Clotheslines by Marylou Luther

            Q Dear Marylou:  Of all the technological advances in fashion at this time, which do you consider
                      the most significant?__
H.H., Cleveland, OH.


Transformables by Way Zen




      Dear H.H.:  They’re all significant.  But also significant are the designer-made advances like Way Zen’s transformative creations for JSong.
   For example, her design illustrated here is not just a dress, it can also be worn as a cape or pulled over the head as a mock turtleneck, or worn as a hood by moving the edge of the back side panel up on the head, or worn as the one-shoulder dress illustrated here.  It could possibly be the world’s best traveling companion.   And it’s made in New York and also comes in plus sizes!!! To see the dress in all its transformations, go to and click on transformable.  Priced at $250, the “dress” is a jersey fabric made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex.  Sizes are smlxlxxl.



  illustration by Way Zen








     Q  Dear Marylou:   As a beginning designer, I’m interested in the new work in customization.  What’s the latest in this area?__G.F., New York, NY.


       Dear G.F.:   The newest development is from the designer who pioneered the cause of customization way back in 2,000, with his personalized polo shirts.  Yes, he’s Ralph Lauren, and his latest made-to-order effort consists of Custom Crewneck Sweaters for both men and women priced at $198 in merino wool. The program is offered both digitally and in-store.  Purchasers can change the color of a sleeve or cuffs, for example, or add stripes, initials, a meaningful year and/or a favorite phrase on front or back.  To order, go to Ralph


     Q  Dear Marylou:  What do color experts predict for fashion future?__T.M., Boston, MA

       Dear T.M.:   Get ready for a shock.  Not shocking pink, but the disappearance of black.  That’s the word from Premiere Vision Paris in its hue view for next fall and winter.  According to their prediction of 22 colors and five distinct ranges, the color palette for a year from now will be devoid of black.  In its place, the textile authority predicts shadowy darks of deep purple, teal, dark chocolate brown and burgundy.  But, say these experts, the bulk of the color story for fall/winter 2018/19 consists of “Deeply saturated bright tones, as in red-orange, red-violet, electric green, rusty orange, lilac, cerulean blue and acid yellow.”  The neutrals they project for stardom are sage, mink, dusty mauve, and, according to textile writer Bridie Collins’ report, “an off-beat range of camel, bronze, powdery rose and dusty aqua, as well as three pastel neutrals:  Platinum, parchment and taupe.”  
   As much as I respect Premiere Vision and its experts, I would bet that black will re-assert itself and still be the favorite of city-goers throughout the world for its dirt-disguising, slenderizing, non-threatening hue to cry for on city streets.

     Q  Dear Marylou:   I follow the runway shows “religiously” and was surprised at the preponderance of white for next spring.  Please comment. ___W.R., Los Angeles, CA.

        Dear W.R.:   White is hope.  It is also pure and holy, somewhere between bridal and ghost.  It is also sanctioned for the first time by the prince of darkness, Goth king, Rick Owens.  As he mused, “Nobody has celebrated doom more than I, but the responsible thing now is to talk about hope and the way forward.”  Again, white is hope.


  (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.