Clotheslines by Marylou Luther

     Q Dear Marylou:  After seasons of sneakers and booties, could stilettos make a comeback?__ W.M.,Cleveland, OH.

Manolo Blahnik stiletto




      Dear W.M.:  For the laudable, applaudable shoe designer extraordinaire Manolo Blahnik, they never left.  And thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City”, “Manolos” became legendary, giving the London designer a veritable  foot-hold (sorry, I couldn’t resist) in the U.S.  He has won CFDA awards in 1987, 1990 and l998.  The British Fashion Council presented awards to him in l990, l999 and 2003, and Spain (he was born in the Canary Islands) awarded him La Aguja de Oro and La Medalla de Oro en Merito en las Bellas Artes.
  As he celebrates his new documentary, “The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards”, Blahnik can also claim credit for making pointy toes a footwear feat and inspiring next season’s pointy-toe revivals.  (Blahnik calls the pointy-toe stiletto in his illustration, “My Favorite Shoe”.)  He is definitely en pointe.


                               illustration by Manolo Blahnik




     Q  Dear Marylou:  Of all the evening clothes previewed for spring in New York, which do you see as the most wearable?__ J.J., Staten Island, NY.

       Dear J.J.:   First of all, I love your question!  My wearability award goes to…the night gown!!  I first saw it at Raf Simons’ collection for Calvin Klein, then by many others.  It really is a nightgown.  You know:  One flow of fabric (cotton, satin, chiffon, organza) from neck to hem, often with embroidery at the neckline.  Comfortable, practically sizeless,  it looks totally new!!!If you don’t want to wait until spring for four-figure offerings, take a look at the nightgowns in the current National catalog, page 95, and you will see an assortment of nightgowns/sleepwear priced from $36.95 to $49.95, some available in 12 colors!  If you go to, you will find online prices beginning at $21.95.  You might also want to check out your local department store’s lingerie department.


     Q  Dear Marylou:  What red carpet clothes looked newest to you at the Emmys?__ J.W.O., Denver, CO.

        Dear J.W.O.:   My favorites were the covered-up looks with high necklines and long sleeves, especially the Balmain design worn by Priyanka Chopra.  I would have sent Gina Rodriguez home.  Her wide V neckline that plunged from shoulders to waist, barely missing her nipples, was sad.  In fact, all the women who wore desperate decolletage gowns looked decadently passé.


     Q  Dear Marylou:   In a fall season you called “anything-goes”, was there any thing that didn’t go?__ N.B., Beverly Hills, CA.

        Dear N.B.:   While fashion gave a green light to almost every look for fall, the one red light said stop to extreme exposure, beginning with the slit-to-here evening dress exposing one bare leg (been there; done that) and culminating with the bare breasts veiled in sheer and the butt-hugging sausage gowns.  Those red-light-district clothes look as dated as belly-hugging maternity clothes, a look now endangered thanks to the lead of Angelina Jolie, Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez, whose baby-bearing clothes consisted of loose-fitting, often voluminous dresses and tops.


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


 ©2018, 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.