Clotheslines by Marylou Luther

  Q Dear Marylou:  I don’t mind showing a little cleavage on occasion, but I don’t want to have a malfunction.  Any ideas?__ E.S., Hogansville, GA.

Peek-a-Bra by Denitza Skorcheva



      Dear E.S.:  You could try those adhesives intended to keep bras in place.  Or you might want to check out the dress illustrated here.  Reason:  The bra is built into the dress.
 Denitza Skorcheva of Roumel6 says she intended this black stretch crepe dress with Chantilly lace bra inset to be her update of the little black dress, aka the LBD, and to create a story around it.  Here’s her story:
   “It’s the end of the day or long night.  The dress is starting to fall slightly off the wearer’s shoulder.  She doesn’t mind it because her breasts are protected by the lace bra inset.”
   For store information, go to, click on contact, and fill out the email.



  illustration by Denitza Skorcheva






    Q  Dear Marylou:   Why don’t fashion photographers get credit for their roles in fashion history?__ L.R., New York, NY.

      Dear L.R.:   Possibly because they are not designers.  But photographers have indeed put their stamp on the perception of fashion.  Hoyningen-Huene invented glamour lighting.  His photography was as much a fixative in setting the lure and allure of Hollywood in its Golden Years as Adrian’s shoulder-padded suits for Joan Crawford.  Martin Munkacsi put movement in fashion photography, and as Fred Astaire ran, danced and jumped, fashion, too, moved ahead, loosening up, freeing the body.  Edward Steichen created Art Deco lightingRichard Avedon masterminded Brooke Shields’ nothing-comes-between-me-and-my-Calvins jeans commercials and the first Calvin Klein “Obsession” and “Eternity” fragrance commercials, all of which changed the way we look at fashion today.   And of today’s legendary photographers, Bruce Weber won the British Fashion Council’s award for Fashion Creator at last November’s London show.  He was the first to sense that bodies were as important, if not more important, than clothes.  Ergo, he made and makes many photographs that glorify the body, often erotically.  (As is obvious, fashion photography is one of my favorite subjects.)


    Q  Dear Marylou:  As a college student, I cannot afford the prices of designer clothes.  You once mentioned going to lingerie departments to look for the current pajama look.  I did, and even they are beyond my budget.  Any other ideas?__ J.S., Boston, MA.

     Dear J.S.:   Go to, click on pajamas, and you will see a great-looking pajama set (the top is 29 in. long and the pull-on pants have a drawstring elastic waist) in machine-washable brushed-back satin.  Sizes S to XL are $54.95, and sizes 1X to 3X are $59.95.
  In addition to being worn as a set, the button-front top can also be dressed up with an evening skirt or dressed down with jeans.  Similarly, the bottoms can pair with fabric or leather jackets.  All these looks are au courant.

   Q  Dear Marylou:   I have a beautiful 35-in. Hermes scarf that I’ve never worn because I’m not comfortable wearing a scarf that large.  I’m enclosing a picture so you can see the colors—deep red, teal and gold.  I hate to just have it tucked away in my drawer, but before I give it to my granddaughter, I’d like to have some idea of its value.__ S.F.T., Pueblo West, CO. 

     Dear S.F.T.:   First, know that since 1937, when the then 100-year-old House of Hermes first introduced it, the Hermes Scarf has been an object of desire.  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore hers like a babushkaGrace Kelly tied hers into a sling when she broke her arm.  And in the movie, “Basic Instinct”, Sharon Stone’s character uses a long Hermes muffler to eliminate a lover.
   Then you should know that each scarf takes up to l8 months to complete.  Natural vegetable-based dyes produce the clarity of design and color brilliance achieved by screening each hue—up to 45 per scarf—one at a time.  Edges are hand-rolled.  Six new designs and six existing designs in new colors are offered twice yearly.
   To help you ascertain the price of a typical Hermes scarf today, I checked several websites.  The prices on Google range from $225 to $895.


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


 ©2017, 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.