Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Underwear

Skivvies that may help protect fliers' modesty

As the TSA "pat-down" kerfuffle continued on the morning talk-show circuit, I started wondering if there weren't a garment-based solution to this unappealing choice between what's been characterized as an overly revealing body scan and an overly aggressive pat-down (actually the backs of two latex-gloved hands).

I didn't have long to wait for the answer. By the time I was halfway to the office, I'd heard NPR mention undergarments by Rocky Flats Gear that manage to conform to airline security screening rules while obscuring your naughty bits thanks to strategically placed fig-leaf designs (women's panties are also offered in a "clasped hand" design). Will spotting that strange shape on a body scan spur a pat-down? Well, that's another issue.

In addition to a range of briefs and boxers for men, the company's website also includes a women's sports bra and bra inserts with the protective appliques made of powdered metal.

Find out more about the togs

This approach got me thinking: Could this be a potentially huge advertising opportunity -- or even another place to express yourself?

So when the airport body scan shows that you're sporting what look like a pair of strategically placed Mickey Mouse ears, the message to the Transportation Security Administration -- and the world -- isn't that you're being modest.

It's that you're going to Disneyland!

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Rocky Flats Gear's undergarments for men (left) and women (right). Credit: Rocky Flats Gear / Associated Press

Your Stylist: Shapewear that sucks you in and stays in place

No matter what brand I buy or how much I spend, all these so-called shapewear items eventually end up doing the same thing, i.e., rolling down over my muffin top and cutting off my circulation.
Do you have any knowledge of a brand that doesn't do that? I know the Times did a piece not that long ago on shapewear, but I am desperate. I just bought something new thinking the "newer ones" wouldn't do that, but, ha, same old, same old.
P.R., Los Angeles


Indeed a common issue for many women! Shapewear should feel like a super-supportive second skin that stays in place no matter how you move throughout the day, not a constricting sausage casing that your torso has been shoved into. Here are a few suggestions for top, bottom and full bodysuits that banishes the appearance of back rolls, tummy pooches and even unsightly underarm spillage.

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Events: Bourbon and brassieres at Jenette Bras

Jenette Bras, where "the alphabet starts at D," is having an event to assist men in buying Valentine's Day lingerie Thursday through Saturday. Gift ideas include the $100 Arabella set featuring black lace and pink ribbon detail and the Savannah push-up set in sapphire-colored lace ($119). Guys can also buy gift certificates for a custom in-store fitting for their gal.

4308 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 665-7490. 6 to 8 p.m.

-- Max Padilla


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America's next top butt: American Apparel searches for winning posteriors

American Apparel American Apparel has always enjoyed its reputation as a purveyor of pseudo-sleaze. And the company's newest contest confirms this fact. The L.A.-based brand is currently searching the globe for the best butt in the world to be the new "face" for its intimates and briefs lines.

Never mind that searching for a perfect posterior in the public domain is beyond gimmicky (what, they're all out of toned and tanned girls at the local modeling agency?). Mainly, it's just lewd and lascivious -- the same qualities that made American Apparel a success in the first place.

But if you're on board to give your butt a little exposure (you have been forewarned that each entry is subject to public judging -- and not all comments are kind), submit a close-up photo of your backside wearing American Apparel panties, bodysuits or briefs (ingenious way to sell undies, right?).

You have to be 18 years old to enter, and must submit photos to American Apparel's website (look under "What's New") by Feb. 21.

Two winners will be flown to L.A., photographed and featured online. The top 10 contestants, as voted on by the public, will receive a grab bag of American Apparel items valued at $300.

Is a bag of T-shirts and leggings worth having your bum (maybe harshly) judged by a panel of idiots? Well, I guess that depends on whom you're asking. 

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: One of the less porn-style entries in the butt contest. Credit: American Apparel

Elisabetta Canalis (George Clooney's girlfriend) stars in Cavalli's spring 2010 underwear ads

3. Roberto Cavalli Underwear Adv Campaign - Backstage

Let’s be clear: As far as we know, George Clooney isn’t one to date anyone short of supermodel status.  His current girlfriend, the brunette bombshell and Italian TV host Elisabetta Canalis, has just wrapped shooting the campaign for Roberto Cavalli’s spring 2010 underwear collection.  And the leopard-print sets she sports give those Victoria’s Secret ads a run for their money.

After the jump, check out the behind-the-scenes film of Canalis getting cozy with a Louis XVI-style velvet sofa inside the London mansion where the shoot took place. 

Continue reading »

Weekend Update: Ron Herman goes half-off, Panty Raid's 'Tiny Food'


Tiny Food at Panty Raid Tonight: Los Feliz lingerie shop hosts an art show by Jessica Hlavac featuring miniature food sculptures. Bubbly and treats will be served.

1953 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 668-1888. 7 to 10 p.m.


Ron Herman ongoing:  Venerable retailer goes half-off today at all locations and online on women’s and men’s collections from Band of Outsiders’ Boy, Elizabeth & James. Alexander Wang, Maison Martin Margiela, Haider Ackermann and others.

8100 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-4129. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

325 North Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills. (310) 550-0910. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

11677 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

3900 Cross Creek Rd. Malibu. (310) 317-6705. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Lost & Found: Hollywood boutique spread over a few storefronts has a winter sale featuring footwear from Repetto ($79-$129) plus women’s, men’s and children’s clothes up to half off retail.

6314 Yucca St., Hollywood. (323) 856-5872. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

-- Max Padilla


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Photo: "Tiny Food." Credit: Panty Raid.

Lingerie sale: Agent Provocatuer's winter sale is Saturday

Agent Provocateur, the purveyor of luxury lingerie has its annual winter sale on Saturday, discounting selected sets by 50%. Check out the $180 leopard-print Iona bodysuit (regular price $350) and the $150 neon Cara slips ($290).

7961 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 653-0229. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

-- Max Padilla


Agent Provocateur unveils its luxury Soiree collection at Melrose Avenue boutique

Spanx made sexy? Roland Mouret tries

Let Kiki de Montparnasse spice up your stay at the Mondrian Hotel

Let Kiki de Montparnasse spice up your stay at the Mondrian Hotel

The Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip is reloading its RELOAD retail series with a Kiki de Montparnasse pop-up shop, now open through Feb. 28, stocking the brand’s luxury lingerie loungewear and Romantic Concierge service featuring Kiki “specialists,” who will assist browsers in planning romantic getaways.

Kiki de Montparnasse, which debuted its romantic concept shop in New York’s SoHo, carries bath and body goods with natural aphrodisiacs along with vintage erotica and gifts such as 24-karat gold handcuffs. The boutique, that also has a location on Melrose Avenue, is named for photographer Man Ray’s muse and seeks to recapture the elegance of a Parisian boudoir during the prewar era of Henry Miller and Anais Nin.

The Mondrian’s interior designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz had a hand in the Kiki de Montparnasse temporary boutique with touches such as a black feather pendant light, mauve pillows and French toile wall coverings.

The Kiki pop-up will also carry a hotel-appropriate lounge collection that can go from poolside to an evening dinner.

The Mondrian will offer special Kiki de Montparnasse packages starting this holiday season through Valentine’s Day.

-- Max Padilla


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Photo credit: Mondrian Hotel

Spanx made sexy? Roland Mouret tries

The designer, who skyrocketed to fame in 2005 after designing the Galaxy dress, heralded as the ultimate figure fixer, famously dissed the ubiquitous 'suck-it-in' undergarments. Being French, he called them "Spank," and deemed them unsexy because they leave women no choice but to go to the bathroom to get undressed.

"Men love curves. And if a man could help to take off a Spank, it would become even more famous," he told the London Guardian newspaper earlier this year. "But women don't want to be seen unpeeling out of a Spank. My dresses are for undressing. We all dress up to undress."

Fast forward to now: Mouret is debuting his own line of "power mesh" slips for $475 at And for romance's sake, they don't peel off, but rather unzip at the side.

Mouret_rage All the ladies at the Chateau Marmont were abuzz about them Thursday night. "They are Spanx times 100," said stylist Karla Welch, who looked fetching in a white vintage Victor Costa cocktail gown with short sable sleeves.

It's a smart move for Mouret. Shapewear is an unsaturated segment of the apparel market, and there's nothing women love more than shaving off the pounds without the work.

On Thursday night, the designer held court with a constellation of stylists, stars and models, many of them wearing his va-va-voom dresses. The occasion? Ostensibly to celebrate the new, exclusive Rainbow Collection of mini-dresses for But we all know it's also time to play awards show dress-up, which is why so many designers have been visiting L.A. over the last few weeks, including Zac Posen, Giles Deacon, Louis Vuitton jeweler Lorenz Baumer and Mulberry's Emma Hill.

At dinner, Mouret sat next to Demi Moore -- drinking a beer, God bless her, and looking fab doing it in the black Medusa dress. Devon Aoki wore the tangerine-colored Osu mini-dress, paired with a leather jacket. Heidi Klum, Amber Valletta, Lily Cole, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Zoe and Amanda de Cadenet were also at the soiree, dressed in RM finery.

Mouret2_rage Despite the downer economy, Mouret was in a good mood. Lucky for him, his company is backed by entertainment mogul Simon Fuller. The svengali behind the Spice Girls and the Beckham phenomenon, and the creator of "American Idol," Fuller's newest project is the recently launched, which brings fashion and entertainment together in a meaningful way for the first time on the Web.

"We have the same belief that fashion will become entertainment," Mouret said, adding that his most recent runway show for spring 2010 was filmed using 28 cameras to allow viewers watching at home on their computers to see the finer points of his designs. "It's a starting point," he said. "In the future, technology is going to be the service of fashion. That's where Simon comes in. He's going to be one of the big players."  

-- Booth Moore

Upper photo: Designer Roland Mouret, left, and Demi Moore at the Rainbow Collection launch for Net-a-Porter held at Chateau Marmont. Credit: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Lower photo: Model Heidi Klum. Credit: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Agent Provocateur unveils its luxury Soiree collection at Melrose Avenue boutique

Agent Provocateur held an intimate soiree to unveil its luxury Soirée collection on Wednesday at its Melrose Avenue boutique.

The lingerie brand handed attendees photo books featuring images from its new ad campaign featuring 57-year-old model Marie Helvin -- the muse and former wife of photographer David Bailey, who recently was a judge on "Britain's Next Top Model."

The Soirée collection features pieces influenced by classic movies -- "Barbarella" and "The Night Porter" --  that can transition to ready-to-wear, such as the fitted Billie jacket and cut-out Elysia gown (both $1,790). Agent Provocateur’s classic boudoir pieces appeared as the lacy Gardenia set (worn by Helvin), including a corset ($1,500) and waspie ($850), along with the sheer leopard-print Lalita metallic lace slip ($2,590). The "Barbarella" homage came as the Swarovski crystal-chain Fonda playsuit that includes pasties ($2,790). Charlotte Rampling circa "The Night Porter" could have carried off the black-studded leather Lisha sets, including a spiked corset called the Heloise ($4,900).

-- Max Padilla


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Photo: Marie Helvin in Agent Provocateur's Gardenia set. Credit: Agent Provocateur


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