Thoughts From the Spandex Queen

Thoughts From the Spandex Queen


aspandexSkateway Fashion Show– Flash Cadilac bathing suits
In 1979 Rose Simpson from the Ottawa Journal reported that my store Flash Cadilac had devoted a lot of their floor space that Fall to ‘seductive spandex’ and Danskins. I told her it was going to be huge for fall, but people must be prepared to lose a lot of weight to wear it properly.


Linda Ducharme was me..The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Aug 1979, Thu  •  Page 48


Was wearing Lycra and Spandex out in public just a bad idea from the start? Spandex is a friend, but not a friend of all times. Women slithered into it, and men didn’t care if their junk wasn’t safe in their trunk when they had it on. Wedgies and cameltoes were the norm, and we had to constantly explain to certain spandex offenders, who were in denial, gold spandex pants could be the wrong bold choice. Some could pull it off, and some spandex abusers looked like an exploding can of Pillsbury biscuits. 

There were male customers that just loved the feel of the fabric, and they weren’t contemplating superhero costumes either. It was never a surprise to see a man in my store try on a full unitard, with no support, trying to pass it off as an ‘athletic thing’. Right! 

 I was among the first group of Canadian fashion designers to use Lycra Spandex fabric for my fashion designs in the 80s. It wasn’t an instant successful thing. We went through a slew of machines and types of thread to find the right process that would create a stretchy garment without ripping. When the film Flashdance and Madonna began setting the Lycra fashion trends I had already been into it for a few years. I still had to buy my fabric in the U.S. as no one was producing the Lycra I wanted in Canada. Occasional letters were received from Dupont Canada expressing interest in what I was doing, but it wasn’t until the early 90’s that I could buy basic cotton-lycra from a manufacture in Granby, Quebec. 

If someone had not invented Lycra-Spandex, women would still be stuck in the medieval fashion era without an ounce of stretch to those jeans, or lost without their Spanx.  As someone once told me: there is nothing that can make 4 inches of fat disappear like Lycra Spandex. Now that is technology! 

It was just a matter of time before I was labeled The Spandex Queen in the Ottawa area, and the first on the block to create a ‘one size fits all’ clothing line. If I could take that name back today I would, as gradually I understood/got it that some body types just shouldn’t wear one size clothing. Duh! Some of my customers were constant repeat offenders! No matter how honest we were with them we just couldn’t get their “going out in public Spandex card” revoked. Spandex was never ever everyone’s friend. It doesn’t work like that, and never will–buy your size people, buy your size. After all, wearing Spandex is a privilege not a right!

From–Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac


The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Jul 1979, Thu  •  Page 44



Stayin’ Alive — Reconnecting With the Friends of Flash Cadilac

The Story About My Cinderella Hat

Should I Have Done that on Television?

The Stack Perm or the Disco Wedge ? 1970s Hair Fashion

Flash Cadilac -Sex Lies and Video Tape?

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s