Rustle Renaissance

If you saw "Peggy Sue Got Married" you know that the full petticoats of yore are not really the most slimming of styles. Still, they do have a certain flouncy appeal for dancing. And this spring the hottest lingerie item on the market is the honest-to-God, old-fashioned crinoline--the kind that when you're making your way down a crowded hall at a party, well, people know it.

Lingerie boutiques around the Valley generally have these petticoats on order. Private Moments in Sherman Oaks "just got them in and they're selling really well," according to a sales clerk. Bullock's has a new single-layer petticoat by Olga for $36. "We keep updating it," says Olga's Norma Folcher. "For fall it's above the knee and comes in black and white."

The Van Nuys-based lingerie company is so enthusiastic about the crinoline it calls the slip "the biggest flirt of all time," which might be expecting a bit much from a piece of underwear, but never mind. "Whether this means we'll all go back to the '50s where everyone had to wear one, I don't know," notes Folcher.

Part of the crinoline's new popularity might be connected with the cow-punk look, a faddish style that combines denim and lace, rhinestones and leather and is inspired by local bands that sound, as one observer put it, "like Hank Williams screaming at the top of his lungs."

But unlike the old Madonna want-to-be look, the crinolines of '87 aren't just for the junior set. High-priced, ready-to-wear designers in Paris and New York showed them during their spring fashion shows; they go so well with all the new dance dresses. And there's nothing like that rustle-rustle-rustle to let them know you're coming down the hall.

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