Isaac Better Get Those Creative Juices Sewing

TIMES FASHION EDITOR

Designer Isaac Mizrahi flew into Restaurant 44 in New York's Royalton Hotel the other day, wearing his trademark bandanna headband and dark glasses. While lunching with an attractive Conde Nast editor, Mizrahi threw himself around, reports our New York observer, complaining of "collection block." Hmmm. Is that sort of like a writer's block, only you can't think of any colors?

At any rate, the curly haired, bridge-playing designer seemed reassured by the editor's doubtlessly kind words. Frankly, with the unveiling of his spring collection only a month away, we would have told Isaac to stop kvetching and start sewing.

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Critical Thinking: We often have a chance to glimpse the world through the virginal eyes of our fashion-ignorant friends. Like the one who drew our attention to an ultra-cool guy in a tres chic topknot at the local art museum. "He looks like Billy Ballerina," she muttered.

Not 24 hours earlier, Mr. Inside Out had let rip his considered view of the New Glamour. "Isn't she beautiful?" we asked, showing him Claudia Schiffer's latest incarnation on the October Harper's Bazaar cover.

"Yeah," he said, "if she didn't have those Joker lips."

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Fashion Vortex: Stuck in a nasty traffic jam in Beverly Hills on Friday, we slathered on our ruby-red lipstick, took several deep cleansing breaths and proceeded to watch the world go by--90210-style. The source of this glittery bottleneck? A great white whale of a Bentley temporarily beached at Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard.

Traffic cops were turning away Bentleys, Jaguars, even battered Volvos from the southbound entrance to the Regent Beverly Wilshire's motor court--much to the horror of fashion-hungry women heading for I. Magnin's "France La Magnifique" show. Accustomed to being impossibly late, we applied perfume and practiced saying Juh voo dray oon van rouge, see voo play.

Inside, the show (co-hosted by Harper's Bazaar and the Costume Council) went on, framed by a trompe l'oeil Arc de Triomphe. The audience especially seemed to like France's more provocative designers, Thierry Mugler and Karl Lagerfeld. But we preferred the solid chocolate Eiffel Tower that sat saucily atop our dessert.

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Twin Pinkies: Although the fiberglass showgirls were stunning, two live fashion icons looked the best at Tuesday's opening night party for "Mannequins--An Exhibition of the Work of Adel Rootstein" at Downtown's Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Making their entrance like a Doublemint Gum commercial gone awry were L.A.'s own magenta-haired art maven Joan Quinn and her dear friend, London's pink-haired Zandra Rhodes. "We go way back, we used tohave desks next to each other," said Joan, as if that was supposed to explain everything.

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High-Rent District: Speaking of show biz, James Cameron's "Strange Days," filming in L.A., recently called for the wardrobing of about 100 extras. They were cast as international diplomats attending a New Year's Eve party, 1999.

The film's costumer found a trove of glamorous gowns at Starlit Soiree, the Westside rental boutique visited by plenty of practical Hollywood types before their own high-profile soirees. "The costumer didn't want anything with padded shoulders--which she thought would be out by 1999," said owner Sherry Morgan. "And no royal blue." Do we detect a fashion prediction in there? "No," Morgan said. "I think some of it's just personal preference."

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What About Reagan Red?: Speaking of color, it's been said that Washington women are slowly abandoning their drab and dowdy wardrobes. Well, here's proof: Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her supporters are on the campaign trail in bright colors. Really bright.

Feinstein showed up Sunday at her Beverly Hilton fund-raiser in a vivid emerald-green suit and brightly colored scarf. Fellow Sen. Patty Murray turned out in purple. Supporters Joy Picus and Abigail Van Buren each wore vivid coral suits.

Could it be that bright colors boost one's power quotient? With the exception of Feinstein, we noticed that many of the women politicos are short. At just 5 feet tall, Murray had to stand on a box to reach the microphone. But who could miss her in that suit?

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Stage Fright: The supermodels have returned to Europe, showing up in the oddest places and the oddest styles before the spring/summer '95 collections begin next month. Our Parisian friend reported seeing two of the biggest stars of the catwalk this week on a techno-dance television show. A "way blond, way tanned" Linda Evangelista introduced model-author-singer Naomi Campbell, who lip-synced her new record before a throng of screaming French teens. Evangelista spent the rest of the show playing deejay. "Very Eurotrashy," declared our friend.

* Inside Out is published Thursdays.

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