The Right Coast

November 04, 2004
Cycles of Fashion
By Mike Rappaport

According to the New York Times:

"In 1970, the same year that Felicia and Leonard Bernstein held their party for the Black Panthers, which popularized the term "radical chic," Paramount released "The Out-of-Towners." The picture starred Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis as George and Gwen Kellerman, a nice couple from Twin Oaks, Ohio, who come to New York on a business trip. Everything that can possibly happen to the Kellermans in the space of 12 hours does. They are mugged, kidnapped, forced to sleep in Central Park, and Mrs. Kellerman breaks a heel and loses a false eyelash.

But a closer look at Ms. Dennis's wardrobe — her low-heeled shoes, her strap-handle bag, her loose white coat with its spreading collar and large covered buttons — reveals that it is exactly what's in fashion now. You can find almost the identical coat from Martin Grant, the Paris-based designer, or from Moschino. Even Ms. Dennis's soft waves and pale unmade-up face are the height of chic. As for Mr. Lemmon's slim suit, it looks a lot like those by Prada and Raf Simons."