But then, actress Jacqueline Anderson — the 27-year-old wife of Whitney Museum director Maxwell Anderson and proud owner of one such catsuit — believes that rules were made to be broken.
Pink-streaked hair and plunging décolletage at an Upper East Side event? Why not?
A skintight leather dress for the Whitney Gala that simply screams dominatrix? Sure.
Anderson is the type who pairs a see-through Gaultier couture dress with one elbow-length, fingerless glove purchased at Religious Sex, a fetishistic clothing store on St. Marks Place.
"It started out even more daring," she says in her girlish breathy voice over lunch between an audition (out of superstition, she begs off saying what role) and an acting lesson. "We had to patch up areas because the dress had many more peekaboo places to begin with." But it was the first couture dress she ever donned, and she’s still reeling from the sensation of wearing it. "It was a piece of artwork," she gushes.
Anderson’s love affair with vavavavoom fashion — paralleled only by her love for acting — started during her childhood outside of Houston, where she played dress up in her grandmother’s closet. By the time she was 14, she worked three jobs just so she could go shopping at the mall.
"I used to go to the Contempo Casuals sale rack and come away with the craziest things," she recalls with a laugh. "Unfortunately, I got sent home from school a few times because my outfits were distracting."
She credits her Texas upbringing as an early style influence — like the memorable woman she once saw at the mall wearing an all-pink leather outfit with a pink cowboy hat and diamonds. "Texas women are out there. I love that!" she raves. "I love people who take risks, who do not feel the pressure to fit in a certain category. That can just be so limiting, and limiting for your mindset as well. I think it’s OK to be a little different."