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INSIDE OUT / NOTES FROM THE STYLE FRONT

What'll Jaye Davidson Wear Monday?

March 26, 1993|DEBRA GENDEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If you don't have a career or money riding on the outcome of Monday night's Academy Awards presentation, you can relax and enjoy Oscar's most delicious pleasures. Such as worrying about, say, what the heck Jaye Davidson really will wear.

What makes this fantasy so yummy is its promise of a bit of glamour and wit in what threatens to be a humorless parade of safe fashion bets. Judging by the number of Armani aficionados in the current Oscars crowd, every actress in Hollywood wants to look subtle, serious and as unlike lawsuit-losing, born-again nudity-knocker Kim Basinger as possible (including, we suspect, Kim Basinger).

So far, no actress has volunteered the fact that she'll strap on some Versace for the evening. The most risky possibility of the lot is Susan Sarandon in something by thrift-store scavenger Todd Oldham. But Oldham's showroom hadn't heard from the actress as of Wednesday and Women's Wear Daily reported that she might wear Calvin Klein instead.

Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Mercedes Ruehl will wear Valentino; Catherine Deneuve chose old pal Yves Saint Laurent; Anjelica Huston, who wears Armani so beautifully, will look equally stunning in her Richard Tyler suit, no doubt. All in impeccable good taste.

So, of course we yearn to see Jaye Davidson in full diva regalia.

"It would be so fun if he came in a big frock," says New York playwright and drag performer Charles Busch, who's in town filming "The Addams Family" sequel at Paramount. "I'm just hoping this movie will do for my career what 'The Crying Game' did for Jaye Davidson."

And if it does, he knows the perfect ensemble: "I'd go as the other Paramount diva, Mae West." Busch spied an old West dress at the studio the other day. With the help of a good seamstress, Busch says he could squeeze into the dress in plenty of time for next year's awards ceremony.

Cabaret drag artist John (Lypsinka) Epperson says if he were attending the awards ceremony, "I'd wear my Scaasi see-through bell-bottoms. They're a copy of the ones Barbra Streisand wore when she won for 'Funny Girl'. . . . These young designers think they invented see-through bell bottoms!"

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Fashion Assistant: So how does an Esquire Gentleman dress for the Academy Awards? (No, not like Doris Day in "Pillow Talk"!) He resists Hollywood's considerable pressure to wear an Armani shawl-collar tux, says Woody Hochswender. And don't make Oliver Stone's fashion faux pas--wearing a matching clip-on tie and cummerbund-- "so junior prom, " he says with a groan.

"My preference is a traditional, single-breasted tuxedo with peaked grosgrain lapels, like Warren Beatty or Michael Douglas wear. The thing is to look like the real thing, rather than a wanna-be."

Hochswender's just-out Esquire Gentleman, an adventurous departure from the birth mother, is raising some eyebrows--and not by issuing sage tuxedo advice.

The twice-a-year fashion special is filled with arresting images and doesn't have any more nudity than is typical in contemporary fashion magazines. But it does feature one of those narrative-driven layouts that charts a spectacularly beautiful--and interracial--young couple's romantic sojourn.

("We're getting calls from the South," says Hochswender, "subscribers saying, 'How can you send this filth into my home?' ")

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A Smell Called Joe: Confused customers at Giorgio Beverly Hills fragrance counters have been asking for Giorgio Armani's new women's fragrance, Gio (pronounced "Joe"). No problem. A little extra foot traffic never hurts, especially when you've just released a new fragrance (Wings).

But then Gio's magazine scent strips were reportedly prompting allergic reactions in some people. "I asked a caller, 'Which ad are you referring to?' " says Jacqueline Cohen Steinberg of Giorgio Beverly Hills. "He looked at it and said, 'Oops, sorry, it's Giorgio Armani.' "

Next, a TV story on scent strip allergies out of Boston singled out Gio as a prime offender. But the station's consumer reporter repeatedly made the error of saying it was Giorgio's fragrance. Lawyers exchanged phone calls and the ABC affiliate offered to run a retraction.

Gio execs are unhappy about media attention to the Gio/Giorgio name confusion, saying their company's image is vastly different from that of Giorgio's.

According to Robert Cassou, general manager of the European designer fragrances division of Cosmair, maker of Gio, "The problem will straighten itself out."

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Bowling Night: "The World of Calvin Klein," benefiting AIDS Project L.A. (APLA), will be featured June 3 at the Hollywood Bowl. Singer Tina Turner will perform and 200 models will traipse down a 126-foot runway wearing nothing but their Calvins.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and drawings. At 7:30, it's dinner under the stars. Warning: Don't confuse this with a picnic. "Calvin Klein is adamant that it is black tie, " says one insider. Tickets are $25 to $300 and $350 for box seats (which include a gourmet picnic box supper). Information: (310) 392-9894.

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Sorry, No Number: Readers who wish to order a copy of the Carolyne Roehm catalogue featured in an article about the designer last week can call (800) 669-0787.

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