People Staff
December 03, 1990 12:00 PM

The ostentatious ’80s are out, the tidy ’90s in. Goodbye, trash and flash; hello, restraint and dignity—right? Whoa! Not so fast, says our trend-savvy panel—comedian Rita Rudner, actor Matt (Doctor, Doctor) Frewer, actress Arleen (America’s Funniest People) Sorkin, designer Patrick Norris, British fashion pundit Peter York and B-movie idol Linnea (Vice Academy 2) Quigley. With no restraint (and very little dignity), they offer their views on the year’s most conspicuously clothed celebrities

Remember Splash? Six years out of the tub, Daryl Hannah still won’t let us forget. “I hate to say it, but she looks like a transvestite mermaid,” says Linnea Quigley. Matt Frewer was the only judge to find something good to say about Daryl’s bal de mer style. He calls it “dolphin friendly.”

Sarah, Duchess of York, got mixed reviews for this ball gown. Rita Rudner thinks it makes her look like a “baked potato.” To Linnea Quigley, Fergie appears to be on her way “to a sleazy lounge to sing.” Patrick Norris is more approving. “I like it,” he says. “She’s cool, bringing that Ninja Turtle look to Europe.”

Warren Beatty’s outfit has Ishtar quality. “It’s the bellhop look from Duran Duran’s European tour, 1982,” says York. Rudner blamed the two watches on “his complicated dating schedule.”

M.C. Hammer got a bad rap for wearing what Frewer describes as “Reynolds Wrap.” Quigley adds, “He’ll be playing Vegas along with Wayne Newton soon.”

One look at Knots Landing‘s Nicollette Sheridan and L.A. Law‘s Harry Hamlin and Rudner decrees, “They’re the best-looking couple in the world.” Sorkin suggests, “When I die, I want to come back as Nicollette, in that dress, on top of Harry.” Daydreaming, Quigley concludes. “It looks like he’s crushed her velvet a lot.”

Convicted junk-bond czar Michael Milken didn’t spend his millions on clothes. “You can do anything in this outfit,” says Quigley, “mow the lawn…make license plates.” Rudner thinks Milken could get a job modeling “Lots of Excuses Jeans.”

“It’s a good bowling outfit,” says Norris of Sinéad O’Connor’s getup. Surveying the shorn shamrock and roller. Quigley asks, “If she wants to disguise herself, how about a hat instead of sunglasses?” But York dismisses the frumpy facade as the “age-old pop-star-in-airport” image.

The judges applaud Bruce Willis and Demi Moore‘s Hollywood allure. York thinks Demi Moore resembles “a ’40s pinup shot—like Joan Crawford being radiant.” Norris disputes only the decade: “They look very ’30s classic.” So classic, says Quigley, that Willis could pass for Bogart. Still, she frets. “Why is he wearing white? He looks like a guy who spills a lot.”

Quigley thinks Spike Lee “looks very nice in pinstripes,” but his sister Joie Lee, in jacket and shorts, “can’t decide if it’s hot or cold out.” York argues that “her hot pants are great.” Sorkin, in an outburst of original phrasing, says, “When it comes to fashion, it’s hard to do the right thing.”

Joan Rivers should talk “She looks like she’s about to detonate [former employer] Fox-TV,” says Frewer. No. says Norris, “she’s obviously just come from the Liberace fire sale.” Quigley suggests, “It’s embarrassing for a celebrity to ask for a doggie bag; she must have decided to wear her own.”

Quigley says Ivana Trump “looks like Brigitte Bardot gone wrong.” York disagrees: “I think she looks very good-much better than she did when she was so glitzy.” But Sorkin just can’t get past the coiffure: “She looks like a doll I had that when you pressed her stomach, the hair grew. Maybe that little thing on top is a money pouch.”

Seeing Roseanne Barr with Tom Arnold, Rudner concludes, “After this, she fired her hat.” Frewer says, “It looks like she was on a Coca-Cola assembly line and got the last bottle cap.” A kinder Sorkin decrees, “The Barbara Bush pearls are a nice touch,” while York deems Roseanne “the most svelte and tasteful I’ve seen her.”

Denzel Washington and son John David charmed the panel. “Very hip,” says Norris. “It’s a nice look for the ’90s when you’re seen in public with your child.” Adds York: “He looks like a regular person with a regular child, not an accessory child.” Only spoilsport Quigley demurs: “I think the son’s better dressed.”

What could be debatable about Tom Cruise in a simple dark suit? As Norris says, “Tom looks together; he looks good.” Wham! York dubs the look The Thinking Actor Betrayed by His Tailor. Why? “The jacket’s too short, the trousers are too baggy. This is a suit of peculiar cut.”

The judges feel Julia Roberts and boyfriend Kiefer Sutherland make a pretty pair. “These two are cool,” says Norris, while Sorkin praises Roberts’s “very pretty dress.” But Rudner sees another theme: “It’s a movie called The Virgin and the Drug Dealer.”

Debbie Allen (with her husband, former pro hoopster Norm Nixon) went way out in a ta-ra-ra-bustier, thereby earning the wrong kind of Fame with the judges. “She’s lovely except for her breastplate,” says York. “This makes you think of Robo-Woman.”

“I think she looks beautiful, a prom queen if I’ve ever seen one,” Sorkin assesses Delta Burke. York agrees: “There’s a great deal of lace cantilevered out; she looks just darling.” Norris makes it unanimous. “If this picture gets out, fans will be very big in ’91.”

Does anyone not like Patrick Swayze and wife Lisa Niemi? Not a Ghost of a chance! Quigley calls them the year’s “best-dressed couple.” York gets specific: “They have the young-at-heart, stay-together, raise-some-kids look.”

Poor Kim Basinger! She bought a town, but look at that gown! The best adjective Frewer could summon up was “interesting,” while a puzzled Norris admits, “I can’t figure out where she’d be going in this.” York has an idea: “Is it Cinderella?”

Marla Maples is no Mrs. Frump. “Cool, very cool,” Norris coos. “She’s wearing what she thinks is tailored, but the boots wreck it,” quibbles Quigley. But Sorkin takes an overview: “I’m sure that according to Ivana, getting dressed is not Marla’s forte.” Meow!

York describes Matt Dillon’s outfit as a “sort of training to be Jimmy Cagney, a gambler-hood look.” Norris thinks Matt and his overcoat have “a real good fashion thing going here, a real hip look.” Quigley also approves—”except for the tie.”

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