Photos by Anne Fishbein
At Lovey Dash’s offices on Beverly Boulevard, it’s a regular dog-day afternoon. Her 1-year-old toy Chinese crested hairless, Zeuss, a tiny, oddly spotted creature with wild hair sprouting from the top of his head like an unruly exotic plant, is attired in an “at-home lounging housecoat” with fuzzy yellow dots and a banana accouterment. Among the dozens of designs filling the racks and overflowing in piles on the floor is a reversible smoking jacket with a real mink tail, a velvet tie-dyed shirt with sequins and orange rabbit-fur trim, and even a florid Gypsy Rose Lee ensemble. And those are just the outfits going to the dogs, as it were.
A former Hollywood costumer who worked on big-budget affairs like American Gigolo, Dash tapped into her poochie style when she went looking for clothes for Zeuss.
“I was astounded,” she recalls. “All the stuff was the same. And there wasn’t a lot to choose from. I’d gotten married, had kids and retired from the movie business, and one day I was bored, so I went downtown and got a bunch of fabrics and began making one-size kiddie outfits and selling them out of my car. It didn’t take long for me to realize that they’d work perfectly for Zeuss, too.”
Lola is wearing a tie-dyed stretch-velvet dress with dyed rabbit-fur trim.
And so a line was born: Roody Kazoody, the ultimate in woofer wear. Dash also designs clothes for two-legged creatures, large and small, under the Roody Kazoody label.
“Since Zeuss goes everywhere with me, he has to have a lot of outfits,” says Dash. “He has an opera cloak in leopard velvet with his initial in black leather. He has a French striped shirt — really good for Southern California because it’s light material and keeps the sun off him. He has a splendid red, white and blue coat for patriotic holidays, and he supports the troops with his camouflage. He has his spa outfits for spa day, like this beautiful blue terry-cloth robe with yellow-rose trim. And then, of course, you have tuxedo days, with collars and cuffs.”
Zeuss wears a Gypsy Rose Lee velvet leopard ensemble with red-wool fringe and a rose appliqué.
Dash’s clothes fit “extra-small to extra-large” clients (although the bigger sizes are custom jobs). Bowser doesn’t have to worry about showing up in the same outfit as another hound — all ensembles are one-of-a-kind. “The female-dog outfits are more fun,” Dash enthuses, fondling a mauve lace teddy studded with magenta sequins. “It’s like dressing a little girl!”
In case you think Dash’s product is limited to the idle rich, the certifiably insane, or both, she says she sells to a lot of regular stores. Future plans include “going full speed ahead with doggie boutique shows.”
Dash’s animal designs aren’t limited to canines, however. “We dressed a hairless white rat for this year’s Academy Awards,” she reminisces, with a certain amount of glee. “He was the pet of this woman whose husband was up for best screenplay for that Nicolas Cage movie. We dressed him in a beautiful velvet leopard pouch that matched her dress. We even put his initial on the pouch, in leather studs.”
Left to right: Zeuss is in a stretch-lace dyed camisole trimmed in sequins; and Whimpy wears a graffiti tie-dyed stretch-lace camisole with sequin-flower appliqué and lace trim.
And does Dash have any observations about the most fashionable Chihuahua in the movies, Legally Blonde’s Bruiser?
“Excuse me, but Bruiser’s costumes have nothing on these,” she sniffs. “I mean, anybody can do a Chanel!”
As for Zeuss, his clothes are the talk of the town. “Everyone knows him,” says Dash. “He loves the bank — it’s like, Zeuss is here to make a deposit — hopefully it’s money!”
Roody Kazoody is available at Maxwell Dog, 12332 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 505-8411; and at Chateau Marmutt, 8128 W. Third St., (323) 653-2062; or call the studio at (323) 951-1000.