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September 06, 1985|the Fashion85 staff

The Lakers'Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is hard to miss in any situation, since he's more than 7 feet tall. But it was easier than ever to find him in Westwood's Old World restaurant at 9 a.m. the other day. Jabbar strode in alone, in a souped-up workout suit, carrying a little leather purse and wearing the biggest running shoes we've ever seen on human feet. He read the Los Angeles Times, ordered potatoes and eggs and got through his entire breakfast without anyone asking him where he buys his tennies.

In case you stay up nights thinking about these things, there are very few perfect beauties out there. That's what hairdresser and beauty consultant Vincent Roppatte says, and he ought to know. The author of "The Looks Men Love" (St. Martin's Press: $19.95), Roppatte could name only one perfect face for us, Cristina Ferrare's, and--gosh!--she isn't even one of his clients. Jamie Lee Curtis, who is a client, "has a narrow face and baby-fine hair that if worn long would look 'stringy,' " he says. Phyllis George, the former co-anchor of "CBS Morning News," who had a daily 4:50 a.m. appointment with Roppatte during her anchor stint, has a "bulb at the end of her nose," according to Roppatte. He says George's features may not be flawless, yet she "ripens like wine--she gets better and better." That's because she takes good care of herself, Roppatte reports, adding that before show time, she would do sit-ups and "put a broom behind her neck and twist her torso."

Some shopping sprees sound more like fairy tales than sales transactions. Consider this one, which proprietor Amen Wardy tells us took place at his shop in Newport Beach: A couple from Texas flew into Orange County in their private jet and stayed overnight at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. They tooled over to his boutique in a limo, stayed about three hours, sipped diet sodas and bought a complete set of David Webb black enamel, gold, diamond and South Sea pearl jewelry. The earrings, necklace, bracelet and ring cost a total of $350,000, Wardy says. Then, of course, the woman needed something to wear with her new jewels (wouldn't you?), so she picked up two Galanos cocktail dresses, both in black, for a total of $6,400. It was the couple's first time in the store. They were watching a segment about the store on "Good Morning America" some time ago, Wardy says, when the woman apparently said to her hubby: "I've got to see that place."

First the good news. We hear from Darleen Perey at Comme les Garcons, the Melrose Avenue shoe shop, that Madonna is right in step with our fashion story (of Aug. 30) on brocade shoes and boots. She stopped in the shop and bought two pairs of gold brocade shoes--one for herself and one for a friend. The other news is that we photographed a pair of brocade flats and matching leg sleeves by Willy Van Rooys for our story, but didn't tell you they're available at Comme les Garcons.

You think all sewing enthusiasts are women? Well, Listen spotted a divine-looking gentleman in the Home Silk Shop the other day, and he was being mobbed by adoring fans. Who is that tall, handsome stranger, we asked Home Silk's Murray Pepper. "That's Ernesto Alonzo, the Spanish-language movie star," Pepper replied. "He's buying silk in many colors, so he can have his shirts made." We also learned from Pepper that broadcaster Mario Machado is among many other male celebs who shop for shirt silk at the La Cienega Boulevard store.

Picture this: A dress-designing countess hides her precious jewels among fake stones that adorn her exquisite dresses. She arrives at the villa of a millionaire playboy to present her clothes at a gala fashion show. But alas, the countess is drugged by a maid while drinking champagne in a bubble bath and the jewels are stolen. Sounds like a TV miniseries, right? Wrong. It's the plot of the newest fashion video by L.A.'s own design dervish, Eletra Casadei, who also stars as the countess in the film. And you can see it Saturday on a big screen, free of charge, at the Beverly Center mall, along with a show of Casadei's new dress-up clothes.

Maurice White, late of the rock group Earth, Wind and Fire, is about to hit the concert halls on his own. And that solo stint calls for "a more intimate fashion image," says designer Ellene Warren, who's whipping up the wardrobe for White's new performing life. "Maurice wants closeness with his audience, wants them to relate to him as a person," Warren explains. He also has what the designer calls "a teriffic, inspiring body with magnificent muscles," she says. Warren put all that together and came up with the ultimate in intimate. It's fishnet--a fabric with macho texture that's also sheer, clingy and sensual--"the masculine version of lace," Warren says. "It's also a fabric that's available to all the audience, so it doesn't set White apart from the people he's singing to," she adds. The wardrobe consists of a series of hand-dyed, fishnet tops, which he'll wear with jeans, she reports.

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