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INSIDE OUT NOTES FROM THE STYLE FRONT

Cancel My One O'Clock With Cristophe!

April 30, 1993|DEBRA GENDEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

While Hillary Rodham Clinton works to solve the country's health crisis, someone else has been toiling to replicate her hairdo--in Advanced Elura Synthetic. The new "Hillary Wig" is styled in a modified pageboy and comes with a detachable hair band (for pre- and post-Cristophe looks).

The $175 wig arrived Thursday at Cal East in Beverly Hills, which is frequented by the studios. George Mayer, whose New York-based Jacquelyn Wigs is the first on the market with Hillary hair, is convinced he's on to something. "The so-called fashion mavens of this world may have sneered at Hillary's taste in clothes and hairstyles," he says "but the average American woman admires and wants to emulate her."

While we covet Mrs. Clinton's brainpower, we're holding out for something bigger and blonder--like maybe the "Tipper Wig."

Couture, Who Needs It?: The closing of the legendary Martha on Park Avenue is just another sign that women today, no matter how rich, have fallen out of love with one-of-a-kind dressing. Today's well-exercised woman doesn't require couture's meticulous engineering to conceal figure flaws, one retailer told the Wall Street Journal this week. Case in point: at a barbecue for Hollywood types last weekend, the costume of choice for young women was a flowered, cotton shift: no darts, no lining and--critical to pulling off an inexpensive number like this--no flab.

And So It Goes: Yes, that was Linda Ellerbee hosting "Masterpiece Theatre" this week on PBS. Ellerbee's newly chic look--thin, sans glasses, stylishly cropped hair, simple dark suit--made it hard to concentrate on the show. By comparison, Lynn Redgrave's character, a newswoman who's lost her looks, her lover, a bit of her sanity and nearly her job, seemed a whimpering mass of nerve endings, frumpily dressed to boot. She could learn a thing or two from Ellerbee, who's ridden out the vicissitudes of life and can still make her eyes do that twinkle thing.

Serious Fashion: Scholars who gathered at UC Davis last week for a conference on "Style, Fashion & the Negotiation of Identities" were slightly flustered when asked by a journalist to describe how the clothing they were wearing served to negotiate their own identities.

"I would love to talk about my clothes," enthused a beautifully dressed art professor, stroking her lapel. Unfortunately, she explained, it was problematic. How could she discuss her own clothes without entering into a narcissistic discourse?

Air Mailing Grace: Topping our list of cheap thrills these days are sheets of Grace Kelly stamps. In the black-and-white portrait, which also appears on stamps issued by the kingdom of Monaco, the princess wears a debutante hairdo, pearl earrings and matching choker. "It's a pretty stamp," concedes Marshall Goldberg of Advance Stamp Co. in Beverly Hills, "but it's like the Elvis stamp--the post office made millions of them. They're only good for postage." Well, yes, that's what we bought them for . . .

Shopping Notes: Emporio Armani opened this week in Beverly Hills . . . QVC, in partnership with Mexico's largest media company, Grupo Televisa S.A., announced it will offer television shopping in Spanish to Spanish-speaking areas in the United States . . . Array, which was described by a spokeswoman as "the poor man's Fred Segal," opened in Santa Monica not with a fashion show, but with a poetry reading. That's one way to make us stay home.

Enter the Perky Do: Don't tell Jacquelyn Wigs' George Mayer, but Hillary's demure, serious pageboy is pretty much obsolete. Face it, George, who wants to look like a wonk, when she can look like Sharon Stone? All it takes is a Flip. "Wearing hair under is very dated," says Joseph Kendall, owner of JosephMartin Salon in Beverly Hills. "It's so heavy and serious." With a flip cut, you can blow the ends up with a big round brush. (Set your Hillary Wig in hot rollers to change direction; a curling iron will melt it.)

We can almost hear Ann-Marie now, whining, "Donald! "

A White Wedding? Not likely for Jean Kasem, wife of Casey, who bought 23 items at last Saturday's silent auction to benefit Otis Institute of Design, a total of $14,500. Look for her to turn up in seven different versions of designer Albert Capraro's big white fantasy ball gowns. And you thought those poufy dresses went out with the '80s.

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