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It’s the Attitude That Counts

TIMES FASHION EDITOR

The ultimate luxury, in our opinion, is to blow off society’s notion of how we women should dress. It’s so easy to confound simpletons by, say, wearing no jewelry on Rodeo Drive. Or putting on fishnet stockings to meet your husband’s drab East Coast chums.

So when we mulled over Mr. Blackwell’s list of the “Worst Dressed Women,” announced at his Hancock Park mansion Tuesday, we felt nothing but envy.

Why, that clever Camilla Parker Bowles! Who’d guess a smoldering vixen lies buried beneath all those matronly, ill-fitting dresses. (Princess Margaret, on the other hand, gets one of Blackwell’s “Fabulous Fashion Independents” awards. Go figure.)

Then there’s Demi Moore, another Blackwell loser. Awful Bjork-style braids conceal the steel-trap brain of a brilliant career strategist. (Someone in the family has to do it.)

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And Ellen DeGeneres? Granted, she’s not “That Girl.” But we saw a rerun on FX the other day and decided that Marlo Thomas was way overrated. She was, however, the heartthrob of many of Mr. Inside Out’s old buddies.

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The Wet Look: Umbrellas proved to be puny coverage during the recent rains. Even our trusty yellow rubber fireman’s slicker leaked at the seams. Apparently we weren’t the only ones rain-repellent-impaired. At the Eddie Bauer store in Glendale, “We’ve been getting calls all morning,” says a store employee. “People want rain suits and rain boots--everything but umbrellas.” The West Marine stores in Marina del Rey and Ventura report a run on their foul-weather jackets and pants, but “boots are the main thing they’re looking for. We’ve completely sold out,” says John Howells, assistant manager of the Marina del Rey shop. Encouraged by his admission that they are also selling a lot of pumps, we inquired if he had a Size 8 to go with those chic yellow suits.

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The Great Chase: Apparently prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson case are searching for the store that sold the infamous black knit ski cap allegedly worn during the murders. Over the holidays Mike Speyer, president of San Diego-based Mountain High Knitting, a men’s sock maker whose label showed up in the mysterious cap, received a subpoena from prosecutors seeking a list of retail accounts where the cap may have been purchased.

The problem is, according to Speyer, Mountain High stopped making ski caps more than 10 years ago. And at the time, the hats were sold in nearly every sporting-goods store and ski shop across the country. “When I asked the detectives what it was they were looking for, they just laughed and said ‘needles in a haystack,’ ” says Speyer.

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Roll the Credits: Hairdresser Matthew Boger of the Tova Salon in Beverly Hills wants us to know he is Sharon Stone’s longtime hair companion. Last week, we reported that another hairdresser was called in for emergency color correcting of Stone’s flaxen locks on location in Las Vegas.

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Boger, it turns out, was on vacation and wanted to set the record straight. These things are, as you can imagine, very important in Hollywood.

Ulterior Motives: All our pals whose meager salaries prevent them from shopping at Barneys New York can get the stuff reduced by 50% to 70% during the store’s warehouse sale Feb. 2-12 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at the Santa Monica Air Center. “It’s the best place to meet single men,” says a woman who has shopped the sister store’s sale in New York. Her tip: Hang around the tie counter and offer fashion advice. We know, it’s sort of anachronistic. So sue us.

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Last Days of Pompeii: Boy, decorum flies out the window when designer clothes are slashed by 90%. The scene in recent days at I. Magnin would have those white-gloved shoppers of days gone by turning in their graves. The sales force has lost its patience, and reports have surfaced that predators have begun stealing the merchandise. But enough about them. We’re off to Neiman Marcus, where it’s Last Call . . .

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* Inside Out is published Thursdays.


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