Beautiful Evelyn Lauder bounced into town this week, wearing a beautiful Oscar de la Renta linen suit to tell Listen about beautiful Estee Lauder and her latest baby, Beautiful. That's the name of the latest Lauder fragrance, to be launched by Robinson's in September. Lauder, who was spritzing Beautiful all over the tea table at Trump's earlier this week, says it's "the first fragrance to be called by an adjective." Alas, our Listen list of fragrance names disproves her. Geoffrey Beene's Red (now defunct), for instance. Lauder says Beautiful is made from 2,000 flowers, 20 different species, that the formula is six pages long and that it will be available in two strengths--perfume spray ($50 for a -ounce spray) and eau de parfum spray (3.3 ounces for $45). Lauder, who says she's been wearing the fragrance since midwinter, swears that Beautiful makes her feel more beautiful. Lauder also reports that her mother-in-law's new book (" 'Estee,' with a subtitle yet to be determined"), which is scheduled to hit the bookstores in October, is part autobiography, part how-to. "She tells her life story and talks a lot about determination, but there also are many pages on how to take care of the skin, how to organize a party and lots and lots of photos."
On her day off from performing at the MGM Grand Hotel in Reno recently, Carol Channing flew to Los Angeles and went shopping for her entire fall wardrobe. She happened to confine her shopping spree to James Galanos' private workroom on the Westside. Channing isn't divulging how many pieces she ordered, just that she ordered. But her husband and manager Charles Lowe did say she would be returning next month to order more. And in return, Galanos is flying to Reno to take in her show.
Morgan Fairchild flew to New York to pick up a few clothes and says she came back with "just about everything" she saw. From Valentino she bought "a ton of stuff" for summer and fall. From Louis Dell'Olio of Anne Klein, "lots of classic sporty things." And from Donna Karan, "the total new look." Fairchild says she bought Karan's bodysuits ("the sexiest things to come along in years"), blouses, sarong skirts for day and evening and long cashmere coats. She especially likes them for traveling, she says, because they're lightweight and crush-proof, and "I usually wind up carrying my own bags."
Charles Gallay,the innovative Beverly Hills retailer, is closing his Camden Drive shop July 31. He says he'll take a sabbatical of sorts, while still operating his Azzedine Alaia boutique on Rodeo Drive. Gallay, who introduced some of the world's most famous designers to Beverly Hills, says fashion has changed, consumers have changed and retailing has changed--all for the worse, in his opinion. "I got involved in retailing in 1963 and became recognized and respected because of my interpretation of world fashion for the life style here," Gallay told Listen. "The life style has changed tremendously in recent years, but the designers haven't. They're doing what they did last year and the year before and the year before that. The economy in Beverly Hills also is different today. Many more stores are dividing up fewer customers--customers who now shop in Europe, in New York or on the phone." So what's next for the king of Camden Drive? He says he's not quite sure, but he might be back in business within a year.
Cathy Lee Crosby hasn't sat idle since "That's Incredible" went off the air. Listen hears that the effervescent blond has cashed in on her name with a new line of "Get Hot With Cathy Lee Crosby" jeans by Sergio Valente. And she's negotiating with other firms to produce "Get Hot With Cathy Lee Crosby" activewear, swimwear and lingerie.
Jack Nicholson must have been planning for his role as a gangster in "Prizzi's Honor" long before he got the part. In one scene he wears a tacky canary-yellow sport jacket that turns out to be something he's had in his own closet. "I planned for Nicholson to wear an equally terrible-looking jacket for the scene, but he had his heart set on the yellow," Donfeld, the film's costume designer, says. Nicholson, it seems, had other colorful fashion ideas too. "To wear with the jacket, he showed me a bright blue shirt he had in mind," Donfeld tells Listen. "I took one look at it and asked him, 'Does that come with an extension cord?' " Nicholson got the message and made a compromise. On screen he wears his yellow jacket with a more subdued black shirt and trousers chosen by Donfeld.
Patrons of the Umberto Salon in Beverly Hills were taken aback recently. Despite the 90-degree weather, the shop was decorated for Christmas, complete with tree, lights and tinsel. It turns out the salon was being used as a location in the movie "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" with Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler and Nick Nolte (he's the down-and-out one), and the decorations were left over from the filming. Asked how the salon was chosen, associate producer Geoff Taylor says writer/director/producer Paul Mazursky and co-producer/production designer Pato Guzman personally "wandered" through the streets of B.H. until they found the look they wanted. "It's large, wide open and spectacular looking--like a supermarket of haute style," Taylor says.