You've dreamed of dressing like a Saint Laurent rich Russian peasant, or dancing costumed in a corselet a la Carmen, courtesy of Saint Laurent, all right, but you could never afford it? Apparently, a lot of other people couldn't, either. A lot of these costumes, plus plenty of YSL's plain poplins - enough almost to fill a store - have hit the mark-down rack. That's the point of Status II, a discount store for top European designer clothing that opens tomorrow in Chevy Chase. It's the idea of Ernest and Henry Marx, who acquire the clothes through their YSL boutiques here, plus their other shops which will feed labels such as Valentino, Courreges and Castelbajac. Everything is marked down by at least half, and some by more.
(If you can't live another day without YSL's black chiffon zoaves - also called knickers or bloomers - they are on the rack at $41 marked down from $205. Of course they are from several seasons back, but you can still safely be the first on your block to own them.)
Henry Marx foresees a constant flow of merchandise into Status II not only from his own stores, but also from exclusive shops in other cities with the same overstock of imported designer merchandise.
Rosalynn Carter has picked what designer Dominic Rompollo pegs as "surprisingly sophisticate" style evening dresses from his fall collection. Rompollo, who designed most of Mrs. Carter's inaugural wardrobe, which she continues to wear, got a call from the White House asking him to bring down some fall styles, along with whatever was available for summer. Among her choices - a spaghetti strap, off-white chiffon and Lurex dress with matching jacket, a black wool jersey dress with black velvet quilted jacket dotted with "diamonds," a white wool dress with billowy sleeves and white satin quilted vest, and chestnut brown high neck, long sleeve, belted matte jersey dress.
Mrs. Carter stuck to light colors for her summer purchases from Rompollo, including a white cotton suit with long jacket, a beige cotton cloque style with straw belt and a lace trimmed white cotton cloque dress with plunge neckline for evening. According to Rompollo, daughters-in-law Annette and Caron Carter also bought summer dresses.
Picture Neiman-Marcus as "Boardwalk," Saks/Jandel as "Park Place," Saks Fifth Avenue, Garfinckel's Bloomingdale's and others scattered round the board, and you've got an idea of the game retailers are playing to get a monopoly on the fashion dollar in town. One of the biggest moves so far is across the shortest distance. Alice Dineen, for 14 years (since the stored opened) salon manager of Saks Fifth Avenue, will step across the street to Saks/Jandel to become that store's couture buyer. In Dineen's book of farily faithful clients (the hottest property of all) are Buffy Cafritz, Joan Kennedy, Constance Mellon, Deena Clark, Elizabeth Klee, Rosemarie Bogley, Betty Jo and Betty Lou Ourisman, Yolande Fox, Nancy Dickerson and many many others, says Dineen.
Planning to get a tie for Father's Day? Check these quotes: "Ties are the worst thing ever invented; the guy who invented the tie should be hung. Why? Because they are dangerous to the health. Ties constrict the neck and blood vessels, and get in the way of eating," says Barry Goldwater Jr. (R-Calif.), pictured wearing a tie. "It also adds pressure to a swollen head."
That was in response to a survey by Daily News Record (the WWD male counterpart) on Rep. Andrew Jacobs' (D-Ind.) suggestion that dress code be abolished for Congress.
Among those favoring the code (and tie-wearing on their job): William Cohen (R-Maine), Donald Pease (D-Ohio), Dawson Mathis (D-Ga.), Bob Carr (D-Mich.), and Thomas J. O'Neill (D-Mass.). On the other side, says Morris Udall (D-Ariz.), "God bless you, Jacobs. You are a true liberator of men."
Breast plates, worn by 16th-century Spanish conquistadors, are apparently coming back into use in Hong Kong. According to a survey conducted by The Hong Kong Star, 71 out of 100 Hong Kong women are "b-b-bashed" or otherwise molested by "hot-blooded young men" in crowded buses, trams and buildings. A metal-working firm thre promises three-day delivery on custom fitted bras in zinc, stell or cast iron. According the the Star article, which features a picture of local model Sha-Sha wearing a steel bra, made to order at Wing Sing metal works in 20 minutes. The typical "attacker" is usually described by victims as a "neatly dressed man in his 30s" many of whom "like to swing their arms in all directions and wear smiling faces." A Star editorial the same day urged women not to buy the padded versions of the bra, warning "the bigger they look, the bigger the bash."
What do fashion designers talk about when they first meet? The same thing, apparently, that other people end up discussing when they are introduced to a designer. Among the first words exchanged between Norma Kamali and Joan Vass after their lectures at the Smithsonian Institution recently were, "Can I buy wholesale?"
Kamali asked Vass if she could come to her loft and buy some sweaters. Vass, who considers the inquiry one of her greatest compliments, had the same request for Kamali, specifically for a bathing suit for Vass' daughter, Sara. A neat exchange is expected to ensue.
In a settlement reached without an admission of guilt, Levi Strauss has agreed to pay $3.5 million to California customers of their basic denim and corduroy jeans who made purchases between 1972 and 1975. The initial complaint had held that customers were overcharged because Levi Strauss required retailers to sell Levis at the company's pre-set prices.
"We didn't want to get involved in litigation (knowing) all the time and money on our part and the part of our executives that would be involved," said a company spokesman. This is the first time the California statute, which permits that attorney general to sue on behalf of consumers to recover damages brought on by the violation of state antitrust laws, has been used. The attorney general's office will take care of the distribution of funds, including placing ads to let consumers know how to make their claims. Approximately 2.5 million pairs of Levis were sold during each of the four years referred to in the claim.
New York designer Gil Aimbez has no serious problem with the way many women look on the street, only the way the street itself looks, particularly around Times Square, which he crosses each day en route to the garment center. So he has initiated a project to beautify Times Square with trees, shrubs and greenery.
Speaking of breastplates, that's part of the gear worn by the Fat Lady on the Bullets T-shirt. The "kickback" to the Bullets on the sale of the "Fat Lady" T-shirt will go to a Mare Splaver Memorial Scholarship Fund at American University. Splaver was Bullets public relations director for five years. He died of leukemia about a month a ago.
It was an uptown make-up demonstration, all right. The other night at the Golden Booeymonger, one male patron perched demurely at the bar, his high-button silver shoes crossed demurely at the ankle, while a female companion, herself garbed in screaming green overalls, instructed him in the application of eye shadow.