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INSIDE OUT / NOTES FROM THE STYLE FRONT

This Is 'Fun' We Can Do Without

April 16, 1993|DEBRA GENDEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

H ey, Girlfriends!!!

Thus begins a letter going around town this week, from one girlfriend to another.

Send one pair of undies of your choice to the first person, listed as No. 1 below, and send a copy of this letter to six of your friends. This is not a chain letter . . . . It's for fun.

An odd form of merrymaking, but young girls, they do get weary, wearing that same old Jockey for Her.

You'll receive 36 pairs of underwear. It's fun (that word again!) to see where they came from and the different varieties you'll receive.

"It doesn't even say they have to be new!" screeched one appalled recipient of the letter. "I thought this girl (the Size 6-panty-wearing sender) was so centered. " (We guess having a panty fetish automatically lands one off-center.)

A manila envelope will mail underwear nicely, the instructions continue.

Then there it is, the warning that gives chain letters their smarmy reputation. Seldom does anyone drop out --back to chatty girlfriend talk-- because we can all use 36 pairs of undies for the price of one!

Make that 35, girlfriend.

Dominatrix Wear: First, Pampers, then Marlboros, now super-upscale retailer Charles Gallay has slashed prices to thwart the lower-priced competition.

"Because of the recession, extended rain and riot," reads the sign in the Melrose store window this week, "Charles Gallay is consolidating the overstocked inventory in our three stores." Voila . A very fancy place is reborn as "Galmart," a discount store filled with marked-down, in-season merchandise by Azzedine Alaia, Comme des Garcons, Martine Margula and Liza Bruce.

Of course, even at half price, French designer Azzedine Alaia's sexy clothes might be beyond most women's budgets. But we hear there are some great savings on spandex frocks from New York scene queen Patricia Fields.

Wrapmaster Candy: Hurray for Candy Spelling, who has realized our own private ambition with a to-die-for gift-wrapping room in her Holmby Hills manse.

The current Vanity Fair features a Chanel-clad Spelling at work in her all-white wrap room, lined with custom-built shelves for ribbon, rolls of paper, boxes of trim, whatever.

She looks a little vulnerable, as if someone might find her avocation wanting. Shopping and wrapping, she tells George Christy, are "therapeutic. "

Hey, let Gita (wife of Sonny) Mehta "demolish the Geist of any particular Zeit with the flick of an epigram," as Joan Juliet Buck puts it several pages later in the same issue.

We're infinitely more impressed in this day and age by a woman who knows her way around a piece of French ribbon.

Shopping Sagas: At the I. Magnin Bridal Department in Beverly Hills, Mom points to an elegant Vera Wang gown.

"Look, honey, isn't this the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?"

Honey, a grunged-out teen-ager in requisite plaid shirt and greasy hair, answers: "If you like it, it's probably not good."

Instant Menopause: We stared into the face of old age this week and it stared right back, offering us 10% off. "Would you like the 55-and-over discount?" asked a young clerk who had, until that point, impressed us with her clerking skills.

Was it the straw hat, the shapeless gardening clothes, the makeupless face that added 20 years??? OK, so make it 16.

"Sure, why not" we finally said. Insults may come and go, but a discount is a discount.

"I take them wherever I can get 'em," chuckled the old lady in line behind us. "We deserve it!"

We do now.

Don't Try This at Home: Wednesday night's episode of "Sirens" (imagine the women of "thirtysomething" as cops) introduced us to an interesting new beauty treatment.

In the setup scene, the Hope character is annoyed that her husband, the Michael character, has neglected to stock the fridge with milk--especially since the Big Loser works at a grocery store.

Flash ahead: B. L. atones by loading the fridge with many cartons of milk, which he uses a bit later to give his wife a semi-kinky kitchen-sink milk shampoo.

We know this is supposed to be a Sensual Moment because ringing the sink is a sea of burning votive candles. That it may well be. But judging by the Hope character's lank locks in the next scene, we prefer to keep our milk where it belongs--in a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.

The Social Fabric: "You guys sure know how to throw a party!" said one of the 20 scholarship-winning high school seniors at RE-STYLE L.A.'s fund-raising kick-off party at the Westwood Marquis Hotel last week.

Shielded from busy streets by high garden hedges, fashion industry types mingled, scrutinized one another's wardrobes and listened intently as Asian-, Latino- and African-American students whose schools had been seriously affected by last year's riots talked about studying art, design and theater at USC, the Fashion Institute, Otis and Trade Tech.

Under the direction of Richard Valenza, RE-STYLE L.A. has mobilized local apparel-industry executives, fashion and costume designers to participate in a May 8 fashion-show-fund-raiser at the Wiltern Theatre showcasing collaborations between the students and L.A. designers.

Tickets are $30, $75 and $150. For information, call (310) 393-5505.

I'm Your Puppet: From the Signals catalogue, put out by the WGBH Educational Foundation: Dress-Me-Up David Magnet Set.

"Thirteen feet of cool white marble, he has strength, poise, presence, muscles--and not a shred of modesty. This hilarious magnet set lets you dress Michelangelo's bare-naked David in a variety of styles--from jock to James Dean, cowboy, camper or just a guy in his underwear. $22.50." (800) 669-9696.

Who says public television is humorless?

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