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FASHION / INSIDE OUT

It's an Ad of a Different Color, Perspective

July 07, 1994|DEBRA GENDEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

L.A. Raiders wide receiver Willie Gault is about to show the world his bum. The arty, black and white photo of Gault's undressed, silhouetted physique is one of several in B.U.M. Equipment's first national ad campaign. How soon the world sees Gault-as-Adonis, though, depends on the acceptance of the provocative image by major retailers.

The company, initially at least, wanted to make a splash with the ads. No one expected it to take so long. Fred Davis, corporate creative director of parent company Chavin International Inc., said the ad featuring Gault was shot more than a year ago. Although retailers say they like the photo--and have besieged Davis with requests for color Xeroxes--some think it's unsuitable for a line of clothing that appeals to children.

"I see it as making a statement," Gault said. "For so long, black men have not been shown in a sensual way in the marketplace. When you look across the country you see black men in ads and billboards playing non-threatening character roles. This gave me a chance to show that sensual side."

From the rear. Color copies, anyone?

He's in the Building: Very cool Olympic skater Elvis Stojko had all the female ice skaters' hearts throbbing when he took to the ice late last week at the Culver City Ice Arena for a practice session. We, of course, were only interested in what he was wearing. When he finally stopped spinning like a dervish, we unscrambled what was on his black T: a big old picture of our earliest hero, Popeye the sailor man, and, on the back, words to live by: "I yam what I yam."

Cheers: Everybody wants to talk about models using heroin to keep their weight down, and, yeah, OK, it works. But can't we talk about something more positive? More '90s? Like Power Punch Energy Drink (the Fashion Potion)?

The slender, model crowd in L.A. is mad for this 75-cent-a-shot herbal elixir. So are Aaron Spelling, Joan Collins, Linda Evans and Yanni. In fact, the sound you hear at about 3 p.m. on the Westside is the slurp, slurp, slurp of sub-energetic beauties sucking up Power Punch's 11 grams of Chinese herbs and vitamins. Stamina. Vitality. The energy needed to smile cheerily after being rejected for a part. Yes!

Models Lizanne Falsetto and Garrett Jennings concocted the elixir with the help of Chinese herbalists while living in Hong Kong. They married, bought a house in Ventura and began selling the punch 2 1/2 years ago through health food stores and mail order: (800) 643-2057.

Power Punch, Falsetto said, satisfies our search for "inner beauty" and the chic brunet is her own best testimony. In a four-day period, we spotted her on the runway at three different fashion shows. She works out three hours a day. And her husband has just signed on for another year as the Gillette man.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery: Speaking of models, a throng of them had a TV-watching party the other night to get a load of the show that purports to tell their life stories, "Models Inc." The verdict?

"It was so unreal," one party-goer said. "Models getting their own beach house? That happened about 10 years ago." But the truth is, if anybody did a show about how models really live, no one would watch. Most practice good clean living and turn in before "Models Inc." is over.

The real-life models poked a bit of fun at the TV show's pretenders--one of whom is so short that everyone around her must remove their shoes to make her look, well, tallish. (Charlene Tilton resurrected?) "The best one," observed the pro, "was the girl who got killed in the end."

Here Come the Brides: Actress Elizabeth Shue may wear a pricey Vera Wang wedding gown for her upcoming nuptials, but when it came to the shoes, Shue went the moderate route, selecting Kenneth Cole's simple, classic wedding shoe called Sculpture for herself and step-in mules for her bridesmaids . . . Meanwhile, Natasha Richardson was wed this past weekend in a private ceremony to hunky Liam Neeson. But the really important aspect of the event is that she was wearing Donna Karan. Let's get our priorities straight.

You're Not Getting Older, You're Getting, Uh, Riper: We know her breasts are the size of honeydew melons, and that she's seen it all, done it all. Now, thanks to her high school yearbook, we also know good-time girl Anka Radakovich's real age is 37, not 29.

Gee, what sounded like great naughty fun in her raunchy Details column now seems, we don't know, a bit depraved. "I want to start my own band," Radakovich writes in the current issue, "Anka & the Implants. We will wear baby-doll nighties and play alternative striptease rock with post-punk Emersonian utopian lyrics." Perhaps we're being too harsh on the old girl. But that's what comes with being 39. Really.

Inside Out is published Thursdays.

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