June 01, 1998 12:00 PM

Anatomy of a Fashion Slipup

In a flash, Elizabeth Hurley causes a furor in the London press for daring to bare while attending a friend’s formal wedding


Elizabeth Hurley may profess to wanting to keep her private life under wraps. But one begins to wonder if the same rule applies to her body parts.

The actress and Estée Lauder model caused a stir in 1994 when she attended the Cannes screening of lover Hugh Grant’s Four Weddings and a Funeral in a now-famous Versace safety-pin dress. On May 9, Hurley, 32, with Grant in tow, set off another flutter of fashion controversy when she wore a brilliant red Versace gown slit almost to the waist at the wedding outside London of friend Henry

Dent-Brocklehurst and model Lili Maltese. As she strode to the reception, Hurley was photographed in a revealing moment. Two days later her leopard-print panties (and a bit more) were on view in five hyperventilating London tabloids.

Hurley’s sense of decorum was taken to task in the same press that gave prominent space to the photo. Claiming Hurley was aware of her southern exposure, a Mirror writer opined, “Not many women would dream of upstaging the bride in such a way. But if your name is Liz Hurley, wedding etiquette can be cast aside—apparently.”

Though the press had their knickers in a twist over the incident, guests noticed nothing amiss. Interior designer Nicky Haslam, one of 350 who attended the nuptials (along with celebs Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall and Bryan Adams), says, “When she was standing, it looked like a perfectly ordinary skirt. There wasn’t any gossip going around like, ‘Have you seen Elizabeth Hurley’s knickers?’ ”

Responding to criticism, Hurley promised, “In the future I shall make sure I do a full 360-degree check as, contrary to popular opinion, I am not remotely inclined to show all and sundry my underwear.”


Dennis Rodman

People give Dennis Rodman a thorough once-over when he introduces himself. “They say, ‘You don’t look like him,’ ” says Rodman, 22. That’s the good news. Rodman Jr., a steelworker, and his dad (yep, Dennis Sr.) may be fans of the Chicago Bulls forward, but they’re not about to race to the beauty shop for a green rinse and pierced nipple. “I like my body the way it is,” says Senior, 44, an assembly man from Marion, Ohio, whose idea of kinky jewelry is a wedding band.

The Rodmans were plucked out of local obscurity when the Worm began making news five years ago as a leading NBA rebounder, an on-court instigator and a Madonna steady. “People always ask, ‘How’s your rebounding?’ ” says Senior, who has five children. “I’m not him; I’m me.”

A year ago, when Senior worked at a tire shop, guys got a laugh because he worked on a car belonging to a Michael Jordan. And Junior says dating can be a bit dicey because “women don’t believe me when I tell them my name.” Still, he concedes some admiration for the Worm: “He isn’t trying to impress the world.” Dad is pretty forgiving himself. “He’s strange,” he says of Rodman, “but I’m strange myself.”

Kids, Don’t Try This at Home

Warning: Playing King of the World can be hazardous to your health. So cautions the Passenger Vessel Association in urging Titanic fans not to emulate doomed lovers Jack and Rose (left, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) by climbing atop a ship’s prow. Daredevils have been spotted in dangerous life-imitates-art poses on cruise ships and ferries. And, fears Chris Hendricks, head of Spirit Marine Co., which runs cruises, “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Pros Seek Justice for a Fee

Getting your way with a faceless bureaucracy isn’t a job for amateurs. So who you gonna call? Try comlaintbusters Sandy and Gary Rattigan. For $50 an hour, this Somerville, Mass., couple will gladly tackle such exasperating tasks as getting faulty products replaced, insurance claims adjusted and billing-disputes resolved. Since the couple opened Complain To Us last year, they claim a 65 percent success rate for their more than 200 clients, many of whom had lost all hope of justice.

“I don’t know how they did it,” says Columbus, Ind., engineer Robert Reed, who had his credit rating restored after the Rattigans took over his fight. “It was like a miracle.” Not exactly, says Gary, 41, an artist in his free time. “We use friendly persuasion, but sometimes we have to act like pit bulls. People always take demanding tones and mention a lawyer, which is silly because the company just ignores you after that unless you [actually] take legal action.” Adds Sandy, 40, who learned the art of the grievance at the other end of the phone as a billing manager for a hospital: “I wanted to be the good guy for a change.”

And that’s exactly what they are, says Braintree, Mass., homemaker Betty DeVoe. After her efforts to get defective carpeting replaced yielded only a bottle of cleaning fluid from the manufacturer—and a $20 invoice for it—she called the Rattigans. It took several months, but voilà, the carpeting was replaced. In another case an insurer finally coughed up $2,000 to reimburse a man who had needed a medical airlift out of the African jungle. “They gave him back every dime,” says Gary.

The one thing the Rattigans haven’t yet fixed is a broken heart, though they’ve been asked. A potential client griped that her boyfriend wasn’t attentive enough. Says Gary: “When she realized we really would [take the case], she backed off and said she wanted to think about it.”


Vanna White would like a ‘B’ as in buyer. The Wheel of Fortune cohost is selling the Mediterranean-style Beverly Hills home she has lived in since 1991 for just under $3.3 million. The five-bedroom, seven-bath house comes with three fireplaces, a pool, library and tennis court. White, 41, and her husband, restaurateur George Santo Pietro, 51, who have two young children, are building a new home in the Los Angeles area.


Memorial Day marks the start of beach season. Can you describe the most embarrassing swimsuit you ever wore?

Actress Julianne Moore

“Any of the ones I wore when I was pregnant last summer.”

Baywatch’s Michael Bergin

“The Speedos that say ‘Baywatch’ across the butt.”

La Femme Nikita’s Peta Wilson

“My brother’s boxer shorts.”

Here Comes the Son

“I didn’t ask them to pose that way. It just happened,” says photographer Sonia Moscowitz. Her snap of Sean Lennon and girlfriend Yuka Honda is further evidence that Sean is playing the same romantic tune as his late father, John (right, with Yoko in ’71). Yuka, 37, a Japanese avant-garde musician, is 15 years Sean’s senior; Yoko, 65, a Japanese avant-garde artist, had eight years on John. Yuka inspired much of Sean’s new solo album, Into the Sun; Yoko is John’s “Woman.” How does Yoko feel about this? Great. She introduced them.

The Next ‘Master’?

Will Frasier be able to replace Seinfeld as America’s favorite comedy? If history is any indication…maybe. Scoop charted the replacements for five classic sitcoms and found that few succeed. But who knows? Frasier isn’t a new face. He’s returning to Thursdays at 9 p.m., a slot where everybody knows his name.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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