Coarse in Couture

Cutting burlap into tailored suits might seem like some surrealist nightmare. But it was more of a dream come true for David and Jody Rodriguez to start their namesake label, Rodriguez. The Long Beach duo see burlap as another alternative to linen and cotton. Hemp, they say, is not too far behind. The full collection, from hats and bags to coats and skirts, include pieces for him and her, priced from $32 to $120. Each is fully lined, “so they’re really comfortable,” Jody says.

Barfly Chic

Ever trendy Charles Bukowski--man, myth and author--apparently inspires more than the occasional contrived wanna-be writer. Peter Jaisel has come out with vinyl suit-style jackets the designer calls “Hank” after Chuck’s alter ego/pen name. “It’s something you’d wear to a dive bar,” says Jaisel, who adds that boot leather is out this year and next as the fabric. Jaisel gets his vinyl through PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals). Find a rack full of these coats (about $150) at Urban Outfitters in Costa Mesa and other like boutiques.

A Running Cycle


“I wanted a cleaner, modish look that would distinguish us from people who ride Harleys,” said Jean Paul Hope, who founded Hellracer 59 with his buddy Richard Dirk, based on their love for British motorcycles. The San Diego-based line features unisex, snug-fitting tops and jackets and, for her, tube dresses detailed with racing stripes and logos or the signature crest (right). Part of the name is borrowed from the title of a 20-year-old book on bikes; the “59" comes from a motorcycle club that dominated the streets of London in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Walking on Nails

Clunky heels might be around a while longer, but don’t be surprised to see them slimmed way down to stilettos. “They might not sound great now, but when it comes to fashion, never say never,” quips Julie Logan, West Coast editor for Glamour. “Fashion is returning to glamour, and nothing makes a leg look better than spiked heels.” Before protesting this as some conspiracy by male designers, consider this--it’s just part of the cycle for something new. Just ask Logan: “Will I wear them? Absolutely.”