Stockard Channing, the tough chick in "Grease" whose CBS sitcom "Stockard Channing in Just Friends" starts in early March, Describes herself as "shaped like an ice-cream cone." In fact, she looked not unlike a petite model in a Bill Kaiserman padded shoulder, shawl-collared jacket, Calvin Klein pleated pants and Charles Jourdan shose as she bantered with the press at the recent Men's Fashion Association meeting in Los Angeles. So self-conscious of her 5-foot-3 height, she insists she "looks like a brioche" when she sits down. "I look far better standing," she says. She loves to read fashion magazines -- "I'm so impressionable that by the time I close the magazine, I think I'm 5-foot-9 and blond -- then I look in the mirror and have to regroup."

Channing, who says she shops with her husband "one day for me and one day for him," says she'll occasionally wear his Italian-cut clothes. She regularly gives things away that don't fit or that she simply has stopped wearing.

The only problem wearing '50s style clothes in "Grease" was getting used to flat shoes, she says. And the skirts were so tight that she had to drop them down rather than hike them up when she went to the ladies room.

Literary agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar was sporting a red and white barber-pole striped tie and matching shirt with white collar at a recent Allan Carr party in Hollywood. "It's my personal homage to King Edward," says Lazar, who ordered the shirt from Hawes & Curtis, haberdashers to the royal family.

Cheryl Ladd owns 40 pairs and Cher has 20 pairs of the lycra/spandex and nylon satiny stretch jeans in dayglo colors. They are $60 a pair at Bojeangles in Palm Springs, where they were created by Charles Weiner (Ann Taylor carries them locally). Weiner, who describes them as "shiny, but in a tasteful way, not just hip chick" says the clincher is the comfort factor. He now makes them in kids' sizes, too. First in line to buy them -- Cher's daughter, Chastity, 10.

Designer Rudi Gernreich has given up predicting clothes for the future. "It's more difficult," admits Gernreich. "Everything is so short-lived, lasting five minutes, no more. A statement is made one season, contradlcted the next," says Gernreich, diagnosing it as a "slgn of the confusion of the times in general." Gernreich, whose major energies now are going to home furnishings, plates for Mikasa ("they don't have to be round y'know," says Gernreich) and bodywear for Capezio, expects that after all the "starvation" the Chinese will turn to varied for sure, with all the headlines concerning China, Rudi is convinced that some Paris designers are probably revving up another Chinese look. "It is so funny, the minute something happens in China, everyone goes to imperialistic brocades fo ancient Chinese clothes, longer clothes," and he adds laughing, "Chen Yu lipstick."

Gernreich is no longer absolutely convinced that uniforms are the wave of the future, but thinks it's not a bad idea. "But then you have to be strong and find ways to individualize the uniform. The detail becomes so much more apparent."

From the soon-to-be-published "Paul Newman, Sukperstar": "As for his unfading good looks, he boasts that he has a recipe. Every day he puts on a snorkel and plunges his head into a pail of very cold water, keeping it there for 20 minutes. 'It tightens my skin,' he claims, 'better than any cosmetic and it takes years off my appearance.' "

New look for John Travolta -- he's sporting a beard these days.

It's the ultimate accolade for the California designers who have become increasingly important to Washington stores, not only because of their originality of design, but also stability in price and product availability as compared with European imports. The top of the crop has been tapped by the pattern books. For McCalls May pattern book (which will be in Washington stores March 1) Bob Mackie, who does extravagant evening garb for Cher, Carol Burnett and othes; Bonnie Strauss (for David Strauss); Norma Fink of Theodore; and Carole Little for Saint Tropez West will appear for the first time. Simplicity Patterns added Holly Harp, Harriet Selwyn and Jessica McClintock (for Gunne Sax) patterns last September. Butterick has Jane Tise and will add Nancy Stolkin in May.

Edith Head has designed for Vogue patterns since 1976, and her glamorous evening clothes patterns are among their top 10 sellers during the holidays.

Says Richard Segrin, design director at McCalls, the big appeal of california desilgners at this moment is that "They are more willing to experiment, and are not so influenced by Paris and Milan as the New York designers."