Strong, ambitious "L.A. Law" assistant district attorney Grace Van Owen, a.k.a. Susan Dey, not only contributed to the TV show's high ratings, she proved just how soft and feminine a business suit can be with the addition of a particular style blouse.
Now, what has become known in the retail trade as "the 'Law' blouse" is surfacing all over Los Angeles. De rigueur equipment includes a surplice front and a V-neckline.
"I don't remember a blouse like this: the V-neck, the softness and the fact it works with any jacket," marvels Lee Hogan Cass, fashion director for the Broadway. "Wrap blouses have been in existence for a long time, but this is a little different version. It's a very feminine way of softening a suit."
Loree Parral, women's costumer for "L.A. Law," says she hit on the "silky, sophisticated" blouse for Susan Dey's screen persona because "she is feminine, sexy, intelligent. It encapsulates all those elements. There are a lot of variations, but the end result looks as though the suit has a scarf tucked into the neckline."
Parral suggests that a scarf will do the trick, if a woman doesn't want to invest in a blouse. She offers the tip despite her "mixed emotions" over the show's trend-setting fashion.
"Oh, no," was her first reaction to news that there's a demand for "L.A. Law" blouses. "It's flattering that people are responding in a positive way," she says, "but at the same time, I hope everyone doesn't start wearing them and have it look like uniforms out there. The whole point for us was that Susan wouldn't look like she was wearing a uniform in the courtroom."