What do PETA protests, a third date and lingerie have to do with women’s performance golf apparel? A lot if you’re Megan LaMothe, founder of the new Foray Golf label that teed up at Malbon Golf on Fairfax last week, marking its bricks-and-mortar debut in Los Angeles.
“The daughter of a friend of mine would go around and put these PETA stickers on people that said: ‘I’m an … I wear fur,’ and that made me think of splattering clothes with paint or bleach,” LaMothe said recently as she held up the most eye-catching piece in the current collection — a polo shirt in a faded purple plaid pattern heavily blotched with white, bleach-like spatters. As she hung the polo back on the rack with one hand, she pulled out what looked like a traditional blue cardigan sweater with the other, flipping it around to reveal a back panel Op-art design with the silhouette of a vaguely Jeff Koons-ian balloon dog in the center.
Just as quickly, LaMothe reracked the cardigan and pulled out a floral skirt with a built-in pair of shorts to highlight two construction details: a hidden back-of-the-hip pocket and the construction of the crotch of the shorts.
“We call the pocket a ‘sneaky pocket,’” she said, “and it’s a place for a woman to put her cellphone where it doesn’t look like this huge, unsightly bulge sticking out of a side pocket. And the crotch of the shorts uses a channel gusset construction to eliminate the fabric-bunching and skin-chafing that happen because women’s bodies are shaped differently from men’s.”
Although she describes herself as a first-generation golfer (she took her first swing on her third date with her now husband), LaMothe knows a thing or two about fitting women’s bodies, having spent five years as director of design operations for lingerie maker Victoria’s Secret.
“I come from the world of lingerie where we obsessed over fit,” LaMothe said, “and how things felt next to the body … and all of the golf clothing [I found] was poorly made and ill-fitting — too long, too short, too tight or too loose.”
Upping the comfort level is a four-way stretch jersey nylon/elastane fabric used in most of the sleeveless polos, skirt/shorts, bodysuits and rompers that has moisture-wicking properties augmented by details like the aforementioned channel gusset construction, silicone grippers at the leg openings to keep them from riding up and bonded button plackets on the sleeveless polos to prevent button-gapping.
Adding a fashion twist to the line of functional golf threads is the limited-production run of each item that ranges from 25 to 250 pieces. The aforementioned Security Bleach polo ($120) was a limited-edition of 225, for example, and the Ghost Dog cardigan ($130) was produced in a run of just 200 pieces.
For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.