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March 01, 1985

The Prince-style regalia that turned up at the Forum for the performances of His Royal Badness was impressive. At Prince's closing concert on Sunday, for example, about one in three concert goers was clad in some sort of Prince-inspired gear: the color purple, black lace, ruffled Edwardian shirts or, on one woman, a copy of the outfit the singer recently wore to the American Music Awards (purple fur tails draped over one shoulder along with a lei of brightly colored flowers). On stage, Prince did not disappoint his fashion fans, performing in a number of opulent, funky costumes that are a sartorial cross between the styles of James Brown and Liberace. But the biggest surprise came not from Prince but from Wendy, Prince's lead guitarist. In the latter part of the show, she played wearing an elegant, open-front gown revealing garters, stockings and running shoes.

"Hollywood Wives," the TV saga, is over but not forgotten, at least not on Rodeo Drive, which got quite a plug in the opening credits of the ABC miniseries last week. Retailer David Orgell, who also happens to be president of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and past chairman of the Rodeo Drive Committee, explains that the Rodeo Drive merchants normally don't like having film crews around because they just clog up the streets and get in the way of police and fire trucks. But the chamber made an exception this time for producer Howard Koch, and Orgell, for one, is glad it did. "If you lived in Madison, Wis., you would have been on the edge of your chair watching the beautiful storefronts and interesting shots of the whole street," Orgell says. OK, so the storefronts looked good, but Listen is still trying to figure out how much reality was in the mind of costume designer Nolan Miller when he was dressing the stars of the show. What was that get-up Elaine Conti (a k a Candice Bergen) wore to her party? How did poor Elaine manage to look tacky in Chanel? Was that shoplifting suit (the one with fringe) for real or what?

Speaking of the incident at Gucci--you know, the scene in which Elaine Conti tries to walk off with a pricey pearl necklace--Listen wondered how Gucci really would have handled an Elaine Conti-type shoplifter. "Producer Howard Koch handled it very nicely," says Gucci managing director Luigi Leonardi, who had read the script before giving the production company permission to shoot inside the store. "We wouldn't have allowed them to use the store if the story led people to believe that a shoplifter could have walked away without being picked up by an efficient security system," he says. "There were minor details we would have handled differently. Personally, I felt the actor playing the manager was too arrogant--you don't sit down at a desk and confront the customer as if you were the police inspector. He didn't have any direct correlation with being a Gucci executive. But the general line of the script was close to reality. Compensation or purchase of the item would have settled the whole matter." Leonardi added that to his knowledge, such an incident involving a famous person has never happened in Beverly Hills. "But in the New York store, we knew of a wife of a very famous man who was a kleptomaniac. We finally had to go up to her and ask her if she wanted to charge something she had taken, and she ended up signing for it." By the way, the pearl necklace in question was for real, and carries a $54,000 price tag at Gucci.

More power to them: L.A. designers John Murrough and Antony Moorcroft for T. J. Boys have been named finalists in the second annual More (as in More cigarettes) Fashion Awards for new fashion talent. All contenders had to be in business for at least one year and no longer than five. Murrough describes the 15-month-old T. J. Boys look as "California sportswear," which includes casual clothing made in cotton and pig suede. The other finalists, narrowed down from a field of 25, are all based in New York. Judges Mary McFadden, Caroline Herrera (who were both out with the flu and missed the judging at Carnegie Hall), Giorgio Sant'Angelo, Willi Smith and Michaele Vollbracht will choose the winner who will receive a vermeil and ebony trophy, designed by Paloma Picasso, on April 29.

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