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Tax-and-Spend Makes a Comeback

July 19, 1991|GAILE ROBINSON

Retailers in London capitalized on the economic summit there this week. Liberty of London set up a shop inside the summit press center. Shop supervisor Nicolette Michels noted that most of the shop's customers were men who bought ties. "I think they've had to do interviews and they want something bright or eccentric for the cameras." Marks & Spencer, a large chain store, offered an exclusive after-hours shopping spree. Raisa Gorbachev, known as a shop-till-you-drop woman, was avoiding temptation. Instead of cruising the designer boutiques, she made politically correct rounds of hospitals.

* PINK SLIPPED: The recession's casualty list grows. This week, New York designers Michael Leva, Jamie Herzlinger and Ronaldus Shamask announced that their businesses were closing and that they would not be shipping their fall collections. Herzlinger says she plans to pursue interior design, Shamask says he has his eyes on furniture design and Leva says he hopes to design fashion for other companies.

* BACK TO BASICS: Absolut vodka has gone back to using the work of fashion designers for its fall advertising campaign. The list is a bi-coastal split--five designers from California and five from New York. Holly Sharp, Kevan Hall, Robin Piccone and Maggie Barry and Stephen Walker for Van Buren will represent Los Angeles; Celia Tejada from San Francisco rounds out the West Coast contingent. In the East Coast corner are New York designers Todd Oldham, Josie Natori, Jeanette Castenberg, Michael Leva and Randolph Duke.

* GREEN INITIATIVE: Cosmetics companies that offer to recycle empty cosmetics jars, bottles and tubes are doing their part to improve the environment, but are their customers?

Fewer than 10% of customers recycle their receptacles at the Body Shop beauty boutiques. But Katti Shedfar, manager of the shop in South Coast Plaza, says she and her staff have seen a steady increase in recycling and are optimistic about the future.

The customers at Body Scents in Sherman Oaks are hard-core recyclers. "Most of the people who come in here recycle, and very few even take a bag for what they buy," says Bonnie Underwood of the San Fernando Valley beauty boutique, which has been recycling and refilling containers for years.

* TUXEDOED EXTRAS: You can be a movie star on Saturday night if you have a black tie in your closet. At the Black and White Glitter Ball benefit for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchasers of $250 tickets are welcome to be extras for the party scene in Robert Altman's "The Player."

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