October 25, 1993 12:00 PM

STYLE WEAKNESS: Swings from excess to ennui

FASHION IDEAL: Believes wardrobes should have wit

ACT OF MERCY: Kill the quills

“Why spend money on a very regular jacket when you can have these fabulous feathery things—sequined pants, platform shoes, marabou jackets—that make a statement?” Marisa Tomei has asked. A few answers come quickly to mind: Because parodying poultry doesn’t become a talented Oscar-winning actress (My Cousin Vinny). Because when clothes are allowed to make statements, they’re liable to say all the wrong things. Because bedecking yourself in froufrou, day in and day out, will inevitably lead to a counter-desire for clothes so starkly unadorned that you’ll be able to pass as a double for the figure on a Don’t Walk sign. “I like clothes with a sense of humor,” Tomei has said. Though she deserves credit for trying to avoid a standard Hollywood basic-black wardrobe, the Brooklyn-born Tomei, 28, who is single and nests in both L.A. and New York City, should save her comedic spins for the screen. She proved herself one of the best comedians since Lucille Ball, playing Vinny’s Mona Lisa Vito, whom she has described as “a fashion victim.” Maybe it’s time for her to cause a flap by stepping out of character.

You May Like