Thanks to the successful transitions of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Victoria Beckham from celebrities to full-fledged fashion designers respected by the style community at large, the idea that an actress/singer/what-have-you might credibly make some clothes has gained a certain amount of traction these days. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that just in time for fashion week, which begins on Thursday, there’s a new crossover candidate: Margaret Cho — boundary-pushing comedian/author/actor and, now, jumpsuit designer.
No, that is not a joke.
She may be in the midst of a new stand-up tour, to be filmed in New York next month, and have a new late-night TV show, “All About Sex,” airing on cable on TLC, but she has also just finished a fund-raising campaign on the site Betabrand for her latest project: a jumpsuit onesie named the Solitaire. Orders have been taken, and it will start to ship in July. It won’t be on the runways, granted, but in the future — who knows?
As to why Ms. Cho had an urge to make the piece, “It’s my dream garment.”
Named after the Bond girl played by Jane Seymour in the 1973 film “Live and Let Die,” the Solitaire comes in black twill with an elasticized waist and ribbed cuffs at the ankle, a gold-colored zipper and six (count ‘em) handy pockets for the strategic toting of stuff. It is on sale for $169.20. When she was designing it, Ms. Cho said when I called to find out more, she envisioned it as the cool uniform for a female Ghostbuster.
“I always wear jumpsuits,” Ms. Cho said. “I was a real PJs kid, and I think I never got over it. I love a unitard and a romper. They are just very low maintenance and comfortable.”
Though she owns many jumpsuits, including a bunch from a Norwegian snowboarding brand, Ms. Cho said she had often thought she could do better.
“Often the zippers are not placed in the most flattering way for the female body,” she said. “Plus, the torso is often too short to really work for the stomach and belly.” With the Solitaire, she said, she solved those problems.
This is not, as it happens, Ms. Cho’s first foray into fashion. She began sewing with her mother as a child, and in 2006 she unveiled a line of belly-dancing clothing. It is, however, her first ready-to-wear garment. And, she says, “I would love to do more: different shapes, colors, materials.”
“I have a lot of practical ideas about fashion,” she said.
Indeed, in contrast with Ms. Cho’s comedy, her fashion seems relatively noncontroversial, except for one thing: The Solitaire is being promoted with the tagline, “Kill the clutch.”
Yes, it’s the anti-It-Bag onesie.
“If I can go out of the house without a bag, I feel a lot better,” Ms. Cho said. “With the Solitaire, there are pockets for keys, a wallet, phone, a credit card, a lipstick. That’s all I need.”
“I also though about adding a pocket for a weapon, but that was not really practical.”
Now she’s kidding. Kind of.