Evening outfits in white will light up the night


Q: I've lived in New York for 10 years, and like most New Yorkers I wear black for evening. Now my husband has been transferred to California, and I need a drop-dead evening outfit. What's new?

A: Bill Blass says white:

"It's refreshing because it's the direct opposite to black. And it's easier to wear than brights. It looked so good to me that I finished my show with a group of white evening outfits, both long and short.

"But 'white' doesn't mean just dead-white. There are many different shades -- cream, ivory, chalk. Pick the one that suits you.

"As for the style, consider the jumpsuit. It's young and modern. I like it with one provocative bare shoulder. From ancient times the bared shoulder has been erotic.

"And the jumpsuit is even more glamorous in crepe -- which I think is one of the most sensuous fabrics."

Q: I saw many photographs of the collections in Paris, Milan and New York in which the models in short dresses wore stockings that seemed to stay up without garters.

I love the sexy look, but do they really stay up?

A: Yes, according to Elmer Bachman of the Austrian hosiery company Wolford. The firm supplied the garterless stockings to many designers for their runway shows.

Mr. Bachman says the stocking has an elastic top that's fused with a double band of silicone:

"This top hugs the thigh without gripping it. The stocking stays smooth on the leg.

"We find that our customers want them for different reasons. The young enjoy them because they were brought up wearing pantyhose and think this is sexy, new and different.

"Other customers like them because they're after comfort -- they want to avoid the heaviness of pantyhose or the tightness around the waist."

Mr. Bachman says the thigh-highs are so successful Wolford makes them in eight styles ranging from opaque to lace to glitter:

"Each style comes in three to eight colors, but, of course, we change with every season."

Elsa Klensch is style editor for Cable News Network. Her program can be seen each weekend on CNN. Check local listings.

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