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Cutting Runaway Runway-Model Fees


In President Clinton's Wednesday night speech on health care reform, he asked us all to sacrifice for the greater good. The same request has been made of New York's highly paid runway models--a handful of whom pull down $10,000 a day during the designer collection shows.

7th on Sixth, the group organizing November's tented shows of spring clothing, has met twice with modeling agency representatives to ask for a ceiling on modeling fees, board member Stan Herman said.

"It's not that we're out to get the models," Herman said Thursday, "but there have been so many complaints about the escalation of fees."

The standard rate of a top runway model is about $750 an hour. "The super-duper ones," Herman said, "get even more."

If fees were limited to $250 an hour--a figure tossed out by 7th on Sixth in early negotiations--younger designers could afford the creme de la creme models. Of course, established, successful designers like 7th on Sixth board members Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Nicole Miller would get a break too.

"It's what's happening in the world," Herman said. "The big companies are all cutting the fat."

As 7th on Sixth awaits the models' counteroffer, Herman is busy fielding calls from the foreign press and anxious designers. But the models have the most to lose.

"You tell me one good reason for Linda Evangelista to fly over here from Europe to get $1,500 a day," one model told Women's Wear Daily. "Normally she'd get $5,000 or more."

But it's for the greater good of the fashion world.

Angels Over San Francisco


To the strains of Mozart's Requiem, Thierry Mugler entered the party thrown by I. Magnin in San Francisco Wednesday night to launch his new perfume, Angel. Out front was a great big ice-blue '57 Cadillac. Inside, observed one guest, were "an awful lot of transvestites."

"It looks like the Thierry Mugler club," Mugler said, scanning the crowd approvingly. With much fanfare, actress and Mugler-collector Michelle Phillips, wearing a studded black leather jacket and chiffon skirt over boots--an outfit that prompted a few wicked party-goers to pronounce her positively Barbarella-esque--greeted the designer.

Mugler wore an ice-blue jacket, padded leather pants and a more chiseled face than we'd ever seen. We are, of course, too well bred to ask if he'd had any "work" done.

After the party, which benefited various AIDS groups, Mugler et al nipped over to the Cypress club for dinner. We were left with a tiny sample of the "fruity elixir" in our hand and the steady pounding of Mozart's Requiem in our head. All in all, a satisfying evening.

Risky Business


Flame-haired London designer Zandra Rhodes learned a lesson in L.A. style this week: Dress up at your own peril.

Rhodes--under the erroneous impression that a Tina Turner concert would attract a glitzy crowd--pulled out the fashion stops for a night at the Greek Theatre.

"I parked my car and climbed up the hill, and there were all the boys and girls in limos, looking no different than the hill-climbers! It was like no one could be bothered to dress up."

One couldn't say that about the designer's Neiman Marcus clientele, who wear Rhodes' timeless fantasy gowns to balls and weddings. "She's so sweet," cooed one loyal customer at an informal showing Monday. "The last time she was out here, she pinned me up herself."

In addition to her classic print chiffon dresses, the designer's fall/winter collection includes print velvet jackets and imaginatively printed fur coats.

"Looks a little less like fur that way," she cracked.

Get Me to the Beach on Time


When Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum takes a wife, he doesn't do it lightly. Sorum recreated an elaborate Renaissance faire at Zuma Beach over the weekend--down to the ladies in waiting and a town crier. Donkeys and goats roamed among the guests, who feasted on barbecued turkey legs and tofu.

You'd think it would be tough to make an entrance at such an affair. Not if the bride arrives atop a black horse, side-saddle, wearing a spectacular medieval maiden costume by L.A. designers Maggie Barry and Ty Moore (Van Buren). Layers of chiffon flowed from an elaborately boned velvet corset, worn over a silk poet's shirt whose slit sleeves dripped to the floor. The bride, Barry notes, went shoeless. "She has lots of toe jewelry, so it looked really good."

A Healthy, Shiny Coat

"How come your hair looks so lustrous and grows so fast?" we asked a friend the other day. Easy, she said, Mane and Tail horse shampoo.

Don't you love those kind of eccentric-yet-inexpensive beauty tips? A 32-ounce bottle sells for $10 at the European Equestrian Center at the Brentwood Country Mart.

"Stylists always buy me out," a clerk said. He estimated that 80% of the shampoo is purchased by women for their own hair. What's in it that makes human hair as pretty as a horse's tail--or mane? "My dear," he sighed, "if I knew what was in it, I'd sell it myself."

A Self-Made Beauty


Contestants in Saturday's Miss America Pageant may have styled their own hair, but they still managed to replicate the frozen pageboys and lacquered bouffants of yesteryear.

Except, that is, winner Kimberly Clarice Aiken. The South Carolina beauty had more style in her French twist and au courant sheer-and-solid black evening gown than Kathie Lee Gifford could wrench out of two costume changes and professional hair and makeup minions.

"How do you win?" asked our 10-year-old, a newcomer to the pageant-watching ritual. "By walking around?"

Well, yes, prancing is still high on the much-touted, revamped show's agenda. Oh, and dressing up in balloons for a salute to Mardi Gras.

Perhaps it was only a coincidence that contestants looked like characters from those underwear commercials for Fruit of the Loom, one of the show's sponsors.

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