Queen Anne-Marie, former queen of Greece, has the same problem everyone else has with rising cost of clothing and everything else. So in New York last week, after lunch with Saks/Jandel's Val Cook at Giovanni, they dashed to designer Joan Sibley's studio where the queen limited herself to one coat costume (in royal blue, of course) for spring and a wrap coat costume in black pinstripe for fall. (The queen addressed the mailing label: H.M. The Queen of Greece at her London address.) The queen also wears clothes by American designers Zoran and George Stavropoulos.
Former King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie were in New York where he was attending a yachtsman's meeting. While there he was asked to be godfather for ballet superstar Natalia Makarova's new baby. They had hoped to visit the U.S. earlier but mentioned difficulties getting visas with their royal passports.
Phil and Val Cook had been their neighbors in Rome for three years after the king and queen had left Greece and Phil Cook was Rome bureau chief for Newsweek.
The Mother's Day gift from your dear ones is a little dearer this year, particularly if it's jewelry. In fact, the jump in the wholesale price of jewelry, placed at 31 percent, has pushed up the overall wholesale price index 1.2 percent this month. Jeweler Harry Pampillonia pegs the culprits as diamonds and colored stones, but says, if anything, higher prices have boosted rather than hindered sales. "People are buying more as a hedge against inflation, which is something we don't encourage," Pampillonia said. He admits that those customers not in "constant touch with the market are shocked by current prices."
No slowdown elsewhere either. Garfinckel's sells all the Cartier wristwatches it can get its hands on, in spite of the recent jump from $395 to $450. The popular pinky ring from Florence, made to look like the Van Cleef & Arpel's design in many colors, jumped from $275 to $350 in six months but hasn't fallen off in sales with either American or European customers.
Other big jewelry sellers all over - stickpins, pearls (mostly the 30-to-35-inch matinee length) and diamond stud earrings.
Diamond prices have gotten so high that Trygve Nupen at Nupen Jewelers in Fall Church has started "fingerprinting" them. The system, called Gemprint, uses a small laser beam to produce a reflective pattern from the gem's physical structure and was developed by scientists at Israel's Weizmann Institute. According to Nupen, like fingerprints, no two gemprints are identical, so "this technique will significantly alter the security problems that gem owners now face," he said.
Cheryl Tiegs is giving up modeling, she says. "All except the editorial things like Harper's Bazaar and Sports Illustrated," she announced on the AM America show last week. Now the top paid model in America at $1,500 per day, she's scheduled to do lots of television and hopes to do a movie. She was at ease and confident for her first morning show appearance but was far less graceful on an earlier TV special on the Kentucky Derby.
Oleg Cassini has put his name on instant coffee jars, New York hairdresser Julius Caruso is pushing brooms, and Pierre Cardin has his name on jewel safes and radiators. What does this tell us about the state of fashion and beauty today?
Eleanor Roosevelt's black broadtail coat belongs in a museum and Yolande Fox promises it will get there eventually. (Fox got it after a Democratic club auction to which it had been donated five years ago.) But recently she found it the handiest thing to flip over a Chloe dress to wear to dinner in Georgetown. The front linning of the coat is embroidered with Eleanor Roosevelt's signature.
For those who care, and an awful lot do, Barbara Harbaugh is now back at Flashback. She left to study sculpture and photography at the Corcoran but found "it is easier to get into business than to get out . . . and now I'm trying to do both."
Going back to a reunion? To an offspring's graduation? Your own? Here's a clue to academic gear: It's almost always basic black, hemlines don't count and it has its everyday dress heritage of the Middle Ages. The current popular version was designed by Gardner Cotrell Leonard in 1887, adopted in the American Intercollegiate Code of 1894 and revised in 1932. The academic hood, the decorative drape which hangs down the back, is derived from the cape attached to gowns of undergraduates since the end of the 15th century. The inside colors usually represent school colors and the outer band of velvet indicates the fieldl of study - agriculture (maize), arts and letters (white), fine arts, including architecture (brown), law (purple), dentistry (lilac), journalism (crimson), medicine (green), nursing (apricot) and theology (scarlet).
Agriculture is maize for obvious reasons, medical doctors wear green, supposedly taken from the color of healing herbs, and the lawyers take their royal purple color from the law-making power of kings.
The mortarboard, the large square black board sitting on a black cap with a large tassel that should hang to the right before graduation, to the left after, has been worn since the 14th century at universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
So why did Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery of Art, wear a brown gown for his George Washington University honors last week? Because it was given to him some years back to Brown University, who also gave him an honorary degree.
At George Washington University, most students still rent robes while at Georgetown and Catholic, they mostly buy their own . . . less than $20.Great for bathrobes or summer dusters after the degree.