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Celebs Line Up to Look Outrageous

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Thierry Mugler’s extravagant fashion show Thursday night to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles proved that he deserves his title as the P.T. Barnum of the fashion world.

The Paris-based designer sent models, movie stars, socialites and porn stars down the runway wearing his sci-fi Hells Angels jackets, outlaw cowboy costumes, velvet swimsuits, plexiglass bustiers and enough stretchy vinyl to clothe an army of Cat Women.

Indeed, with few exceptions Mugler showed one-of-a-kind runway spoofs for both sexes--designs never meant for mass production.

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It was as if “Circus of the Stars” had collided with “Paris Is Burning” at the Century Plaza.

Socialite Ivana Trump, actress Sharon Stone, who stars in “Basic Instinct,” transvestite performer Lypsinka and comedian Sandra Bernhard got the biggest cheers as they walked the runway. Other crowd-pleasers included actresses Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah and Julie Newmar, the original Cat Woman from the “Batman” TV series.

Singer Lady Miss Kier and Rodney A. Grant, who portrayed Wind in His Hair in “Dances With Wolves,” also appeared.

It could have been tense when Brigitte Nielsen, the ex-Mrs. Stallone, on crutches (torn ligaments) painted to match her satin evening gown, and Jennifer Flavin, Stallone’s current steady, took turns on the catwalk. But they seemed to keep their distance.

Trump, in town for her book-signing tour, slumped with fatigue in the makeup room, but she was easily the most enthusiastic model on the runway.

Celebrities are eager to model for Mugler, said Dianne Brill, the New York author of “Boobs, Boys, and High Heels.” “He loves and respects women and he brings out their powerful, sexy side.

“This is a salute to babedom,” added Brill, a regular in Mugler shows who wore a Mae West dress and a “Gumby/goddess” hairdo this time around.

“It’s the ultimate Barbie doll fantasy dress-up. Thierry looks at you and fantasizes about what you should wear and then designs a dress for you.”

Newmar marveled at Mugler’s stretch materials, including the black vinyl catsuit she wore for the show.

“I always wore costumes in which you couldn’t drink water,” she joked. “We didn’t have materials like this in the ‘60s. These fabrics are much thinner.”

On a more serious note, Mugler explained the motive behind all the madness.

“The show is an homage to the people who couldn’t realize their dreams because they died too young.” The sold-out event netted more than $500,000 but was not without its glitches.

A muddled ticket system almost prevented actress Jane Seymour, one of the speakers, and Riccardo Mazzucchelli, Trump’s date, from being promptly seated. Plus, the show started 90 minutes late and ran nearly that long--much too long for Hollywood’s early-to-bed types.

Among those in the crowd were Barry Diller, Advocate editor Richard Rouilard, Oscar-winning “Bugsy” costume designer Albert Wolsky, Jackie Collins, retailer Carolyn Mahboubi and Johnny Depp.

After the show and dinner, many moved on to the Atlas Bar & Grill for a party sponsored by Manipulator, a German magazine, and amused Metro Rail workers were treated to an instant replay of the fashion show as models walked by.


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