Fashion Statements: walking the dog | Calendar | Chicago Reader

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Fashion Statements: walking the dog

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We met Amy Myers romping around Dog Beach with Mazzy the shepherd mix. Both casual, sand-spattered coats barked "fun in the sun." But our Fashion Hounds sniffed something suspect and dug further into the matter.

Myers chooses fetching basics for the dog days of summer: loose T, rolled-up jeans, a short shear, and breezy sandals. Tevas unite the oldest and newest trends in footwear, taking their attach-sole-to-foot-via-strap design from the ancient Romans, adapting it to modern eco-chic Velcro and rubber. The open-sided waterproof construction is impervious to lake and pebble, convenient for play partners of dogs slack in the stick-retrieval department.

Myers's T issues a command from an obedience school gone to the dogs: "Always be ready to have the time of your life."

Dog and owner accessorize with mix-and-match necklaces. Mazzy opts for the two-strand approach--choke chain paired with nylon collar and charming ID pendant. Myers loops a leather leash around her own neck foulard-style. The look, however daring, is not entirely new. Wide ruffled "choker collars" graced Victorian necklines, close-fitting "dog collars" held halter tops in place, droopy "dog's ear collars" once gave button-ups the hangdog look, while "dog tag" chains proclaim everything from MIA sympathy to puppy love. Here the lenient leash look undermines traditional alpha-dog tyranny, exchanging Mazzy's freedom for her owner's confinement.

Canine compulsion forces the dedicated dog to repeatedly savor, bury, then unearth his prize possession--only to reaffirm it is, indeed, a bone. Likewise Myers and Mazzy's rough-and-tumble gear brightened with a splash of unleashed hedonism confirms the obvious Fashion Statement: "Life's a beach."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Cynthia Howe.

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