THE NAME GAME : BABY BOOMERS GO FOR A LITTLE LOGO LOVIN' AS THEY RETURN TO STATUS-SYMBOL SHOPPING.
Here a logo, there a logo. Remember the name game we played in the '80s?
Ostentatious label display was in vogue, and your fashion status was determined by the size of your shoulder pads.
But abandoning the designer logos look, we made do for a while in comfy favorites from the local thrift store and Casual Friday became the norm.
The pendulum is swinging back. Status symbols are trendy again, though the look is a little more subtle this time.
``People are tired of scrimping, but they don't want the splash and flash of the Reagan years,'' says Jane Mannfolk, a Los Angeles stylist for TV's ``Leeza'' talk show.
Instead, says Mannfolk, ``They're shopping more carefully. Instead of in-your-face items like the Rolex watch, BMW car and Giorgio perfume, we're more interested in quieter luxuries like the Gucci G watch, a Range Rover and Donna Karan's new perfume, Catalyst.''
Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Beverly Morgan calls it ``investment spending,'' and says the biggest fans of today's luxury goods are the same baby boomers who did all that frivolous spending a decade ago.
``They've gained a greater appreciation for value and they are willing to spend more for quality ... but they're still label-specific. After all, it's fun to have the logo, but you're also buying quality,'' said Morgan, who reports a big interest in shoes and belts with the designer's name or signature logo, like Moschino's heart or Gucci's horse bit.
Logo love is hot, says Bloomingdale's fashion director Kal Ruttenstein, but he says it's more subtle this year, with smaller logos that don't scream at you.
Some designers, like Chanel, have played both sides of the fashion court with big, loud signature prints as well as quiet little C's simply woven into the fabric so only a Chanel fan or the person standing nearby would notice.
Hermes, whose equestrian print scarf has become a symbol of expensive taste (it's priced at $265 and knock-offs abound), has added yet another player in the name game. This year, Hermes has introduced the H-Hour watch, a tad more subtle than the G timepiece, both priced at under $1,000. Timing it right, Anne Klein has a new Platinum Collection of watches priced at under $150 that look a lot like superstatusy Cartier tank designs, with a bold AK logo on the side.
Other logos? Dior is hot again, especially with its very pricey ($1,100 and up) Dior Lady handbags favored by Princess Diana. So are Ferragamo shoes and Fendi furs, thanks to a status boost from ``Evita.''
Although there's no logo showing, those in the know will know you're looking swank if you've got a Chanel boucle jacket, Carolee's ``Jackie O'' pearls and anything by Oscar de la Renta, whose style status soared this week with the announcement that he's the first lady's new couturier.
Luxury and labels are back in style, but what a difference a decade makes. Here's a quick look at what we loved then - and now.
Power suits Pastel suits
Shoulder pads Girdles
White wine Cocktails
Liposuction Lip enlargement
New York Black Cherry Seltzer Arizona Green Tea With Ginseng
Chain belt Logo belt buckle
Dove Bars Red Vines
Natural-looking highlights Skunk stripes
Beeper Message watch
Princess Diana Carolyn Bessette Kennedy
Swatch Gucci G
Chanel shoulder bag Lady Dior bag
Santa Fe decor Feng shui
``Coco'' Chanel Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Silk blouses Silk slip dresses
Business card cases Jeweled compacts
Briefcases Cell phones
BMW Range Rover
Carole Little Janet Howard
Long red nails Short pastel nails
Disco bars Borders Books
Donna Karan Prada
Cafe '50s Starbucks
Anne Klein II Oscar by Oscar de la Renta
Louis Vuitton monogram luggage Louis Vuitton solid-color luggage
Spago Le Colonial
Cindy Crawford Kate Moss
Tinted contact lenses Geeky glasses
Black leather jackets Fur-trimmed parkas
11 Photos, Box
Photo: (1--Cover--Color) Model is wearing Gucci sunglasses; logo belts by DKNY, Paloma Picasso and Dolce & Gabbana; Chanel sandals; and a Hermes scarf tied on her Louis Vuitton purse; all from Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills.
(2--Color) Logo lovers have plenty to choose from. A sampling, top to bottom, of the latest belt designs are Gucci, $130; Gucci chain belt, $275; large Gucci G, $146; Ferragamo, $120; Gucci, $175; DKNY, $65; Moschino, $110; Dolce & Gabbana, $130; Paloma Picasso, $80; Moschino, $115; and Versace, $550, all from Neiman Marcus.
(3--Color) Status steppers include, from left above, Chanel, $490; Gucci, $295; Ferragamo, $245; and Ralph Lauren, $275. For hushed status, left, there's Versace's ``Medusa head'' logo on the blue satin purse, $645, worn with green beaver coat by Zuki, $5,750, all from Neiman Marcus.
(4--Color) Carrying clout this year is Moschino, whose name and unmistakable heart logo are imprinted on both his vinyl slicker, $242, and his signature purse, $390, from Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills.
(5--Color) The status symbol of the moment is Gucci's G watch, $895.
(6--Color) Compass cuff links with Tateossian logo, $100; Bloomingdale's.
(7--Color) Anne Klein signature watch, $135, at Macy's.
(8--Color) no caption (Arizona Green Tea at supermarkets everywhere)
(9--Color) Lady Dior purses carry major clout; $1,300 and up.
(10--Color) no caption (Fashion)
John McCoy/Daily News
(11--Color) Chanel's terrycloth initial robe is the ultimate player in the name game, a special-order item at Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills, but they've got plenty of Chanel's pearl belted swimsuit, $650, and signature sandals, $395.
Tina Gerson/Daily News
Box: Status check (See Text)