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BLACKWELL SPICES UP HIS LIST.

Byline: Barbara De Witt Daily News Fashion Editor

Baggy clothes, too much cleavage and bad-hair days at the Oscars don't get past Mr. Blackwell. As Los Angeles' resident arbiter of good taste and the unofficial chief of the fashion police, Blackwell scouts show-biz events looking for candidates for his annual hit list of the 10 Worst-Dressed Women.

His 38th list, announced Tuesday at his posh Hancock Park mansion during a champagne breakfast, included Great Britain's Spice Girls as the worst-dressed in 1997, followed by Ellen DeGeneres, Madonna, Pamela Anderson Lee, Jennifer Tilly, Sigourney Weaver, Emma Thompson, Alicia Silverstone, Frances Fisher and Marilyn Manson (yes, we all know the shock-rock singer's a man).

Wearing a cashmere tweed blazer and gray flannel slacks by Fred Hayman of Beverly Hills, the 76-year-old Blackwell confided that compiling this year's list was tougher than usual.

``In the past,'' he said, ``stars had a personal image that was recognizable, but not now. Too many stars today wear borrowed gowns that don't necessarily flatter their figures or personality. For instance, Jane Seymour could be exquisite if she wore gowns that better suited her image. And Madonna should have stuck with her `Evita' look instead of her new little housewife fashion stance,'' he quipped.

Blackwell said, in their defense, that the stars of old Hollywood were groomed by the studios, and he wishes they still did that. Or at least sent them to finishing school. ``Have you seen how they walk in high heels? And they don't know how to carry off a stole, either,'' he lamented.

The former actor and fashion designer doesn't dwell on the tacky and tasteless, however. Blackwell thought Courtney Love made the most incredible change for the better in 1997, and he added that Nicole Kidman looked stylish at the Oscars in her Christian Dior gown, but should have passed on the fur trim because he didn't think the public was ready to embrace fur again. Regardless, he put both Love and Kidman on his 1997 Fabulous Fashion Independents list. Others on the list are Anne Heche, Roma Downey, Jada Pinkett, Demi Moore, Viscountess Serena Linley, Toni Braxton, Lisa McCree and Salma Hayek, whom he confided was the most gorgeous woman he'd seen in years.

Looking ahead, Blackwell predicts an end to fashion foolishness, but another year of retro mania. He thinks Escada, Valentino and Christian Dior have great spring collections but worries about Versace's future now that Gianni's sister Donatella is taking the reins.

From bad to worse

The 38th annual hit list:

1. The Spice Girls: ``Five candy-colored beauties trapped in fashion wasteland.''

2. Ellen DeGeneres: ``Just come out and say it ... Comedy Queen Ellen needs to make an overdue wardrobe change and throw those baggy fashion bombs back in the closet.''

3. Madonna: ``Let's be blunt ... Yesterday's `Evita' is today's Velveeta!''

4. Pamela Anderson Lee: ``Luscious Lee has fallen under a fatal fashion spell ... She looks like a Martian Venus in search of a shell.''

5. Jennifer Tilly: ``Tilly the tornado has arrived. She's El Nino in heels.''

6. Sigourney Weaver: ``It's transparently clear. Sigourney hasn't a fashion clue ... she resembles a shrink-wrapped mummy.''

7. Emma Thompson: ``Her `Primary Colors' are tragically on display ... poor Emma's left wearing the `Remains of Yesterday.' ''

8. Alicia Silverstone: ``From the Bat Cave to Pic 'N Save ... A collection of retro rubbish from toes to nose.''

9. Frances Fisher: ``Her flowered fiascoes are so loud they could cause an international panic. They should have gone down with the Titanic.''

10. Marilyn Manson: ``Fashion masochist Marilyn brings out my worst fashion fears. He looks like Alice Cooper doing `Rosemary's Baby.' ''

CAPTION(S):

5 Photos, Box

Photo: Alicia Silverstone

(2) The Spice Girls

(3) Ellen DeGeneres

(4--5) Madonna belongs in Blackwell's hall of fame, as this year marks the sixth time she's made his hit list of the worst-dressed women. According to Blackwell, the music star should quit wearing underwear as outerwear, forget the housewifey look and make the ``Evita'' look her own.

Box: From bad to worse (See Text)
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 14, 1998
Words:674
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