They are still wearing white dresses in the alumnae parade at Smith College, and while non-white shoes won't have you banned from marching, many alums clearly bought new shoes as well as dresses for the occasion. The graduating class also marched in white, several women fashioning their dresses out of sheets, as counterparts did 25 years ago - and all years in between. For them, the white shoes are gone, and cha-cha heels and flat Chinese shoes are very popular.
Several of the Class of '54 passed up the white uniform and the march, as well. "I thought I was making swell progress," one marcher told a non-marcher, "but it never occured to me that I had an alternative, that I didn't have to follow the schedule as I did 25 years ago." But if the clothes were as expected, the accessories were often a surprise . . . Betty Haddock Laurenz wore a Vegimals soft-sculptured winged hat, barbara Petchesky jacobsen teamed her white Bendel suit with lacy anklets and heels.
In the early '50s, shorts were permitted only on campus but not for dinner and only those that were no shorter than three fingers above the knee. But short running shorts were the "uniform" for the class of 1974, worn with T-shirts.
Out of parade whites, the class of 1954 showed a definite tilt to Talbot catalogue conservatism , not all that far removed from the Ivy League look of the 1950s. "The Talbot catalogue is so important to me," admitted a Smith alum, "I keep it out on my cocktail table full time."
Other visual assaults at reunion: bathrobes worn to breakfast, men (husbands - one assumes) in the bathroom, a wine bottle on the reception desk table and a huge bowl of peanut butter on the breakfast table.
New York model Iman, who was in Washington to wear Calvin Klein's 24-carat gold dresses in the fashion show Rosalynn Carter presented at the National Arboretum recently, is off to London and South Africa for the lead role in the Otto Preminger film, "The Human Factor." Iman, who is married to basketball player Spencer Haywood, was dashing between the Seventh Avenue fall showings to various offices to get her visa papers, often wearing pleated front pants, a shirt and on cool days, a baseball style jacket.
Italian designer Giorgio Armani, whose soft blazer started the uniform for men and women two years back, won't be doing clothes for the film "American Gigolo" as originally announced. The clothes were made for John Travolta, who has since dropped out of the film, succeeded by Richard Gere. "Richard Gere is shorter and stronger built than John," says Armani, who was in Los Angeles recently to pick up a Neiman-Marcus award. "So he is going to wear whatever he can for the movie." Travolta gets to keep the 40-piece wardrobe made for the movie as his own personal items.
Armani, in talking about clothes for spring 1980, predicts, "They will go on to being elegant because the ladies fashions are very elegant, and the men who go out with them will have to wear the same type of clothes . . . At the same time, it's going to stay clean - nothing added. The silhouette is going to be one that helps the figure, big shoulders, narrow around the waist. The look will follow the silhouette of the well-built man."
Designer John Weitz says he learned about cars when he was a young boy from his family chauffeur in London. Now he has a model under glass in his studio of the car he designed that he expects to drive by October. Weitz describes the car is looking "as if it were running when it is really standing ADF11." The car is being made for him by a small factory in London.
"Most people don't drive their cars. They wear them. So the sports car is actually a part of fashion," says Weitz. His car will be an expensive part - $50,000. "But after all, people pay $100,000 for Rolls Royces."
Where can I find a sweater like the one you wore on television recently?" Mrs. James Moore of New Jersey wrote Cary Grant. The day he got the letter, Grant called Moore. "You are kidding, you aren't Grant. Who are you anyway?" Moore demanded. But it was indeed the actor who wanted to tell her that he appreciated the letter and that his sweater was from Carroll's in Beverly Hills. Richard Carroll thinks Grant must get on the phone often as he's heard from several others inquiring about Grant's wardrobe.
Some students went straight from the end of sorority rush at 2:30 in the morning and stayed through the night to sign up for interviews for jobs with a representative from Neiman-marcus at Duke University this semester. Retailing jobs generally have gained a sizeable appeal for students over the last three years, according to Patricia O'Connor, director, office of placement services at Duke. "Students have come to realize that retailing is more than selling ties," says O'Connor. "It comes from a time when liberal arts majors had a harder time finding jobs and were receptive to looking at broader options." she said. The only line that started earlier was to sign up for interviews in the field of marketing operations and production, specifically with the American Hospital Supply company. Students who finished studying at midnight and got on line to make an appointment for interviews found a few other students in sleeping bags on line before them.
Calvin Klein has taken himself out of the running for this year's Coty Awards, he says, "for absolutely personal reasons." He was nominated for a special award tacked on to his Hall of Fame award along with Halston, Geoffrey Beene and Ralph Lauren and was put on the ballot for a menswear award. CAPTION: Pictures 1 and 2, Fashion at the Smith reunions: Betty Haddock Laurenz in parade whites and Vegimal hat and Barbara Petchesky Jacobsen in white suit and anklets at Smith, above; Smith photos by Nina Hyde; Picture 3, New York model Iman, right. right photo by Margaret Thomas - The Washington Post