Some stylish slumming in the tabloids


The only reason I bought a National Enquirer at the grocery store the other week was its teaser to its list of best- and worst-dressed celebrities of 1990.

Under normal circumstances, I would never buy such banal, tabloid trash. I never glance at scandal sheet headlines while in the grocery line. In fact, someone else had to point out the fashion connection on the covers.

Because I am a dedicated professional determined to bring you, the very latest in any fashion-related news, I forced myself to buy the periodical.

I promise, however, that I looked only at the three pages of fashion. I didn't even notice the story about the woman who has had 100 encounters with space aliens.

Anyway, I could have saved my 85 cents. The Enquirer merely asked Mr. Blackwell, the self-proclaimed expert who rates how celebrities dress every year, to comment on some star photos.

"Barbra Streisand is one of the richest stars, but she dresses like a bag lady," Blackwell said.

This is news? Streisand's been dressing that way for decades now.

Blackwell (and the Enquirer) also felt compelled to comment on Cybill Shepherd's eccentric habit of pairing beat-up Reeboks with everything she wears. Old news again. And does it surprise anybody that Roseanne Barr's bra straps show under a sequined evening dress?

Then came the mandatory mentions of the travesties of style at last spring's Academy Awards ceremony, notably Kim Basinger in a dreadful, self-designed white ball gown and Darryl Hannah in a "Splash"-inspired gold mermaid dress.

I did appreciate learning that Ivana Trump's cartoonish Christian Lacroix gown cost $200,000, proof that while it may not be possible to be too rich, it's easy to have more money than sense.

The two periodicals agreed that Demi Moore and Delta Burke go to the head of the personal style class, that Madonna is all flash trash, and that Paula Abdul should stick to dancing and forget dressing herself.

And while People calls Julia Roberts and boyfriend Kiefer Sutherland "a pretty pair," Blackwell suggests the Pretty Woman might have "gone bonkers."

The moral of this story, besides giving me something at which to poke fun? Everyone's sense of style is personally valid, and you shouldn't let anybody tell you what to wear.

Except me, of course.

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