'Humorous, classic, with a little baroque feeling, and a new direction for Madonna." That's how L.A. designer Marlene Stewart describes the gown Madonna is scheduled to wear tonight when she walks down the aisle with Sean Penn. Stewart, who styles the Material Girl's concert clothes as well as her ready-to-wear line, Boy Toy, has been working on the hush-hush project for months, fending off requests for advance tips by every major publication across the country, she says. Stewart would not confirm other reports that the dress is antique white, that the shoes are decorated with pearls and gold embroidery, or that the bridesmaids are wearing suits with waistcoats. And what will Stewart wear to the wedding? She says she'll probably show up in men's clothes that her boyfriend brought back for himself from London. In the midst of frenzied efforts to keep wedding-dress details quiet, groom-to-be Sean Penn nonchalantly walked into Gianni Versace last week and purchased a wedding suit. It's nothing formal, just a simple black linen suit with a double-breasted jacket that cost him $695. When Penn walked into the shop wearing a bright pink shirt and sunglasses, a salesperson approached him and asked if he was shopping for a special occasion. Penn shrugged and answered: "Well, my wedding," owner Carolyn Mahboubi recounted. "That was it. He knew what he wanted and went straight to it." Penn said he was planning to wear a black shirt with it, but he didn't say what color tie. Afterward, he dined alfresco at Pastel and hung his purchase on the railing.
Her time's our time now that Karen Valentine is a regular on the TV variety show, "Our Time," which features '60s music. And she's dressing for the part by shopping at l'Aspect in the Beverly Center, says Edward Alvarez of the store. Valentine bought a black jersey dress with open back, and in honor of the psychedelic side of the '60s, an emerald-green miniskirt with cropped top and a neon-orange tube dress with cutouts in back. "She liked the orange dress worn off the shoulder," Alvarez says. "But you can wear it on the shoulder too."
From our what's-to-wear file: Whant to whear the Wham? Whell, why not? The rock group that's sold 20 million records and had Chinese groupies queuing up for miles on its Orient tour, is now ready to plaster its name on your back (or front or side.) Wham sportswear for junior girls and men will be at Bullock's and the Broadway this month.
Looking for something whimsical? How about a dog named Astro who gets walked on a conveyor belt. If that pleases you, then you're ripe for the delightfully dingbat style of "The Jetsons," the 1960s TV series, which is now being revived on T-shirts, sweat jackets and all sorts of other items that picture the exotic gadgets used routinely by the Jetson crew (Christmas ornaments that orbit the tree, a computer that follows its owner around). Hanna-Barbera has 41 new episodes of "The Jetsons," which will air soon, so you can watch and wear at the same time.
And now some art from Down Under. Australian artist Ken Done (pronounced Doan) has put his sunny, sprightly graphics on sportswear, currently available at the Malibu Beach Club stores in Malibu's Country Mart. (He'll make a personal appearance there Saturday, autograph hounds.) We've seen his Malibu sweat shirt, and it's a knockout.
Here's one for the Francophile. This week we got wind of the news that "Ysatis," the newest fragance launched from the haute-iest haute couture house of Hubert de Givenchy, has ranked--not only in the finals, but as No. 1 in sales at Galleries Lafayette in the heart of downtown gay Paree. Jean Courtiere, president of Parfums Givenchy, adds that the scent outsold any fragrance ever in the history of the store's fragrance department. Sales figures were $65,000 during a two-week period. That tops sales for L'Interdit, which Givenchy made for Audrey Hepburn. Sorry about that, Audrey.
Designer Yves Saint Laurent grabbed all the headlines for his recent fall couture collection in Paris, but it was Guy Laroche who nabbed the French fashion industry's prestigious Gold Thimble award. Laroche was singled out for designing "the most beautiful, creative and elegant collection" of the season. Some of his looks included velvet sheaths covered in satin and black suits. The couturier picked up the award for the first time in his 36-year career, which included three years of free-lance designing on Seventh Avenue before he opened his own couture house in Paris in 1957. Most of his fellow couturiers have won the Cartier-designed, eight-inch thimble at least once.