial advertisement.  At last, billboard abs.


There are a few elements of my current wardrobe that need immediate attention.  First, my shoes.  I usually wear a pair of Nike AirMax running shoes, the kind that has those sealed air pockets that cushion jolts for us weak-kneed elderly folk.  The right one has developed a pinhole leak so that with every step I emit a slight hissing squeak from ground-level.  So here's yet another reason for me to not leave the house.

My cargo pants have huge pockets perfect for carrying rolls of film, but they're threadbare in the crotch.  While ventilating nicely during extended photo shoots, they now frighten small children and Christian Ladies, so they fail to serve my aesthetic needs.  I need new pair of those.

I also need a new pair of Levi's 505's and a new pair of, yes, Dockers.  If you're like me, pants which are of a perfect length when worn with shoes get frayed behind the heel after walking around a lot in stocking feet.  Sure, I could roll up the pantlegs a little, but that is sooo not done.  Oh the price of my bohemian lifestyle.


It's the rainy weather, you know, that makes me this way.  We Southern Californians go nuts if we can't go play outside.  And we don't dare drive when the asphalt is moist because we'll just end up on the Live Action News at 4,5,6 and 11, standing in front of our mangled Navigators as roving reporter Mindy asks that probing question, "How 'bout this rain?" while weekend mini-cam operator Carlos, who fancies himself the next Peckinpaw, takes about 30 quick cuts of bent bumper from every angle that'll get his lens wet.

I need some change here, people.  Some personal transformation.  Daring adventure in uncharted territory.  Maybe something sleeveless.


  today's music:

"Mama Don't Wear No Drawers" -- Count Basie -- BASIE JAM 2


today's wisdom:

"I was thinking fashionable female physician in the urban jungle."

- Rob Ference (describing his stamped ponyhair "Small Doctor" bag, $185, at Jennifer Kaufman, Beverly Center)


  photos from L.A. Times