Barbara Walters, TV interviewer and commentator, walked up to Arlene Altman's jewelry boutique in the Theodore store the other day and noticed a stash of silver bangle bracelets with cubic zirconia stones. "She bought one for a gift and one for herself," Carol Chase of the boutique reports. Then Walters picked up a black onyx ring with a pink stone in the center, put it right on her finger and wore it out the door. (After she paid for it, we presume.) Her parting words were enough to make you think she's gone Hollywood in more ways than just interviewing stars. "Watch for my hands on network," the prime-time interviewer reportedly said to Chase.
Little Joe Torrenueva isn't about to sit back and let John Forsythe, Robert Redford, Kirk Douglas or anyone else on his seemingly endless celebrity client list upstage him. This is one hair stylist out to make his mark on more than the sideburns of a few swells. Torrenueva tells us, from his Sunset Plaza salon, that he's recently made his acting debut as a gym instructor (he says he works out every day and earned himself a junior Golden Glove title in real life). His premiere performance occurred on the TV show "Spencer for Hire." He played alongside the show's main man, Robert Urich. ("Spencer" producer is another of Torrenueva's clients, he explains.) But TV success won't distract Little Joe from haircutting, he insists. Why? "I charge $95 a pop, and these guys are in here for a trim every three weeks."
Latest word from designers Jerry Skeels and Randy McLaughlin (they collectively work under the Jeran label) is that they will soon be back on Playboy magazine. The two men whipped up the little red-beaded number Joan Collins wore on the Christmas, 1983, cover of Playboy. Their "poinsettia" dress, they say, was created not for Collins but for a mystery woman. When Playboy executives came up with the cover idea, they asked four designers, including the Jeran team, to compete for the spot. But they wouldn't reveal who would be wearing the winning gown. For her part, we are told, Collins didn't know who the designers were. She simply looked at the sketches, pointed to the Jeran design and said: "That one." For the upcoming January issue of the magazine, Skeels and McLaughlin report that they have been commissioned to do a dress--no competition involved this time--and they know who's going to wear it, but they aren't telling. The only thing they will divulge at this time are the three Emmy nominees who wore their designs the night of the awards. And the names are: Julia Duffy, from the Bob Newhart show; Doris Roberts of "Remington Steele" fame, and Marla Gibbs, formerly of "The Jeffersons," currently on the NBC "227" series.
Well, bless our tiaras. Just look who's coming to J. C. Penney for the stores' "Best of Britain" celebration. First off, there's the Duke of Kent and his duchess. Their Royal Highnesses will pop into town and out to the Glendale Penney store, where they'll no doubt be charmed by our local customs (and customers). The duke, you may know, is chairman of the British Overseas Trade Board and a member of the royal family. The duchess is what some commoners might call "quite a dish." Then there's Lord Patrick Lichfield, who is second cousin to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Lord Lichfield, one of the 10 best-dressed men in the world (we can't wait to see what he's wearing), was also official photographer for the wedding of the century. His nuptial photos of Prince Charles and Diana will be on view in the Glendale and Torrance Penney stores. It all happens from Oct. 16 to Nov. 9, when 500 J. C. Penney stores around the country will become veritable British marketplaces, complete with $500 million worth of U.K. merchandise (everything from Toby mugs to spats). We have no idea whether warm beer will be served to us civilians.
Former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley, who has just joined the cast of "Diff'rent Strokes," convinced the show's wardrobers to let her wear Los Angeles designer David Hayes' suits and dresses. In the season opener tonight, she'll be dressed in his red plaid wool and mohair jacket with a matching red silk pleated skirt. Mobley apparently also wears Hayes' clothes for important social occasions. At the Music Center's recent Chanel show, Listen saw her in a black sequined Hayes blouson and wool skirt, and she says she'll wear a black silk velvet and crepe number to Marvin and Barbara Davis' Carousel Ball Oct. 12 in Denver.
Willi Smith of WilliWear designed uniforms for the 400 workers who helped avant-garde artist Christo wrap the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris with more than 440,000 square yards of golden-sand-colored nylon. You can be sure the wrappers were well dressed. They wore oversize shirts and drawstring pants made of light blue cotton sheeting. On the back of the shirts was Christo's architectural drawing of the bridge, signed and dated by the artist. Christo's only request to Smith was that the outfits have two large pockets--one to hold fabric and the other to hold blueprints and instructions. T-shirts by Smith saying: "Christo--Pont Neuf Wrapped," are being sold near the site and at stores and museum shops in Paris and London.