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Not-So-Grand Opening

September 02, 1988| Compiled by the Fashion 88 staff

In the first four hours it was open, the new Giorgio Armani boutique on Rodeo Drive sold $70,000 worth of clothes. In the first 24 hours, such local shoppers as Ali MacGraw, Steven Spielberg (with his mother), Victoria Principal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Schriver, Stacey (Mrs. Henry) Winkler and Sondra Locke had all stopped by, tried on and bought. It didn't matter that there was nothing to sit on (the chairs and sofas didn't arrive on time). The flock of faithful Armani followers seemed ecstatic to be surrounded by genuine articles--everything from men's tuxedos and cashmeres to women's lingerie and belts--in a totally Armani environment (designed by Michael Chow in collaboration with Armani). Vice president Gabriella Forte, in from Milan to oversee the opening, draped gold lame over cardboard cartons until the real furniture showed up, instructed personnel on "the Armani attitude" and generally whipped things into proper shape. Forte, whose office is in Armani's Milan palazzo , seems only a heartbeat away from him even when she's here in Beverly Hills. Asked about her friendship with the handsome, 53-year-old designer, she said: "I love him. He is my family." Dawn Steele, Columbia Pictures president, is also a fan. She purchased her new clothes from Armani's L.A. warehouse before the shop even opened.

Reagans Cut a Rug

It was a colorful group at the Bistro Garden Pavillion last Friday night. Walter and Lee Annenberg and Harriet and Armand Deutsch gave a black-tie dinner-dance (yes, that means long dresses for the women) and none other than President and Mrs. Reagan were among the guests. Our informant peeked in and noted that Nancy "looked divine" in a long white silk dress, the bodice of which was solidly beaded with gray and blue flowers. Betsy Bloomingdale was in white, festooned with ruffles at top and bottom. Lee Annenberg wore orange. Harriet Deutsch wore a red Luis Estevez, and Ann Douglas wore one of Oscar de la Renta's festive flower prints in green, purple and white. Eva Gabor was in pink and Barbara (Mrs. Marvin) Davis was in a red lace Arnold Scaasi with a large diamond necklace, which "glittered like a chandelier," according to our snoop. President and Mrs. Reagan reportedly "kept on dancin' " until 11:45.

Something From Nothing

North Hollywoodian Sandra Bernhard, now preparing the film version of her off-Broadway show "Without You I'm Nothing," may be the inspiration for a fashion trend that's a decided departure from Valley Girl excess. Comedienne Bernhard has been spotted around New York looking daisy-fresh in airy cotton skirts or knee-length jeans (unripped!), short-sleeve tops and fluffy white socks. Bernhard's buddy and fellow stage star, Madonna, who will appear in the feature, is also into the modest shorts-and-socks look, according to a Listen source in the Big Apple. A Valley acquaintance of Bernhard who works out at Bernhard's health club, the Holiday Spa in North Hollywood, speculates that Bernhard got into the nice-girl groove at the gym. "They won't let you wear sleeveless or bare-midriff or backless leotards there, so she works out in these big T-shirts and baggy shorts like for Girl Scout camp. I don't think Madonna would have stood for it."

Sure Bet

You could call it a return to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Displeased with the shade of blond that an Italian hairdresser gave her naturally ash-colored locks, actress Faye Dunaway flew her own colorist to Rome, where she's shooting "The Gambler." Jon Gale, 27, a self-described "blond specialist," has been tinting Dunaway's tresses for two years at the Char salon on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. "She is incredibly meticulous in her preparation for a role, right down to the shade, texture and quality of hair that is appropriate for her character," he reports. Star and specialist settled on a highlighted look that he calls "pale Swedish blond." Gale mentions that he also treats towhead Olivia Newton-John and that he recently highlighted Molly Ringwald's trademark flame-color locks into a "soft, golden-red, strawberry blond."

Keeping in Step

You could call it a return to the Is the parasol on the comeback? Could be. Strolling down sunny Beverly Drive this week was Contessa Cohn, socialite and billboard personality, with a lace parasol overhead to match her lace stockings worn with silver dancing shoes. She was quite a fetching picture, as she is on the Sunset Boulevard billboard advertising the Beverly Hills Arthur Murray dance studio. We phoned the studio to ask how come the Contessa is on the billboard. "She's a client," we were told.

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