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Regal Coat of AlarmsFergie--the Duchess of York--received...

<i> Compiled by the Fashion88 staff</i>

Regal Coat of Alarms

Fergie--the Duchess of York--received a Clifford Yong painted mink coat last year for her anniversary, a gift from her husband Andrew. But animal rights activists in England created such an uproar that she returned it 10 days later. No problem for Yong, whose collection debuted at Somper Furs in Beverly Hills last week. Although he says he was “quite disappointed when they called me back and said the Queen Mother said they shouldn’t create problems,” the 37-year-old Toronto designer, who dutifully kept mum when the royal sale was made, reports the return created more publicity than he dreamed possible. The average price for a Yong coat is $20,000.

Bush Gets Style Vote

We take no sides in the political fracas. But we must impartially say that Barbara Bush, the presidential candidate’s wife, looked sensational last week at a campaign stop in Universal City. Her silver hair was brushed up and off of her face in a very becoming style.

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Her skin was radiant. And she wore what looked like the latest style in suits: a long, impeccably tailored, forest-green jacket over a heathery-brown straight skirt. But Bush told Listen that she’s not been afflicted by “fashionitis” during the campaign, that in fact she has bought “absolutely no new clothes at all.

“I have been superstitious this fall and have not gotten anything new to wear. I ordered winter clothes, of course, but they won’t be here until after the election,” Bush explained.

Her “new” suit, she said, is actually an old Adele Simpson jacket “which I put together this morning with an old Bill Blass skirt.”

Asked how she manages to plan her wardrobe for so many public appearances while traveling in the campaign, Bush looked amused. It’s easy, she said. She simply packs things she already owns and likes. She mixes different pieces to create suitable outfits in which she’ll look good and feel comfortable.

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This woman is definitely not a clotheshorse. Neither is she frumpy or matronly, as some unkind journalists have labeled her. In fact, Bush exuded a sort of regal aura, a commanding presence that might be called glamorous as she strode from Tony Roma’s in Universal City to a waiting campaign limousine.

Asked about her impressive hairdo and makeup, she gave credit to the network crew who had prepared her that morning for a TV show. “I must say I like what they did for me,” she beamed. “Wish I could do it this well for myself.” Will she try and get their services again, we asked? “Not on your life. I feel very strongly about these things. I am not going to travel with a hairdresser or a makeup artist. I refuse to live like that, and I don’t think anyone expects it of me. If I can’t do something for myself, then it can’t be done.”

O’Neal Waves at Glasnost

Why did Ryan O’Neal buy a diamante American flag pin at Butler & Wilson jewelry on Tuesday? We found out from store manager Kate Power that Ryan’s daughter Tatum is going to Russia, and the proud papa “wants the Russians to know where his daughter is from.” That same day, Power said, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft were to buy “tons of stuff,” including that same flag pin in a larger size and lots of glittery bird and frog earrings.

A Model of Activity

Actress Joanna Pacula had one busy night last Wednesday. Her movie, “The Kiss,” was opening in Hollywood, but there she was backstage at the unveiling of Jonathan Martin’s spring line at the Bel-Air Summit Hotel. It turns out that Martin owner Uri Harkham--who also owns the hotel as well as the restaurants Pazzia and Fennel--asked Pacula to “produce” the show for him. “I loved the idea, just for the experience,” trilled Pacula, who is also the Trouble perfume model. (No, Harkham doesn’t own that too.) “I’ve been modeling and it’s kind of fun behind the scenes,” she added, before shuttling off to the premiere.

Different in Name Only

Is it Neiman-Marcus or Neiman Marcus? We called company headquarters in Dallas to get the lowdown and found out the hyphen is indeed gone from the name on anything paper related, such as ads, bills and letterheads, but not from the outside of buildings. That would have been a major undertaking in what is described as “a small stylistic revision to make the name more legible.” Although at one time there was a Mr. Neiman and a Mr. Marcus, no one seems to know why a hyphen came between them originally.

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Couture for Hire

Dressed to Kill, L.A.'s own rent-a-dress store, opened Saturday on Holloway Drive in West Hollywood. Day 1 business was fine, says co-owner Barbara Hunter, who stocks Bob Mackie, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Albert Nipon and Kevan Hall ensembles, most of which she buys new from designers and rents out for $50 to $150 per night. First customer was a concert pianist from Orange Country, who reserved a dress for a December concert date. “The good thing about renting a dress for such an occasion,” Hunter says, “is that the cost is tax deductible. You don’t own the dress and can’t wear it any other time.”

Personality Change

Angelo DiBiase, hair and makeup stylist at Umberto in Beverly Hills, has been supervising the ups and downs of Ellen Barkin’s hair. Back from location in both Toronto and New York with Barkin (and Al Pacino), DiBiase reports that for “Sea of Love,” the blond star wears “very natural makeup and soft, pretty hair.” Her role? Manager of a posh Maud Frizon shoe salon in New York. Now she’s working on a film called “Johnny Handsome,” in which DiBiase says she plays “a cheap, sinister girl.” He helped achieve the effect with a very blond upswept hairdo, metallic gold and purple eye shadows and frosted purple lipstick.

Girdling for a Role

To research her next role, Lynn Redgrave is starting with the foundations. She’s got a date to dig through all the corsets in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 18th-Century costume collection. Curator Edward Maeder says Redgrave requested the viewing to help prepare for her role in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” the play set in the 1700s, opening Wednesday at the Ahmanson Theatre. But he plans to show her more than she asked for. Among the surprises are crinolines too wide to fit through most doorways and antique dresses with tucks in the elbows that prevented a woman from straightening her arms. No wonder Redgrave’s character, La Marquise de Merteuil, was so mean.

Hoopla About Hats

Whoopi’s weird hat is wired. That’s right, the chapeau Whoopi Goldberg wears on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is one of a collection of hoop hats, dresses, jodhpurs that are shaped to unusual configurations by fitting stretch Lycra over wire. Los Angeles designers Bruno Duluc and Douglas Thompson created the styles for their spring Theatre Collection, sold at Renaissance on Melrose and other local shops. Duluc tells Listen that Kim Basinger wears an entire red, hooped outfit--dress, hat, sweater--in the film “My Stepmother is an Alien,” due out in December.

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