So you wanna dress like your favorite star? Simple. Vanna While will let you walk away with her “comfort pumps.” Spike Lee wants you to take the shirt off his back. And Jerry Hall would love you to slip into her lingerie. No, the stars aren’t cleaning out their closets—but they do have designs on yours. Vanna. Spike and Jerry are just a few of the growing number of notables lending their names—and their presumed bankability—to everything from wigs (Eva Gabor) to frocks for full-figure women (Richard Simmons).
Some of the goodies, which tend to be hawked on TV shopping networks, offer a peek at the stars” secrets. After stepping into Marky Mark’s drawers, our model, Paula Poundstone, thinks she knows why the rap hunk is always fussing with them—they’re so uncomfortable. A casual dresser, the touring comic and Tonight Show political pundit jokes that she should market Paula Poundstone Unmatched Socks.
You may wonder, of course, if Jaclyn Smith really wears any of her $29.99 fashion watches or how much creative input Baryshnikov exercised over those leggings. Not much, by some accounts. “The celebs have nothing to do with the designs, for the most part,” says Alisa Bellettini, producer of MTV’s House of Style. “They’re just making a buck.”
Leopard print parasol, $19.95, by Tina Louise
Bumblebee earrings, $26, Joan Rivers Classics Collection
Rapp Style baseball cap with suede visor, $20, by Chuck D of Public Enemy
Beverly Hills, 90210 class rings, $48 each; varsity jacket, $250
Northern Exposure melton wool cap, $25; three-button henleys, $28 each
40 Acres & A Mule baseball jersey, $52, by Spike Lee
Custom-tailored dress shirts, $140 each, James Worthy Custom Clothiers
Eyeglasses, $100, by Sophia Loren
Fashion watches, $29.99 to $39.99, Jaclyn Smith Collection
Raisin “dress body,” $150, Jerry Hall Lingerie
Champagne ring, $275, Morgan Fairchild Diamonique Collection
Art in Neckwear silk tie, $28, by Jerry Garcia
Boxer shorts, $26, by Marky Mark
Kathie Lee for Plaza South tartan-plaid jacket and black skirt, $98, by Kathie Lee Gifford
X-LARGE logo wool cap, $16; zippered flannel shirt, $40, by Mike D of Beastie Boys
Comfort Pumps, $36, by Vanna White
Polynesian-print foot—less leggings, $32, Baryshnikov Bodywear
Purple Stardust boots, $110, Kenny Rogers Collection
Want a Real Charge? Shop with the Celebs
Who are the best and the brightest, the tightest and politest, when the Gold Card meets the clothing bill? Among the princes of plastic browsing on Savile Row, Rodeo Drive and in the Faubourg St. Honoré, the competition is savage. But the rules are different for Diana, Liz and Ah-nuld than for the rest of us. If they need a chic boutique to open at 3 A.M. to accommodate their schedule, no problema. Versace jackets worth $10,000 show up on spec at their hotel doors without their lifting a pinky. And if they have a teensy-weensy attitude problem, salesclerks have no choice but to put up with any amount of quirks and downright rudeness. Tales from the front counter:
PASHA OF THE PARAMILITARY: Michael Jackson is always welcome at that bastion of British correctness Gieves & Hawkes (which has supplied Prince Charles’s regimental uniforms). “We have provided clothing for his stage and other usage,” says Robert Gieves of the dangerous one. “He’s good value [a great guy], we find.”
LEGION OF HONOR: On a trip to Paris, Jerry Lewis decided to add a new dog carrier for his Shih Tzu, Angel, to his 70-piece collection of cher Louis Vuitton luggage. Striding forcefully into the emporium, he began to yank suitcases off the shelves to test for durability. Thirty minutes later, Angel had the perfect $5,000 tote and Lewis, who collected a few other bags, had added another $18,000 to his tab. Breathed the starry-eyed salesgirl: “You make me proud to be French.”
GROSS-DRESSER OF THE YEAR: Prince recently picked up several yellow-and-black stretch outfits from London designer Helen Storey. “They’re women’s clothes,” says Storey, “but in our smalls, our busts aren’t that big, so it’s not as if he looks like a transvestite.”
SHOPPED UNTIL HE DROPPED: While trying on shoes in the London bootery R. Soles, Guns N’ Roses rocker Slash, reports a bewildered clerk, “just went to sleep.”
SHIRTIEST SHOPPERS: According to those who serve them, Joan Collins (“bitchy”), Zsa Zsa Gabor (“demanding to the max”), Eddie Murphy (“extremely unpleasant”) and Jaclyn Smith (“snooty”) are big-ticket spenders who are barely worth the commission.
NOBS WITH NOBLESSE: On the other hand, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith (“very couple-y,”), Steve Martin (“a real person”), Elton John (“brings opening-night tickets”), Wynona Ryder (“really sweet”), Robin Williams (“extremely kind”) and Danny Glover (“a true joy”) can cash in anytime on their charm.
Their creations cost thousands, but these celebrity designers hardly look like a million. At a time when even the fashion press prattles about fashion victims, shouldn’t these physicians heal themselves? You be the judge.
Diane Von Furstenberg and daughter Tatiana, 21, mixed, matched and missed together.
Behind fan and shades, Karl Lagerfeld ducks the rap for dowdifying Claudia Schiffer.
Togetherness: Designer Betsey Johnson (right) takes the bottom of the dress, her daughter, Lulu, 17, the top.
At Kensington Palace, Vivienne Westwood models her version of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
Is this a mad bellhop or just French bad boy Jean Paul Gaultier playing another runway prank?
Gianni Versace escorts his sister Dominatrix, er, Donatella, in his $3,200 leather bondage bustier.