Joan Mondale will receive an award from the Parsons School of Design in New York Wednesday "as a tribute to her dynamic support of art and design." Referring to her as "the Carter administration's arts advocate and examplar of good taste and style," the award also cites Mondale for her deep support for American art and design (which); extends most naturally to fashion and her encouragement of American designers.

Mondale has mixed some crafts, specifically dresses and vests by craftspersons with the inaugural garb that hangs in her closet, along with several items bought for her by Vice President Mondale. She has been partial to fashion designer Eleanor Brenner for several years and more recently has added designs by Bess Oxberry from Minnesota (a Parsons' graduate) and Joan Sibley. Occasionaly Val Cook of Saks Jandel is called in to polish up her wardrobe.

Parsons, by the way, has recently added a crafts department.

Garfinckel's Hanne Merriman was explaining to her table guests Madame de Laboulaye, wife of the French ambassador, and Countess Wachmeister, wife of the Swedish ambassador, why some of the Chanel outfits were so short at last week's boutique opening show at the store. Seems designer Philippe Guibourge uses a Japanese fitting model and these were his own samples. The big successes were the suits, based on Chanel themes of cardigans or simple shaped jackets, but modern in proportion, fit and fabric. With so many other designers having scored with Chanel knockoffs, it's nice that the new collection is such a winner - already more than half has been sold at Garfinckel's.

Geoffrey Beene, the first American designer other than Levi Strauss to succeed in establishing a major fashion business in Europe and influence fashion there, has broken another barrier. Until now, his clothes have been bought by stores in Italy (where they are manufactured as well as here), England and Germany. Never France, however, a situation Beene would only however, a situation Beene would only call "very curious." Now Beene's been invited to show his clothes on April 6 at the residence of the American ambassador to France and Mrs. Hartmann. It is a scholarship benefit for French women to study in a American university, sponsored by the American Women's Group in Paris.

Boy Scout officials shouldn't be worried about the Boy Scout hats in the upcoming fall collections. Beene says his version is made in Spain.

It had all the makings of a New York fasion show - the jammed entrance, the stranded elevator, the crowded seating, the delayed start. And Washington designer Erin Turner proved, more important, she's totally in step with the current, laid back fashions in New York - loose tops and dresses, pegged pants, velour and gauze. Turner's own signature, tie-dyed velour, is what she does best, including robes, meant to be worn with Danskins in perfectly matched colors.

Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing, Yul Brynner, Eartha Kitt and Imogene Coca are among the celebrities who have agreed to be personality mannequins at the fashion and theater arts gala June 11 at New York's St. James Theatre, benefitting the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, a training ground for young professionals in the dramatic arts. The Council of Fashion Designers of America is sponsoring the event, with the theater center and Diana Vreeland, Irene Selznick, Neil Simon and Marsha Mason as honorary co-Chairpersons.

Elizabeth Taylor bites her nails, so does television newscaster J.C. Hayward and they are in the company of 50 million other Americans, according to Ann Boyle, former stockbroker, now in the business of sculpting nails here.

Boyle opened the shop The Finishing Touch with friend Yolande DeFeres when she couldn't find a place to repair a broken nail on a visit here.

In the mail this week, a note from Ed Donovan, who has ferretted out the sources of the oversized and rumpled slouch look and concluded that Perry Ellis and others have been turned on by recent newspaper pictures. He enclosed two examples ripped from the papers - one a newsphoto of a miner coming out after eight hours in a nonunion pit and the other of Yasser Arafat, PLO leader. "Long live the slob look, whoever created it," Donovan concluded.

There's no guarantee that it will improve your disco dancing, but now you can at least look like John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever." H.I.S. is producing a five piece "disco" suit: seamless skintight pants, tapered jacket, scarf, pocket "puff" and vest. At Woodies and Hecht's in late May.

Why do basketball coaches wear three-piece suits? Strictly tradition, says Duke University coach Bill Foster: "I'd be far more comfortable in a sweat suit. Even a sweater is too hot. I sweat like heck at those games." Foster is also locked into the superstition of wearing the same outfit on a winning streak, like the one he has had recently. Currently, he's into a blazer and plaid pants. "Customers stop me at the cleaners and say 'You must be coach Foster, I recognize those pants.'"

The kidnapping of Calvin Klein's daughter a few weeks ago won't inhibit his regular personal appearance schedule - "It is simply part of my business. I can't carry on without it," he says. It will mean that Marci will be excluded from all the events she attended frequently with superstar designer father. She was a regular at all his openings and attended celebrations such as the Coty Award with him in the past, but no more. "She's just fine, really fine," Klein reports.

Klein is watching the remarkable success of his new cosmetic and fragrance line, introduced recently at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. Klein says the response was many times what retailers normally expect for the introduction of such products.

What replaces all the stick-pins worn this fall? More stickpins to decorate jacket lapels, this time charming and sometimes amusing ceramic faces or funky forms like food items. But also, pins, simple shapes in mirrored effects in ceramic or, at best, the porcelain pierrot faces from Cathay Hardwick.