One thing we know for sure. Nancy Reagan will look chic-est when she appears on the Barbara Walters TV special that airs immediately after the Academy Awards show on March 24. How do we know? Because Listen bumped into Julius Bengtsson, the First Lady's First Hairdresser (and makeup man) the other day in Los Angeles and learned that he's winging his way to Washington Saturday to get her ready for the taping early next week. Actually, he says he'll first do Mrs. Reagan's hair for the Governors Ball on Sunday and then her hair and makeup for Walters' Tuesday and Wednesday taping, which takes place at the White House. What will Mrs. Reagan wear? Bengtsson hasn't the foggiest idea, he says. But we're betting it will be red.
We hear from David Keys of the Plunket-Keys boutique that nature-girl Lauren Hutton stopped in the boutique looking for an outfit to wear for her part in an upcoming TV special. She chose an iridescent blue, two-piece dress with a ruffle-trimmed skirt and a top "shaped like a butterfly," Keys says. That's quite a contrast to the outfit Hutton was wearing when she walked into the shop. Keys describes it as, "an old sweat shirt and a pair of faded jeans."
L.A. designer Ellene Warren tells Listen that actress Lisa Hartman of the "Knots Landing" TV soap is likely to show up at the Grammy Awards wearing what looks like "a handful of pearls and a lace handkerchief." Warren says she styled the outfit for Hartman as the latest in a long line of garments that qualify as revealing, to say the least. Warren's most controversial gown for the actress, to date, was the lingerie-like wedding dress she made for Hartman's TV marriage on "Knots Landing." "After that I got letters from fans suggesting I should be shot for putting a bride in a church wearing lingerie," Warren says, adding: "This new creation will make that one look absolutely virginal."
What becomes a legend most? Crystal jewelry, from what we hear. The legendary dancer Ann Miller stopped in at the L'Aspect boutique, looking for a pair of earrings to wear to a performance of the play "Legends!" starring her friends Mary Martin and Carol Channing. Store manager Edward Alvarez says Miller bought a pair of gold-and-Austrian-crystal hoop earrings for her night at the theater. Not long after Miller left, Alvarez says, Rita Moreno (no slouch in the dance department herself) stopped into the boutique and bought bejeweled Spandex tights, which have "tuxedo stripes of rhinestones."
Some designers are filling out their summer collections with "Out of Africa"-inspired native garb. But down Newport way, boutique owner Amen Wardy is already wearing the African look. Wardy, just back from safari in Nairobi, is now sporting Masai-beaded bracelets and a beaded choker, which he says he bought from a villager. Wardy's "so wild for Africa," he says, that he's decorated the shop with masks and 18th-Century bronzes from that continent. And though he has no plans to sell African clothing, he did buy fabric there, which he is having sewn into place mats and napkins.
Who designed Diana Ross' fairy-tale wedding gown for her recent nuptials in Switzerland to Norwegian millionaire Arnie Naeff Jr.? It was a team effort, those who know say. Ray Aghayan tells Listen he got started on the bias-cut, satin crepe gown with pearls and tiny diamonds, and then got sick with "tummy flu." His partner, Bob Mackie, then fitted the gown on Ross, and when Aghayan recovered he finished the project, which he says cost $16,000 plus $8,000 for six to seven yards of Belgian lace. "I helped pick out the cake," boasts Mackie, who says Ross was so happy she was "just floating" through the preparations, which were all done here in Los Angeles, except, that is, for the final fitting. To ensure perfection, Aghayan says, a fitter was sent to Switzerland.
Actress Jane Seymour will be dressing very 1940s on screen and off in coming weeks. The star of the miniseries "Crossings" by Danielle Steel, airing Sunday through Tuesday on ABC, contracturally gets to keep all the costumes she wears in this love-triangle drama set against World War II. Designer Nolan Miller tells Listen he used a few vintage 1940s gowns for her wardrobe, as well as an emerald-green silk brocade cocktail dress found on the rack at Bullock's. Co-star Cheryl Ladd also will wear a day-dress-and-sweater set from Bullock's and a housedress from Nordstrom--all with period accessories and hats. Miller designed 13 ball gowns for the miniseries, part of the 102 costume changes shared by Seymour and Ladd. If you're keeping score, Seymour has 52 changes; Ladd has 50. And we won't tell you who gets the guy.