Unsuitable?The sensitive guys at GQ know how to protect...

STYLE FILE

February 02, 1997|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,SUN FASHION EDITOR

Unsuitable?

The sensitive guys at GQ know how to protect tender sensibilities against attacks of tastelessness. The February issue GQ has two different covers. Subscribers, who receive the magazine in a plain white wrapper, get the naughtier version featuring the ubiquitous Dennis Rodman camping it up with the lovely Rebecca Romjin. Her bosom is camouflaged by painted hands. The body painting is by the same artist who touched up the nude Demi Moore for the now-famous Vanity Fair cover.

"It was a send-up of all those photo spreads of celebrities clutching their breasts," says Terry McDevitt, publicist for GQ. She says the real story is a catch-up profile of the banished basketball star. "We knew that some newsstand operators would want an alternative to that cover," says McDevitt.

The suitable-for-supermarkets version of the magazine shows Rebecca in a more conventional bikini top touting the "second and last" GQ swimsuit cover. What is it about February that turns men's thoughts to beach wear?

Sports Illustrated pioneered the idea of filling a February doldrums mag with swimsuits 30 years ago. Since then, others have copy-catted, but the SI splash issue is still the most borrowed single magazine copy in America. The SI splash issue hits the stands February 19.

Meanwhile, Victoria's Secret is trying to beat the men's magazines at their February games by releasing the first all-swimsuit catalog featuring supermodels Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Yasmeen Ghauri, Laetitia Casta, Magdelana Wrobel, Tricia Helfer, Valeria Mazza and Daniela Pestova on the beaches and waters of Grenada and Virgin Gorda.

The cover model is Tyra Banks in a predatory animal-print string bikini. Swimwear shoppers can call (800) 888-8200 for a copy.

While men browse through splashing starlet photos, women face the reality of buying this year's suit. February kicks off the retail swimwear season with early arrivals for the resort shoppers pointing to what's in store for high summer. For most women that means coming to terms with their shape. Most need a whole lot more than a few bits and pieces of fabric to brave the light of a beach day. The makers of MIRACLESUIT promise construction that visually takes 10 pounds off any figure. It's done with cut to allow for extra fullness and torso length as well as extra-strength spandex that pulls a body together instead of letting it all hang out. The label is carried by Nordstrom and Macy's.

Fashion-forward women are ignoring revealing calendar swimsuits altogether and going for coverage instead of cleavage. "The boy-leg bottoms are very strong now, along with that whole retro look of the '60s and '70s," says Janeen Mayers, swimwear buyer for South Moon Under stores. Remember when you laughed at Mom's cotton numbers with the built-up straps? They're back, with newest models of the more conservative styling being made up in strong Hawaiian florals andpop prints. Board shorts, a takeoff on men's trunks, are the bottoms choice of the young set.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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