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INSIDE OUT / FASHION

BY DESIGN : Pick a Color--Any Color

March 09, 1995|DEBRA GENDEL | TIMES FASHION EDITOR

MILAN, Italy — Seated with the precision of a military exercise, the audience at Jil Sander's show was scrutinizing itself for clues as to the current pecking order. Since we recognized only a few, including Azzedine Alaia, we passed the time scrutinizing clothing instead.

Not surprisingly, the people who have exhorted their readers/viewers/customers/whatever to Think Pink for spring, aren't. In fact, spotting a bit of color in this crowd is like finding Waldo. Suddenly our eyes lighted on a pair of lilac cashmere socks. Brave soul.

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Why Don't You . . . ?: Get a jump on your style-obsessed friends by putting into practice a fall trend or two now. That way you'll be sick of the look before anyone else. Sound fun? Here's how.

Hair: Should be streaked and striped, sometimes teased, never curled and more often than not completely false. Naomi Campbell's hair looked as if she'd ironed it for the Gianni Versace show.

Makeup: Should be heavy on top, light on bottom. Thickly lined eyes in high-contrast shades and obviously false eyelashes. Nude matte lips outlined ever so slightly. Think Claudia Cardinale circa 1975. Oh, and no nail polish unless it's white.

Accessories: Shoes should be square-toed with heavier heels. A favorite color is candy-apple red for pumps, purses, coats--everything but lips. Minimalists don't generally wear jewelry, but if you must, take a cue from Anna Molinari and scatter a few rhinestone barrettes in your hair that spell out the word rich .

You go, girl.

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Reading Material: The New Republic may claim (inaccurately as it turns out) to be "100% O.J. Free," but Milan rightfully deserves the title. Except for "Larry King Live" beamed in via satellite to the pricier hotels, and a piece here and there in the International Herald Tribune, the Italians are mercifully unpreoccupied by the Trial of the Century. (Wish we could say the same.)

Of far more interest were the antic backstage preparations for model Janice Dickensen's recent Beverly Hills wedding. Photos were splashed across several pages of a popular Italian magazine. A shot of Janice topless, having her hair done, lends new meaning to the term "blushing bride."

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Does PETA Know?: Fur coats and flat shoes are a common sight on upscale streets here. And they offer a clue to the city's fashion sensibility--but real style is equal parts comfort and sensuality. Yet there is something unnerving during these politically correct times about seeing hundreds of women wearing fur as blithely as they might, uh, smoke a cigarette (which they do with equal aplomb).

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Super-Model Watch: Claudia Schiffer, according to PETA, has just renounced fur on the runway. We wonder if her doppleganger will do the same. The Claudia look-alike has confused casual followers of fashion here, but those sharp-tongued insiders call her a poor imitation. The curvaceous and perennially engaged Schiffer tried for a bit of privacy backstage at Gianni Versace on Tuesday while a woman held up a blanket so Schiffer could change into her skivvies. Only her head could be seen politely answering a film crew's incessant questions. It must be eerie to be so coveted. "My son has Claudia's poster on his wall," gushed an Important International Fashion Editor to Schiffer's fiance, David Copperfield.

Hmmmmmm.

* Inside Out is published Thursdays.

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