Throwing Their Hats in The Wingss

For starters , Val Cook is trading her full time role as vice-president of everything" to become a consultant to Saks-Jandel. "I have no special plans," said Cook, who started in the fashion business when she took over the Dorcas Hardin boutique 10 years ago. She closed her shop two years later and has been working at Saks-Jandel doing, as she says, "a little PR, a little marketing, a little buying, personnel and a lot of personal shopping."

In the past 10 years "fashion has grown up in Washington, thanks to the retail competition; no one needs to go to New York to shop anymore," says Cook. "But after 10 years in the retail business, I'm ready to learn a whole new field."

Other fashion changes in town: Woodies vice president Eileen Abato has been nominated to succeed Garfinckel's fashion director Aniko Gaal as regional director of Fashion Group, a nonprofit, international organization of women in the fashion field.

And who will succeed Cook? It's not official yet but smart money is on one of the fashion biggies from a downtown store moving uptown. The Ears Have It

Watch Barbara Bush's ears. If a black pearl is on the left ear and a white pearl on the right, is she sending signals to her husband? Or to Congress?

Kenneth Jay Lane, the jewelry designer who made the mixed pair of earrings, says the political messages are his idea, not his client's. He also pointed out that Mrs. Bush is in good company wearing two different earrings. Not just with the young kids around town but "The Duchess of Windsor also wore two different earrings," says Lane. Hanae Mori's Latest: Outfitting an Opera Japanese-born designer Hanae Mori seems like a logical resource to have been tapped to create costumes for the La Scala production of "Madame Butterfly," which debuted in Milan this week. But in fact Mori, who is frequently dubbed "Fashion's Madame Butterfly," creates very sophisticated, international clothes in her Paris design house. The "Butterfly" costumes, on the other hand, are based on authentic Japanese costumes.

This production, which will have a two-week run, is Mori's first assignment as a theatrical designer. But she acted as costumer for more than 1,000 movies during the heyday of Japanese films.

This is not the first time that La Scala has tapped fashion designers to create costumes. Usually, however, they ask the designers in their own back yard, such Milanese designers as the Missonis and Gianni Versace. Frederick's Grins And Bears It

With so many undistinguished Christmas catalogues around this season, you have to admit that Frederick's of Hollywood has made an effort to be different.

Between the wigs and scantily cut undergarments, Dr. Ruth Westheimer offers advice and promotes both her book and her new game; and on the catalogue cover, along with a Santa bikini set, are Freddie Bears wearing typical Frederick's cutout underpinnings. The Best and Worst Of 10-Best Lists

It is the time of year for "10-best lists" and we are prepared to ignore all those where we can't find agreement with at least half of the choices. Such as the meaningless Tailors Council of America list of best dressed men, which applauds Don Rickles in the nightclub category and Claus von Bu low in the society field.

But from Elizabeth Arden comes a list of "Ten Best-Dressed Faces." Those we agree with: Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Carolina Herrera and Connie Chung. Among the others on the Arden list, (but not ours): Lana Turner, Phylicia Ayers-Allen and Phyllis Diller.

Just in is the Helene Curtis best-coiffed list, which includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Cybill Shepherd, Donna Mills, Sheena Easton and Lisa Hartman. Hartman's hair stylist in Los Angeles, Jose Eber, says clients should insist that their hairdresser teach them to style their own hair. "I teach all of my clients, even Elizabeth Taylor, how to style their hair themselves," says Eber. A Trunkful From 'Jewel'

Those colorful print trunks Michael Douglas wears in "Jewel of the Nile" are a cut apart from the Hawaiian surfers' trunks that have been so popular recently. Admittedly a small cut, but enough to change the way those shorts will look on the beach this summer. The difference: a matter of inches. The new versions are mid-thigh length -- the others stopped at the top of the knee.

"The old style was difficult to waterski in so we had to shorten them," says Roger Yost of Jantzen, where the three pairs of 30-inch waist shorts were designed for Douglas, who does his own hotdogging on water skis in the film. Douglas also had the last word on choice of prints and picked post-card prints over the more popular floral styles.

Yost says seeing Douglas in these trunks convinced Jantzen to introduce both the cut and pattern as their new model. They've been in the stores less than a month and already they are cutting into bikini sales, says Yost. Hemlines to Deadlines You wouldn't expect Gloria Vanderbilt to be sitting on her well-manicured hands while waiting for her jeans business to pick up. She will soon be filming "Pret a Porter" with director Robert Altman. She'll play a fashion reporter covering the haute couture collections in Paris.

Altman told columnist Liz Smith he chose Vanderbilt after reviewing an Art Carney special from 1958. " . . . It proved to me that she is a marvelous comedienne."

Also tapped to be in the film are Susannah York, Cher, Linda Hunt and Vittorio Gassman. Dali-ing Over New Perfume

A new perfume that's surreal in all senses . . . Le Parfum de Salvador Dali comes in a Dali-designed flask -- shaped like lips with a nose for a stopper.

The Spanish surrealist, who's created countless evocative and sometimes disturbing images -- in paint, in writing and in movies -- has applied his energy and strange imagination to the creation of the new perfume. Never one to miss a chance at putting out signed limited additions, the 81-year-old artist has overseen the production of 5,000 handblown crystal bottles, all signed and selling for $2,000.

Those of us who see enough signed works of art in museums may settle for a glass version of the bottle at Bloomingdale's for $32.50 to $170, perfume included.

What does it smell like?

Only the nose knows. -- M.S. Dailey