There was one male guest in a skirt, rum and coke served among the Coca-Cola clothes, Perrier with the paisley, Kahlua with the khakis, and a Prince look-alike. But mostly the Woodward & Lothrop-Gentleman's Quarterly recent Saturday night event was remarkable for its huge turnout. More than 1,000 people, including Sugar Ray Leonard, turned out for a fashion show of mostly menswear and a finale with some of the cast of "La Cage aux Folles."
The models, almost more than the clothes, roused the audience's enthusiasm for the show, which was given in a huge white tent pitched on the parking lot of Woodies' Chevy Chase store. The big hit -- Jamil Henderson, a model down from New York -- was clearly most comfortable with the casual, oversized sports separates as well as the precisely tailored suits and even the velour robe casually slipped open to reveal boxer shorts underneath. The boxer shorts brought on wild screams.
Tommy Hilfiger, who designs the men's line for Coca-Cola as well as his own sportswear line, talked with customers in Woodies' men's department before his clothes were modeled and he circled the runway edged with footlights. "I like clothes that are preppie with a twist," he said. His oversized pink oxford shirt with fly-front closing and drop-shoulder tennis sweaters with a signature crest are two good examples.
An unfamiliar sight in the crowd -- the man in the skirt. It was Jorge Oliver, an actor who works in a research lab at George Washington University. He had picked up the skirt in the women's department at Hecht's, tried it on in the men's dressing room and wears it occasionally but never to work. "Men say they are liberated but I don't think they really are. A way to prove it is to wear anything they want, including a skirt," said Oliver, who was wearing a paisley shirt with a rhinestone bar pin, grey socks and loafers, and lipstick at the party.
A woman snuck up behind Oliver and whispered to him, "That's disgusting." Oliver turned around in surprise. "It is not fair," she continued. "I've got the same skirt and you look better in it than I do."