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SCREEN STYLE

Fast-Lane Wardrobe

July 19, 1991|CINDY LaFAVRE YORKS

THE SHOW: "Beverly Hills 90210," 9 p.m. Thursdays, Fox

THE SETUP: Midwestern-born, Beverly Hills-transplanted twins Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley, pictured) and his sister Brenda (Shannen Doherty) struggle with life in Beverly Hills' fast lane. Their teen-age peers, the Young Beverly Hills Beautiful People, tempt, torture and cajole them toward their ways, while their parents try to cope.

THE LOOK: Not as ostentatious as might be expected. There are no pricey Chanel jackets topping jeans or trendy Valentino trapeze dresses. Costume designer Dianne Anthony Kennedy chooses classics for the 10 male and female characters she dresses every week. Actress Tori Spelling is one exception. She plays the slightly off-center Donna Martin. Her wardrobe of unusual flower applique tops and such oddball items as a red Southern-belle prom gown work well for her quirky character. Kennedy admits that her conservative costume bent is somewhat dictated by the bottom line. "Trendy fashions just don't hold up in reruns."

THE SOURCES: Each clothing-intensive episode requires at least five and up to 10 costume changes for 10 principal characters, and Kennedy says she patronizes 125 department stores and boutiques in the L.A. area. Some shops are destinations for certain items or characters. I. Magnin, Beverly Hills, is a must for the bikini swimsuits worn for summer episodes. Bullock's in Sherman Oaks is a favorite shoe haunt. The sophisticated dresses at the Body boutique in Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley are ideal for the snobbish Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth.) The Banana Republic and The Gap are key shops for basics, but when it comes to selecting T-shirts, Fred Segal is the place where Kennedy buys Weaver-label shirts, because she says she likes the wide, flattering necklines. For beach sweaters, Kennedy heads to Olvera Street, where she pays $12 for heavy, hooded V-neck cardigans and roll-neck sweaters seen elsewhere for $75.

THE PAYOFF: Kids hip to cop a 90210 attitude are in luck. A new line of clothing, some of which will debut at Merry Go Round stores in about three months, is in the offing for fall. Whether it be the show's look or the clothing line's statement, Kennedy says she hopes the show's young audience is benefiting from a lesson on how to dress. "So many teen-agers dress like fashion victims. We try to stay away from fads."

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