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For the Fashion Conscious, It Was All Subconscious

Newsmakers

November 01, 1987|LARRY PRYOR

--"Everyone who loves fashion has to have a touch of that step beyond," said a model who gave her name as Shailah as she toured the opening of the Fashion and Surrealism exhibit at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. Dress for the opening was black tie or surreal, which Shailah acknowledged by wearing a half tuxedo-half wedding dress outfit sent over by Paris designer Bernard Perris. Surrealism, which flourished in the 1920s and '30s, uses fantastic imagery to portray subconscious thoughts. From that school, designers came up with squid-shaped shoes and leaf-covered coats for men and, for women, an onion soup hat or a Greek column dress. Yves St. Laurent produced a sequined lip coat, Issey Miyake a "frozen drapery evening ensemble," and from Jean-Paul Gaultier came a battery of breast cups in rubber, metal and wool. Inevitably, there was a cocktail jacket decorated with clocks, the work of Elsa Schiaparelli. Attendees sported hair ornaments that resembled tree branches and the plunging neckline of one black dress was fringed with green plastic ferns. For the true fashion adventurer, there was a black coat emblazoned across the back in French: "I am totally naked underneath."

--And there was something surreal about what happened to 1,900 pounds of Iranian caviar that touched down at Kennedy International Airport in New York. The shipment, stored in four-pound tins and worth $119,314 wholesale, was about to be picked up by an unidentified importer when the U.S. Customs Service stepped in and embargoed it. The caviar had arrived three hours after the start of President Reagan's ban on Iranian imports. The shipment, officials said, would either have to be exported or destroyed. "The importer just got caught in the timing of this embargo," said customs spokeswoman Janet Rapaport.

--More news from Yakutat, Alaska, Rain Capital of the United States. So far this year, the fishing town of 600 very wet people has had 16 1/2 feet of rain, a record. The other night, Yakutat city planner Cheryl Easterwood found a cormorant, a web-footed sea bird, taking shelter under her porch roof. "If the ducks are getting in out of the rain, things are getting pretty bad," she said. The town's meteorologist, John Cunningham, measured 48.81 inches of rainfall in October.

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