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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

Hot New Looks for Spring!


Happy Woman has been haunting top salons and fashion runways to bring our readers some of the hottest new looks for spring!

The bustle. We've seen the return of the corset and panty girdle. With women now requesting plastic surgery that gives them a larger, Jennifer Lopez-like posterior, the time is ripe for the return of the bustle. This is the ultimate fanny pack, solving the problem of where to store bulky items such as cell phones, bottled water, and disposable diapers. With the embrace of the bigger behind, could a slavish desire for saddlebag thighs be around the corner?

Jackets and blouses. This spring's look in blousons, blouses, and fitted jackets is to wear them buttoned down far enough so everyone can see you are not wearing a bra.

Hair. The styling sensation of the season is cat saliva, promoted by hairstylists who woke up in the middle of the night to discover their pet cats chewing on their hair.

Cat spit allows you to shape or mold your hair exactly as you desire. It is also extremely healthful, harboring antibacterial substances and filled with protein to make your locks look fuller and richer.

Cat saliva has the alluring smell of decaying tuna, which will cause you, when out and about, to be trailed by an expanding entourage of neighborhood dogs and cats. Hair clippings serve as excellent organic fertilizer for backyard gardens. Be sure not to fall asleep anyplace that harbors raccoons.

One downside to cat spit is that it takes a lot of time for a single pussycat to adequately soak your entire head. A solution is offered by humane societies, which have been quick to capitalize on this trend. Either adopt a passel of felines or visit one of the new shelter salon rooms, where you sit in a chair and are chewed simultaneously by six or seven cats: Mr. Silly, Mr. Mittens, Mr. Fishbowl, Mr. Robert Kirby, and so on. While you're at it, why don't you use your feline's flea comb to give those tresses a good tease?

Shoes. For this spring's sandals, designers have reached into the past for the sort of flimsy, useless footwear worn by ancient priestesses and Greek maidens, which may have contributed to their inability to outrun sportive gods that carried them off and ravished them or envious goddesses that turned them into toads. These strappy little numbers are constructed clumsily of primitive materials and offer absolutely no support, though plenty of flowers and rhinestones.

Platforms and stiletto heels continue their dizzying rise as designers try to see how tall they can make these shoes without actually causing women's feet to break off at the ankle when they fall off them (2.5 feet or .76 meter this season). With footwear like this, even unfashionably short women can compete socially and professionally with their towering peers.

As a concession to medical authorities, this year's hottest models include iron ankle braces, contributing to already-long waits at airport metal detectors.

Surf chic. This is a big trend in fashion collections unveiled in Paris this spring. We didn't know much about it, except that it involved models from Chanel tromping about the streets in high-heeled pumps carrying surfboards, so we interviewed designer Zoë Vavoom to learn more.

HW: Ms. Vavoom, what is surf chic?

ZV: Surf chic is, how you say, ze ultimate style to bring you sun-starved North Americans into spring. It is . . . bra tops. Two-piece jackets with bra tops. Swimsuits. Goosebumps. Fashionably designed diving gear. Snorkels and aqualungs in vibrant colors. All at obscene prices. And attractive seaweed in ze hair, which is worn wet. Surf chic is . . .

HW: Sand in the elevator?

ZV: Just so. And ze scent of Bain de Soleil and, of course, ze surfboards . . .

HW: So, Ms. Vavoom, how does surf chic play in the office? For one thing, I suppose you have to use the service elevator, with all those surfboards?

ZV: Oui. Surf chic in fact does very well in ze working woman's domain. Because of zeir size, ze surfboards almost guarantee a woman a bigger office. Zey can be used to bar ze door to avoid talking to disagreeable persons. To smack ze offensive coworker. As ironing boards if one's skirt or blouse has developed an irritating wrinkle. And for les hommes so smitten by our beauty zat zey fall senseless to ze floor and injure zeir spines, surfboards may be used as backboards to transport ze foolish one to ze hospital.

HW: So surf chic has many practical applications in the office. And of course, if one actually works near an ocean . . .

ZV: Or in a floodplain, or low-lying areas . . .

HW: Any last words on surf chic?

ZV: Oui. Do not forget to be rude to strange persons. Par exemple, do not exchange zeir dollars for Euros so zey can ride ze Metro. And give zem bad directions.

© 2003 Elaine Langlois