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Hey, Giorgio, You Call That a Good Deal?

THE CRAZED SPIRIT OF FILENE’S BASEMENT, WITHOUT THE BARGAINS: What a hoot! At the opening of the slick, new A/X Armani Exchange in Santa Monica, dressing room lines were so long that some patrons tried on their duds right in the aisles. Others, in the European tradition, brought their dogs.

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger (whose restaurant, Schatzie’s, is around the corner from A/X’s location at Pier and Main) came with their two kids. Daryl Hannah, Sidney Poitier, Robbie Robertson and Grant Snow of “Melrose Place” also stopped by.

But folks looking for bargains instead of celebrities were generally disappointed. A/X, sort of an uptown, Italian rendition of The Gap, promised that most of its goods would be less than $100, a far cry from the dreamy $1,400-plus suits for which the designer is famous. A/X delivered with beautifully colored socks at $14, $25 gingham headbands, $28 T-shirts and $78 work shirts--and a few novelties, like the a $67 newspaper delivery bag/vest.

But the most appealing items were over $100, like a cute cotton sheath at $185. “Look at the fabric, though,” said a crestfallen Rodeo Drive shopper who’s worked in the garment industry. “This is not good fabric. This dress should be selling for $39.95. I think the men’s stuff is a better deal.”

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MAKE A DONATION AND GET A HAIRCUT FROM BETTE MIDLER’S DO-MEISTER: It may be hard to imagine that bucks spent in a hair salon are a boon to humanity, beyond, say, your closest friends who know just how offensive you can look with roots broadcasting your real age.

But on June 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p m., getting a haircut will benefit people with AIDS. That’s when such hotshot haircutters as Umberto (of the Umberto salon), William Escalera and Tom Gutierrez (owners of Menage a Trois) and Philip Carreon (who does Bette Midler’s hair at Estilo) will be among the 400-plus local stylists providing haircuts in exchange for donations to AIDS Project Los Angeles.

“We’re asking for a minimum donation of $25, but it’s a donation so it’s at the discretion of the person,” says Steve Balfour, who’s coordinating the “Hair Cut-a-Thon” for APLA. “At some salons, they’re hoping the regular clientele will donate larger amounts.”

For information on participating salons or how to get involved in the event, call APLA at (213) 962-1600, Ext. 548.


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