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FASHION / SCREEN STYLE

Expect Nothing but the Hippest From These Models

July 21, 1994|BETTY GOODWIN

The Series: "Models Inc." (Fox, Wednesdays at 9 p.m.)

The Setup: Hillary Michaels (Linda Gray) is de facto den mother and owner of Models Inc., a Los Angeles agency that represents a gaggle of pretty young things in this spinoff of "Melrose Place."

The Costume Designer: Denise Wingate (for the first five episodes only), who also does "Melrose Place." Her previous series include "Middle Ages" and "Shannon's Deal."

The Look: The latest fads, with spit and polish. That means blue jeans have been supplanted by such casual wear as slip dresses with baby T-shirts, hip-huggers, biker boots, apron dresses, ankle-grazing skirts, cropped tops and poor-boy sweaters. Unfortunately, the flawlessly hip attire and grooming make the characters seem fake and distant. You want to hate them all.

Hit: A minimum of spray, mousse and gel. Hair is natural and breezy, as if the wind machine were always blowing.

Miss: Gray wears smashing business suits, but the bangs in her face bring her down, beckoning memories of Sue Ellen Ewing.

We Could Live Without: Strained trendiness, as in the Madonna-esque pigtails on Julie Dante (Kylie Travis)--weren't those last year's rage?--and the plucked and penciled eyebrows.

Inspiration: "I go out a lot at night. I love to people-watch, at a bar called Jones, where you see the most beautiful, roguish people, and at the Lava Lounge. I go to fashion shows Downtown. Everybody's got a copy of Arthur Elgort's 'Model's Manual.' And I go to Centerfold on Fairfax and buy $100 worth of foreign fashion magazines."

Sources: Hillary's suits are by Richard Tyler, Christian Francis Roth, Karl Lagerfeld, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. Models' clothes, in a variety of labels, are frequently purchased at such Beverly Center stores as Bullock's, Ice and Traffic Studio. Shoes by Charles David.

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