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Valley Girl II--Still Queen of the Mall

July 24, 1987|ROSE-MARIE TURK

The Valley Girl '87 wears her hair long, skirts short, makeup light, jeans tight. And though she's nothing like "Ondrya Wolfson" in Moon Zappa's 1982 ditty, she knows someone who is. You know, someone who says "ohmigod" all the time, wears acrylic nails all the time, gets a BMW the minute she turns 16 and doesn't have to work any of the time.

She loves to shop, for sure, but not "fer sure, fer sure," which is "totally" passe.

Maybe she uses a credit card; maybe she doesn't. ("You need one when an outfit costs $300," reasoned a 13-year-old shopper in the Sherman Oaks Galleria.) And she likes to spread the wealth all the way from the Westside Pavilion and Beverly Center to Topanga Plaza and the Promenade Mall in Woodland Hills.

Five years after Zappa's musical satire, Vals are out of the headlines. They're into white Rabbit convertibles, Vuarnet sunglasses, pastels, less colorful lingo ("It's more hand and facial expressions now," explained a young, Guess?-clad blonde), friendship bracelets made of embroidery threads and a limited number of labels (among them Esprit and Reebok, in addition to Guess?).

Zappa refuses to talk about her spoof on well-heeled San Fernando Valley teen-agers, but a friend, Robin Freedman, said: "I thought the song was hysterical. I don't think Moon meant to offend anyone. She was making a joke out of all the places where kids used to hang out and was talking about a certain group who did it all the time."

Judy's clothing stores, according to Chief Executive Officer Marcia Israel, has been catering to trendy Vals since 1950. "If anyone knows the Valley Girl, Judy's does," she boasts.

With 66 branches in five Western states, Israel speaks from experience: "What we know about Valley Girls is they are faster to pick up trends than girls in other areas. They are extremely fashion conscious, and they adore clothes. But the big thing is, they are secure in their choices, and they don't require designer labels to make them secure.

"Even their punk is fun," Israel added. "Punk on Melrose is not fun. It's a cult."

Hairdresser Allen Edwards lives in the Valley--with teen-age children of his own--and operates salons in Beverly Hills, Encino and Woodland Hills.

There are differences between what Vals and girls on the other side of Mulholland Drive want up on top, he said: "Valley Girls tend to have a more American look. They're wearing their hair full and long with lots of blond. City girls look more European. They're wearing their hair flatter, slicker, using pomades, dyeing it red or having it cut short and bleached white."

Summing up, Edwards explained: "Valley Girls are very sexy, while city girls are more extreme. If you shop on Melrose, you get used to the extreme."

Eric Schotz, executive producer of KABC-TV's "Eye on L.A.," described Sherman Oaks, the area where he lives and grew up, as "a suburb that's more of a neighborhood. You don't get that feeling many places in L.A. And it's convenient, like a 7-Eleven."

Amused that anyone would ask him about the latest crop of Valley Girls, Schotz suggested: "Sneak in and hang out at Stanley's."

Stanley's Restaurant and Bar on Ventura Boulevard is one swinging place to find Vals. Others are Tower Records, any Penguin's yogurt shop, Bob's Big Boy in Tarzana and Cafe 50's on Van Nuys Boulevard. Add to the list tanning salons ("The only place I use a credit card," said a 14-year-old dressed in Jimmy'z) and gyms such as Racquetball World in Woodland Hills. "That's where everybody goes," according to 19-year-old Orly Budnik, who says she and her friends like ripped jeans, big earrings, old-fashioned tennis shoes and modern high tops.

"If you don't fit into a bikini, you don't fit in," philosophized Tracy Wells, shopping the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square in espadrilles, a polo shirt and boxy shorts. "It's very summery, very beachy. If I had my choice," said the 16-year-old, who appears on ABC's "Mr. Belvedere," "I'd live in New York."

What about living on the other side of the hill? That's definitely not the choice of one young shopper, 14-year-old Mary Alizadeh, who explained: "I like it better here. It's more for young people. Over there, you have all those old movie stars." Not to mention those high real estate prices.

Dean Bender, 34, grew up in Van Nuys and now commutes from a home in Sherman Oaks to his West L.A. public relations firm.

"A lot of people my age want to buy in the city, but they can't afford it," Bender said. "At first, you get comments from them about how they had to 'succumb' to living in the Valley. But once they're here, the area wins them over. It's a lot like L.A., but it's not a metropolitan monster. It's suburbia at its best."

For Mike Glickman, 27-year-old owner of the real estate company bearing his name, selling suburbia means "this year we'll handle $2 billion worth of property, most of it residential."

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