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May 24, 1985|the Fashion85 staff

Rocky's next fashion bout will be with Jhane Barnes. Sylvester Stallone will be wearing Barnes' fall shirts and sweaters in "Rocky IV," which is scheduled for release this December. Barnes tells Listen that Stallone, who is also directing and producing the film, has been wearing her clothes off the screen as well. "I'm really pleased that he likes my things," Barnes says. "I like actors who are more than just actors. He's an intelligent man . . . not just a line reader. I wish I knew as much about what America wants to buy as he does."

Olivia Newton-John is shopping for two these days. But don't get excited, you maternal types. The other one that she's buying for isn't a little nipper. It's her husband, Matt Lattanzi. She stopped off at Arlene Altman's jewelry boutique on Rodeo Drive and bought an ear cuff in silver and another in gold for her man Matt. "She wants him to wear it in a new movie he's making," Carol Chase of the boutique says. "She said he needs it for the character he plays."

Virginia Ortega makes things tick. And if she's lucky, her prize-winning Swatch watch design may actually be produced at Swatch's Switzerland headquarters. Ortega, a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, won $500 and production consideration for her oceanic Future Frontier design, complete with a strap of simulated fish scales. Two other FIDM students, Jean Yee and Insung Hwang, won second and third prizes, respectively, in the all-school competition, and the school itself was given $1,000 for its scholarship fund. Swatch spokespersons weren't exactly sure of Ortega's take if her design actually becomes a quartz watch, but they do know that the brightly colored plastic watch would be shock resistant, water resistant and come equipped with its own three-year battery--all standard equipment for the $30 timepiece from Switzerland.

Nell Carter --the large-but-lovely star of NBC's "Gimme A Break!"--isn't quite so large anymore. She enrolled in the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica last month and now reports that she's two dress sizes smaller than she was before she started. Although no one is saying exactly what size that is, the folks at Forgotten Woman, where she buys some of her clothes, confirm that she's shopping at a different rack now. And Jim Alvarez, manager of the wardrobe department at NBC, says Carter has brought in clothes from her personal wardrobe to be refitted. In fact, for her Las Vegas debut last night at the MGM Grand Hotel, Alvarez says he, with Carter's input, designed seven glitzy evening gowns--three of them slim-fitting sheaths with knee-high slits to show off her new-found curves.

We've found a colorful way to make a buck in Beverly Hills. It's called "The Beverly Hills Coloring Book." Created by Patty Finkel and Joyce Lederer with illustrations by Richard Stein, it's filled with scenes from the streets that made B.H. what it is today. The Beverly Wilshire hotel, Sheik Muhammed al-Fassi's abandoned mansion on Sunset Boulevard and the facade of the Vidal Sassoon hair salon are among the recognizable landmarks. The book sells for $6.95. We came across it at Theodore, where owner Herb Fink tells us: "I had to carry it here. It's got a double-page drawing of the front of my store." You know, he's absolutely right.

Music Hath Charms, Part II: Claudia Hiatt, public relations manager of Nordstrom Southern California stores, phoned to say the new Westside store is taking our suggestion (Listen, May 10). The folks there are planning to have a full-time piano player entertaining shoppers, just as they had on opening day. Hiatt says she showed our suggestion to Westside store manager Gary Johnson, who thought it was a good idea. "We have a few pianists we're considering for the job, and we plan to hire one--or maybe two--to play in the store continuously. They'll be full-time Nordstrom employees," Hiatt says.

Color him clever: Eric Glenn Smith of E. G. Smith Socks mailed out a little white card with a little dab of white paint and the word White on the front. The other side read: "Hi! How are you? Our hidden cameras show that white socks sell more than any other color for summer and spring. White socks also push color sales. Do you have enough? Please try to think about white today. Love, Eric."

Sylvester Stallone

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