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FASHION / INSIDE OUT

Boutique Has Little for Barbra-bilia Buffs to Sing About

May 12, 1994|DEBRA GENDEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Visions of tasteless tchotchkes and outdated cosmetics danced in our head as we rushed over to the new "Barbra Boutique" on Tuesday at Bullock's in Century City.

We were, however, cruelly disappointed by what passed for Streisandabilia. Not that we seriously thought Barbra would endorse a line of four-inch-long acrylic press-on nails or '70s doggy chokers . . . but this was, well, pathetic.

Stuck like an afterthought behind an escalator were a couple of racks of T-shirts, a chipped table laden with V-neck sweaters and golf shirts, and a stack of Barbra's mug mugs. We're talking scary.

Even scarier, though, was imagining who would wear a black T-shirt with the singer's heavily made-up eyes staring out at the world.

People, that's who. People who need people. They're the luckiest people in the world, aren't they?

The Barbra Boutiques are also at Bullock's in the Beverly Center, South Coast Plaza and the Woodland Hills Promenade.

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Hair Gets In Your Eyes: Grunge may be dead, but its vestigial style influence lives on. Take the hair hank. You'll find one hanging over the forehead and--quite appetizingly--into the mouth of every other adolescent on the Westside. More hair than a lock, the hank may look accidental but it's as calculated as any '50s ducktail.

"At first I had to make it happen," said a young girl with hair-obscured braces. "Now," she said, beaming with pride, "it just does it by itself."

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Make Mine, Ker-Choo, Mink: The fake fur was flying backstage at last week's big AIDS Project Los Angeles bash honoring Isaac Mizrahi. Not flying as in cat fights . . . more like as in histamines. It seems a dresser wrist-deep in the designer's Nanook of the North looks came down with a severe allergic reaction. Her hands swelled up so badly, the poor thing had to be reassigned to the security detail. Can this be the hot new '90s-style excuse for unrepentant real-fur wearers? Mr. Blackwell? Aretha?

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Wilma!!!: Speaking of fur, Fred Flintstone, who wears his pelts with a five-o'clock shadow, "is not a fashion plate," according to "Flintstones" costume designer Rosanna Norton. In the film, Fred comes into money and "goes nouveau riche fashion victim in zebra." It's fantasy zebra, of course, because, fashionably, Norton uses no real fur. "No dinosaurs were killed for this project," she reassures us.

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To Have and Have Not: Andy Warhol used to like the green prawn dish at Mr. Chow's in New York. So, in the artist's honor, restaurateur Michael Chow served it at a party Wednesday night celebrating the opening of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

Warhol and Chow shared a fascination for Art Deco glass and jewelry, and Chow's extensive collection will be auctioned off by Sotheby's next month. Chow, who lives in L.A. with his wife, designer Eva Chung, collected glass pieces by French artist Maurice Marinto and jewelry by Georges and Jean Fouquet, Raymond Templier and Jean Despres over a 14-year period.

Now, he says, it's time to move on. With a baby on the way, he says, he isn't collecting anything for the moment: "I'm in a transitional period."

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No Kidding: The National Assn. of Hosiery Manufacturers has published a jolly-looking illustrated pamphlet called "The Sheer Facts About Hosiery." We never made it past the first sentence:

"Representing one-third of our total body weight, our lower limbs are quite crucial to our bodies."

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We're Still Waiting for Godot: The Limited Inc. this week announced an 8% increase in first-quarter earnings per share. We have a sneaking suspicion where some of that money's coming from. Limited chairman Leslie Wexner credited, among other ventures, Victoria's Secret's first swimwear catalogue for helping generate the parent company's higher earnings.

But how about giving credit where credit is due, Mr. Wexner? Like to our own personal charge card, which was billed $70 in early March, when we ordered one "Black Crocheted Maillot" from said catalogue. As of Wednesday, the suit still hadn't arrived.

"I don't know what happened," said a customer service representative. Her computer showed that the suit initially had been sent to the wrong address. After the address was corrected (with Los Angeles spelled correctly), no one bothered to resend it. Yet our credit card was billed. "If an item is shown to be in stock," she explained, "we assume it was shipped and your credit card is charged.

"I can mail it to you today," she offered. But with our own declining profits to worry about, we cheerfully declined.

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Face-Saving Measures: Our underfunded friend's heart sank when she finally found the perfect purse at Barneys New York, which, as you know, is in Beverly Hills. At $450, though, it wasn't quite perfect. Her disappointment did not escape the attention of a skilled saleswoman nearby. "Zat bag ees too old for you! I zot maybe you were buying eet for your muzzer. No, no. Zeez one is much better," she said, handing our friend a purse half the price. "Much younger!"

Nice try, but still too, um, old .

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The Prize Is Right: Giorgio Armani may have single-handedly turned the fashion world's ubiquitous goody bag on its ear. Instead of perfume, those who attended last Friday's "Women and Doctors" lunch benefit for the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program received copies of "A to Z," a women's health encyclopedia compiled by Christine Ammer. And just in case attendees felt so inclined, each of the 1,400 books was wrapped in Armani's spring/summer catalogue.

* Inside Out is published Thursdays.

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