So you think “Dynasty” is a dream world? We think not. In fact, the real lives of its stars often out-glitter the lives they lead on screen. Fictional Amanda Carrington, for example, can’t hold a candle to fair Catherine Oxenberg, who plays the role. This week we traced Oxenberg to England, where Listen saw her dallying at the derby (pronounced darby over there) with Sir Gordon White, an old family friend. And what a family. As you may know, Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and is somehow related to Queen Elizabeth II. So there she was on Derby Day, seated in the royal box with Sir Gordon, the Queen of England, the Queen Mother and Princess Anne. And what did she wear? A fetching red-and-white mid-calf sailor dress and sailor hat. To cap off the day, a nautically named horse (Slip Anchor) won the race. And Sir Gordon presented the trophy to the winning jockey, America’s Steve Cauthen. More from Britain next week, when Listen goes to Ascot, where absolutely everyone who’s anyone wears huge, outrageous hats.
A hospital gown, maybe?: While introducing the new Dynasty by Dobbs hat collection at the Men’s Fashion Assn. press preview in Rye, N.Y., last week, “Dynasty’s” costume designer, Nolan Miller, told a story that we couldn’t keep under our hat. Miller says Joan Collins called him from Paris recently to find out if she’d get to wear an evening gown in “Dynasty’s” first episode next season. “I said: ‘Joan, according to the script you’re almost dead and in the hospital. I really doubt it.’ ”
Art historian Rosamund Bernier, who lectures at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, also told some good stories at the MFA press preview. But Bernier’s bon mots were about gems, not gowns. Her lecture on “Art and the Jewel,” sponsored by the Diamond Information Center, included tidbits such as the fact that Louis XIV wore jewels on the battlefield and that Catherine the Great’s coronation crown featured 5,000 diamonds. Asked which bauble she’d like to possess, Bernier picked Empress Eugenie of France’s diamond brooch, “which has several of the crown jewels incorporated in it. That would be sort of nice to have.”
She was dripping in fake pearls purchased from a peddler on the streets of Manhattan and clothed in cabbage-rose-print stirrup tights and a matching tunic of her own design. Bonnie August--one of the queens of bodywear--was dressed for business. The former designer of Danskin bodywear is now manufacturing a line under her own name (available at the Broadway), and she was in town from New York checking out some of the local temples of fitness--Gold’s Gym, Jane Fonda’s Workout, Body Express and the Sports Connection. Her observations: More than in New York, she says, L.A. exercisers are into wearing a “uniform.” It consists of the obligatory belted scoop-neck tank or sleeveless boat-neck tank and stirrup tights, both in light, bright and usually shiny fabrics. In New York gyms, on the other hand, August says people tend to wear darker colors and lots of cottons for Nautilus, but for aerobics they go for lace, prints and stripes. New Yorkers also hang onto their leotards for years. “You might see someone in New York wearing an old nylon Danskin scoop-neck long-sleeve leotard that I designed in 1975,” she says. “In L.A. all the leotards look new.”
It looked like a segment of “Bare Essence” the other night when some of the nation’s top fragrance manufacturers and retailers met with some of the nation’s top glamour symbols on stage at New York’s Lincoln Center. The event was the 13th annual Fragrance Foundation Awards ceremonies, at which Linda Evans, John Forsythe, Morgan Fairchild, Robert Stack and O. J. Simpson were presenters. But perhaps the most dynamic duo of all at the podium were two non-show business females who exemplify the new breed of executive women now reaching corporate heights. Kitty D’Alessio, president of Chanel, presented Judi Hofer, president and chief executive officer of the May Co. stores, with the fragrance retailer of the year award. Hofer’s May Co. organization won over all other department stores nationwide as most creative fragrance retailer of the year.
Boy George wouldn’t reveal exactly what his birthday suit will be. But he did say that guests at his 24th birthday party--given by gossip writer R. Couri Hay in his New York town house tonight--have been asked to come dressed in “black or naked.” George told Listen: “We wanted to make it simple for everybody.”
Olympic star Mary Lou Retton, you may recall, vaulted into celebrity last summer. So what’s doing this summer for the gold-medal gymnast? She’s being featured in the J. C. Penney back-to-school clothing ads and in the fall/winter catalogue modeling clothes from . . . (drum roll, please) . . . the Mary Lou Retton Collection by Dobie from Cluett, which will be introduced in J. C. Penney stores by the end of the month. The line, available in girls sizes 4 to 14 and priced from $8 to $23, includes stirrup pants, leotards, jogging suits and other styles reminiscent of Retton’s favorite sport. Will Retton make any personal appearances on behalf of her collection? J. C. Penney’s Jeanne Leonard doubts it. “Her schedule is just incredible,” Leonard says.
We do not want to get on Sugar Ray Leonard’s hit list. So we’ll refrain from our usual silly comments and simply tell you that the debonair Olympic medalist and world welterweight champ will probably look like a knockout in the new black-and-white linen summer wardrobe that he purchased from Rick Pallack’s shop in Sherman Oaks. Pallack reports that the famed boxer bought black and white linen slacks, black and white linen shirts, cream linen and black linen double-breasted suits and a black linen tuxedo with a short Spencer jacket.