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July 12, 1985|the Fashion85 staff

Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson invited friends to Huston's birthday party this week. Listen's undercover agent was there and here's her report: "It was at a private club that hasn't opened yet, somewhere near Silver Lake. The women were dressed, the men were casual. Jack wore a short-sleeve white shirt. Anjelica looked very, very beautiful in a 1920s-style black dress with silver beads and little spaghetti straps. Some of the guests were Grace Jones, Bette Midler, Michelle Phillips, Carol Kane, John Schlesinger, Bud Cort, Barry Diller, Kenny Solmes, Penny Marshall, Alana Stewart, Wendy Stark, Carrie Fisher, Pat Ast, Brenda Vaccaro and French film writer Jacques Fieski. They were all with their mates or dates, and the party was fabulous. The funniest part was when the baby elephant arrived. Nobody knew it was coming, including Anjelica. But she started feeding it carrots immediately. Anjelica has the nicest tradition for birthdays. When the cake comes out, all the women in the room put their rings on the candles, and then they all make a wish together. It's really very touching."

Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner got the same idea at the same time. They both SOSed designer Clifford Olson for help with their stage costumes. Olson says he solved Franklin's concert-tour needs by sending her a red suede dress with conch-shell beading and a snakeskin thunderbird emblazoned on the bodice. Turner's request was a bit more unusual. She had a beaded, fringed suede dress in need of repair. It turned out to be a copy of an original style that Olson made for her more than a year ago. "Tina wore the original for every performance on her last concert tour, and when she was in London she decided to have it copied," Olson explains. "The copy was falling apart, so I put it back together."

Shari Belafonte Harper is dressing like a maharajah these days, but not for a part in a movie. She showed up at the Parachute shop in Beverly Hills with a stylist and photographer in tow and slipped into one of Parachute's maharajah jackets and a pair of white jodhpurs for a fashion photo session. Later she changed into "something red" for more pictures, Parachute's Steven Martin says. If Harper wasn't making a movie that day, she certainly was making top billing at the store, Martin recalls. "She attracted a lot of attention," he says. "The whole place was in an uproar."

It's not every day that Madeline Kahn entertains while you shop for shoes. But she kept customers at Ciao giggling recently. Kahn stepped into the Melrose Avenue shoe shop to pick up a pair of summer flats like the pair she had seen a friend wearing, reports Melissa Welles of Ciao. "She started trying on other styles and making jokes about why some looked good on her and some didn't. She was terribly funny. She got everybody in the store laughing." There was no such live entertainment the day Marilu Henner bought herself some fancy footwear at Ciao. "Marilu phoned here frantic for a pair of lace-up, Victorian-style boots in white," Welles says, adding that the actress already owns them in black and pink. Usually Henner does her own shopping. But that day, Welles reports, she sent her brother.

Four-footed and four- wheeled: Because almost everything nowadays is considered a "fashion accessory," we'd like to bring you the latest on trendy cars and pets. On chic, gravel driveways around town (we're talking million-dollar properties here), we've noticed a new trend toward trucks. Open-back, flatbed trucks--unabashedly parked right next to Rollses and Mercedeses. They're the kind of trucks in which you'd haul light loads if you were a gentleman farmer or horse breeder, perhaps. And when we've seen these gentlemen truck drivers moving around town, we've noticed them talking on (no doubt cellular) phones. And now for the pets: A random survey of West Los Angeles and Pasadena indicates that big dogs (we're talking massive here) are very trendy these days, outnumbering by far the itsy-bitsy breeds. We have personally made acquaintance with Max the mastiff, Sheba the Saluki and a number of shepherds, Doberman pinschers, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers. And they happen to look great on the back of flatbed trucks.

Publicists for Laguna Beach's Carole Janney are touting her as the first psychic fashion designer, a creator who mixes the cosmic with cloth to devise one-of-a-kind garments intended to be "healing and nurturing for that person to wear." The designs, which start at about $85 for a man's shirt to $300 for a woman's silk dress, are created after Janney meets with a client and then meditates on the person and what type of clothing is appropriate. True believers and skeptics alike are invited to see how well inner vision makes for outer fashion when Janney hosts an informal reception on July 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Human Equation Center in Laguna Beach.

If you're Orient-bound this summer and don't know what to pack, our suggestion is: Pack it all. The women of China are fed up with uninspired clothes and would probably love to see some inventive American ready-to-wear. How do we know? We read the Peking Workers Daily (English translation, of course). And we learned that Textiles Minister Wu Wenying has told China's designers to "stop churning out dull clothes" and to come up with something interesting for a change. The paper quoted him as saying Chinese women are tired of stores being overstocked with unpopular styles, while popular styles are almost impossible to get. Furthermore, we hear that miniskirts are showing up on the streets of Shanghai and that Western-style men's suits are being worn by China's trendy men.

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