Disco diva Grace Jones was in the Issey Miyake boutique in Paris last week. "I'd buy everything in sight if I didn't limit myself to the cash in my wallet," said Jones who, in fact, limited herself to two jackets, one jumpsuit and two pairs of sunglasses. She was wearing Miyake's molded-foam fencer's vest and red round-shouldered jacket, over which she tried on shirts to find something large enough for her boyfriend, Hans Lundgren, a weightlifter and kickboxing champion of Europe and Australia.
Jones, who was with Angelo Tabu Bara (one of her look-alike groupies, whom she refers to as clones), left the next morning for London, where she is putting into works a cosmetics deal (mostly black and blue lipstick), hats (all with flattops in the shape of her own hair), tights (in cotton, ankle-length), a fragrance, masks and sunglasses. Clones, not Jones, will appear in all the ads, which Jones will direct for mail-order business only.
The Clones and Jones give each other their flattop haircuts, "with an occasional assist from a professional," according to Jones. Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier and Jones figured out her current signature flattop haircut and matching hats. "It's nice for my angular body," she said. "I'm not round, you know. I'm angular."
Earlier in the day, Jones had stopped by the Kenzo showroom to buy six furs from his recent collection, and at Claude Montana's studio for a black suede suit. "Just imagine what I would spend if I used a credit card," she laughed, and raced out the door to the Azzedine Alai a fashion show.
And now, from the man who gave us those tight black skirts and other ingeniously cut, very skinny fitted clothes, Azzedine Alai a, come more fitted clothes in colors the designer calls "faux black." The navy, green and brown are so dark you think they are black. In his shows, given informally in his apartment on the Rue de Bellechasse, many of the dresses, sweaters and coats are constructed with broad shoulders and wide armholes--some as wide as batwing sleeves, and then very tight over the hips.
"The clothes are really quite classic and pure, but tight," says Micheline Peker, from La Boutique Franc,aise in Mazza Gallerie. Washington women have already started seeking out the Azzedine Alai a fit. "Some people are slim enough to wear very tight clothes. And some women who are less slim like to show off their figures."
Audrey Smaltz, former fashion editor of Ebony magazine and now a free-lance consultant, did all her Christmas shopping in Paris last week and it didn't cost her a cent. "I just walk into a shop and admire everything and offer to buy a shopping bag," said Smaltz, who was at the Azzedine Alai a show with a shopping bag full of crisp new shopping bags from different boutiques. Stores are always flattered to give her a bag for free. For Christmas, Smaltz recycles some of the samples and small gifts she receives from business friends all year and puts each one in a chic-y shopping bag. "It never misses," she said.
Dominique Olympe, the creative chef and owner with her husband, Albert Nahmias, of the restaurant D'Olympe, has been waiting for the black leather skirt she ordered seven months ago from Azzedine Alai a. She's not sure if she'll wear it in the kitchen, but she might, she says. One night last week she was wearing a white cotton embroidered blouse from China, a white skirt and apron over it all.
"It is a great struggle finding something to wear to look great in the kitchen," says Abby Mandel, cookbook author and food-processor aficionado who was assisting in several restaurants here last week. Mandel had chosen a white shirt, black knit trousers and black sneakers not only for the kitchen, but when running around to the food shops to buy the truffle juice and walnut oil used in the restaurants where she was working.
Mandel spent two days with Christiana Massia, chef and owner of Le Restaurant du Marchais and the one-star restaurant down the street on the Rue Danzip, L'Aquitaine, where there are only women in the kitchen. Mandel counted three women in pants, two in skirts. But none looked more stylish than Massia herself, who always wore white shirts in silk or cotton, skinny wool skirts--"the kind we wore at Smith College in the 1950s," said Mandel--and sweater-knit tights and high-heel pumps.
Gerard Penneroux, who has been designing the menswear collection at Christian Dior, will start designing the women's ready-to-wear for the next collection. Marc Bohan, who recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with Dior, will continue as artistic director of the house, designing the haute couture collections and looking after the accessories.
Penneroux had been an assistant to Hubert de Givenchy for ready-to-wear before he joined Dior in 1974 as stylist for the company's licensees in North and South America. Since 1980 he has been in charge of Dior's menswear division.
Meanwhile, Dior's Bohan had the best showcase of his last collection in the United States as Princess Caroline, daughter of the late Princess Grace of Monaco, toured several American cities to promote the Shakespeare Globe Centre, a pet project of her mother. The princess' wardrobe was almost totally by Bohan, including the black-taffeta, puffed-sleeve gown with white-taffeta sash she wore to the National Symphony Orchestra benefit concert at the Kennedy Center earlier this week. (Note the dotted hose and silver spike heels in the photo.)
Her traveling buddy on the trip, Lynn Wyatt, was mostly in Bill Blass or Carolina Herrera.
They weren't war wounded limping around the tents with canes, crutches and casts during the fashion show. Koko Hashim of John Wanamaker, Pat Petersen of Henri Bendel and Beverly Peterson of L.S. Ayres, arrived here injured. All found the special treatment they received made it easier to get cabs and to get into shows, but still would have preferred the solid footing of their own two healthy feet.