The political change will bring a fashion change in Paris. Danielle Mitterrand, once loyal to the small boutique Torrente, helped showcase that firm until she discovered other designers, notably Yves Saint Laurent. Bernadette Chirac, wife of the newly appointed prime minister, wears only Guy Laroche according to Jacques Mouclier, head of the organization that puts on the designer shows here. Mouclier says the dapper Jacques Chirac, wears Guy Laroche Hommes. "The relationship between Madame Chirac and Guy Laroche is more than professional; it is a close friendship," says Mouclier. Dyed and True Fabrics by Miyake
You can count on Issey Miyake to find new ways to create fabric, and this season is no exception. Experimenting with an ancient resist dye technique for making ikat using mud, Miyake found a modern way to create the same effect using chemicals. He used the resulting brown fabric in a group of easy-fitting, characteristically mobile clothes that were among the best things Miyake showed last week.
Also prophetic are Miyake's silhouettes with narrow, near-classic tops and full bottoms, the reverse of the currently popular easy tops with narrow bottoms. He developed these styles from those swallow-tail suits done successfully last year. The new versions in gray, black or brick red pair fitted jackets and very full pants caught at the ankle like harem pants. Another variation of the narrow-top, full-bottom look showed up in embossed leather with a tailored jacket and gaucho pants. Slender Is the Night
In a season of skinny clothes the competition is tough for who has the leanest. The best were the ones shown for evening, Yves Saint Laurent's strapless black jerseys, Chanel's ribbon dresses and Claude Montana's gray jersey evening dresses.
But the winner, hands down, is Azzedine Alaia, whose signature is a seam carved to curve around the body. In fact, this season some of the dresses are so skintight, the ribs of the slim models showed beneath them.
Alaia also gets the prize for the widest and tightest belts. Made stiff with whalebone, like corsets, these belts were used by Alaia to yank in the waistline of jackets, even in leather and fur.
By the way, Alaia, whose clothes are at Woodies and who uses black predominantly, dipped into a bit of color including the orange and green of overcooked carrots and peas. For evening he showed white or black taffeta shirts with removable bustles, worn with black tights and, over it all, black-chiffon long wrapped coats. Ring-a-Ling, Silver Bells
Sylvia Percelay, fashion coordinator for Bullock's, the Los Angeles-based store, traveled to Europe with 10 pounds of weights. But it wasn't her weights that sounded the alarms at the Beaubourg museum -- it was her bracelets. One day last week, Percelay was wearing four silver bracelets, four silver pins and a pair of huge earrings. Herme's, Sweeter By the Yard
For the Hermes show the awning of the tent was wrapped in a supersize version of the signature ribbon. Even if real ribbon had been used, it would have been a small quantity compared with the amount of ribbon the house has been dispensing recently.
In a promotion of Herme s' fragrance, the company offered people the chance to cut a piece of perfume-dipped ribbon as a fragrance sample. For the promotion, Herme s gave away 1 million yards of ribbon. Kenzo's Jazzy Jacket
The first person, not a model, to wear the new lean line of the Kenzo fall collection was French jazz musician Jean-Michel Jarre. Kenzo created a long jacket outfit with a pink coat -- in the same proportion as a top style shown in Paris last week -- for Jarre's outdoor concert called "Rendevous in Houston: A City in Concert" and saluting the NASA Johnson Space Center's 25th anniversary and Texas' 150th birthday. The setting for the concert was the city's skyline, with a light show projected 1,200 feet against the skyscrapers and specially erected screens. Jarre's wife, actress Charlotte Rampling, also had a new Kenzo outfit for the occasion. The Studied Look
Scholarship alert: Students interested in pursuing studies in fashion and accepted for next semester in an accredited college or now enrolled as undergraduates or graduate students, can apply for scholarships from the Washington Fashion Group. Scholarships in the names of Eleni Epstein, Monica Greenberg, Ruey Messenger and Carolyn Roehm, with grants up to $2,500, are available to Washington area residents. Contact scholarship committee chairman Marjorie Nohowel, P.O. Box 55, Cabin John, Md. 20818. Deadline for filing applications is May 1. This Land Is Milan
Gigi Monti, president and owner of the Milan-based fashion house Basile, knew he wanted to open a boutique in Washington when he first came here three years ago to consult with the lawyer for his American business. "This is a very European city, and like Milan, a mix of politics, art and society," said Monti, who this week opened a shop in Georgetown.
The Basile clothes, designed by Luciano Soprani, are well known here and admired for their clean, simple cut, good fabrics and quality workmanship. Those unfamiliar with the Soprani skill had a good chance to see it Wednesday night at the Four Seasons ir,6p5 Hotel. In a well organized show, the designs were shown in clusters highlighting the dark colors, tiny patterns, glazed linens and silks and gabardines. The clothes are strongest for daytime or done in a casual way for evening.
Basile was a small menswear business when Monti bought it in 1970. He added the women's collection, first as an extension of the menswear line, with blazers and menswear-cm,28p style suits. Now the women's share of the business is 65 percent. "Women spend more money for clothes than men do," Monti explained with a smile.
Actually the men's clothes were a big hit with the crowd of about 300 Wednesday night. They particularly liked the easy shirts, the sport jackets and the loose duster coats. But the suit that could change the way men dress in Washington was Basile's black linen tuxedo. No gimmicks, just an impeccably cut suit worn with a tuxedo shirt, bow tie and cummerbund.