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BY DESIGN | FASHION / SENSE OF STYLE

Like, Her Loyalty Can't Be Bought With an $8,000 Dress, OK?

February 15, 1996|MIMI AVINS | TIMES FASHION EDITOR

The distinguished young actress Ghimmee Klasz was in crisis. She would feel so much better if she could just vent a little, so, could we, like, meet for lunch? Over Cobb salads (no bacon, no bleu cheese, no avocado, dressing on the side) she talked and I listened. What are friends for?

"Being a star isn't all it's cracked up to be," she began. Ghimmee looked pale, so fragile. I thought I saw the beginning of a herpes blister forming on her collagen-plumped lower lip. She was trying hard to be brave.

"The problem is this Oscar dress thing. It used to be a designer would send something pretty. I'd work on a subtle tan, not so I looked as if I changed race or anything, and I'd be really good about my upper-body workouts so my arms wouldn't be, like, flapping, and then I'd go on TV looking fabulous. End of story.

"But it's all become so complicated. Now you wear a designer's dumb little dress and he thinks he owns you. Just because the black velvet gown by that cute Rudolfo was just perfect for me for the Golden Globes, his boyfriend, who's the brains of the operation, to tell you the truth, starts talking about what I'll wear on Letterman next month and to the Emmys if Sean's show gets nominated, which it probably won't, and I don't know what I'm doing dating a television actor anyway.

"Rudolfo's boyfriend keeps using the word loyalty. As if I can't spot a guilt trip heading my way. I should be impressed that the dress sells for $8,975 at Neiman's? Everybody knows it costs practically nothing to make those strapless numbers. Since I gave up carbohydrates I'm a 2, and how much fabric does that take? They don't pay the Third World women who sew on all those little beads anything, and if I really thought about it, I swear I'd be embarrassed to wear something so un-PC.

"So Bobbie Joy, my new publicist, lets the boyfriend know that I'm really not happy. They send flowers. What, Rudolfo never heard of Cartier?

The boyfriend goes deaf when Bobby Joy tells him I need shoes and pantyhose, Wolford or Fogal will do. As if one pair of $40 tights will break them. I mean, if they really cared they'd keep me in my favorite hose all year. As my Grandma used to say, 'I'm easy but I'm not cheap.' In January these guys want to be my best friends. Where were they in July? I heard Demi Moore's been getting packages from those two weird Italians all year."

"Which Italian designers?" I inquire.

"Oh, you know. The ones that look as if they grew up in the Addams family. So now Bobbie Joy's making my life miserable because Rudolfo and friend want to lend her a gown for the Oscars and that means no fittings, and I don't want to be unkind but the woman isn't exactly built for speed. Lending is so over.

"I love Bobbie Joy, and the last thing I'd want is a timid publicist, but I heard she went a little over the top and told the boyfriend that dressing me is at least a six-part package. You know, my agent, his wife, my manager, and Sean, except if we break up we'd need clothes for his successor too, though I should be so lucky to find someone else with his talent, if you know what I mean. I thought that was a little much, but Bobbie Joy said she has her ear to the ground and everyone's getting those deals.

Believe me, if I ask for less, I get less, ergo I am less. Remember that advertising campaign, where that English guy whose plastic surgeon does such good work said in this really sincere voice, 'If we don't look good, you don't look good?' Well, duhhh. Don't these designers get it?"

*

The Other Awards: Monday evening, the Council of Fashion Designers of America feted the winners of its 1995 awards at a gala dinner for 700 in a tent outside New York's Lincoln Center. Ralph Lauren, chosen women's wear designer of the year, presided over a table that included Ronald Perelman, Liam Neeson, Edgar and Clarissa Bronfman and a stunning quartet Lauren had dressed for the occasion--Natasha Richardson, Julia Ormond, Patricia Duff and Lauren Bacall. L.A.'s Richard Tyler was honored for his men's collection.

With the temperature at 15 below zero, many of the women shivering in flimsy slip dresses regretted going stockingless. Mick Jagger stayed cozy with his trademark white fringed silk scarf. When wife Jerry Hall was out of sight, he greeted former wife Bianca with a neck nuzzle, abandoning the traditional air kiss--just trying for a little radiant body heat.

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