A cut aboveNicky Clarke, London's hairdresser to the...

STYLE FILE

August 30, 1998|By MARY COREY | MARY COREY,Sun Fashion Editor

A cut above

Nicky Clarke, London's hairdresser to the stars, says good hair begins with a great cut. In town recently to promote his hair-care line, Hair-omatherapy, he described what it's like to have the rich and famous sit in his styling chair.

You have done so many celebrities. Who has the best hair?

Oh God. The best hair? Maria Shriver has good hair. If it's thick, you've got a good start.

I'll name the celebrity, and you say the first thing that comes into your head about that person's hair:

Gwyneth Paltrow.

Blond. We did the color.

What color is she really?

Sort of mousy.

Hugh Grant.

Sloppy.

Sarah Ferguson.

Versatile. Naturally, she has this PreRaphaelite hair. But she can do the shiny, silky cover-girl look.

Ringo Starr.

There's not a lot there now.

Kate Moss.

Simple hair. With any of the supermodels, when they are off-duty the last thing they want to do is a big hairdo.

When you cut their hair, do celebrities blather on about intensely personal things the way the rest of us do?

Yeah, they do. But a lot of it is about trust. I've been in the business for 24 years. I try to see the good in most things. There are definitely times when high-profile people say things they probably shouldn't. And it's a good thing that I'm the kind of person I am. But it's fun sometimes to think you've just heard something that could be on the front page of the newspapers tomorrow.

So you don't cut and tell?

No. It's not in my makeup. It's also about the standards in your career.

Would you ever write a tell-all book?

Not really. I have a book coming out in January, "Hair Power." It mentions celebrities, but it's more about hair.

Whose hair do you long to get your scissors on?

Madonna. Not from a professional point of view but because I'd like to meet her.

From a professional point of view, the queen of England. If you look, her style is no different from 1952.

I'd have a field day, but there's a part of me that likes that it's not modern. It's that kooky eccentricity that's always one step behind.

Success and angst sum up life for the fashion designers featured in some September magazines.

Fashion writer Frank DeCaro has an intriguing profile of Donatella Versace in Us magazine's "Style '98" issue. Our favorite quote comes from Elton John: "She's great fun to go out with for the evening," he says. "She has a group she trusts: Madonna, Sting and Trudie Styler, and myself. We're like normal people. We like to go out to dinner and gossip. In private, we always talk about other people. We're lethal. She should have been born a gay man."

Elle writes about up-and-comer Lawrence Steele, an Illinois native who's making a splash in Milan. His fashion muses: Josephine Baker, Liza Minnelli in a boa, the young Marlene Dietrich.

And Jerry Seinfeld's former flame, Shoshanna Lonstein, writes about her life as a fledgling underwear designer in Jane. "Little did I know when I set out to wardrobe the world, one G-string at a time, that there would be so much to learn before making a small triangle of fabric. I may have great ideas for gingham halters that actually offer support(!), but I can't sew to save my life."

Dating, it appears, came more easily.

Teens by the numbers

Further proof that teens are opinionated about style: The American Express Retail Index, a survey of more than 1,300 consumers, found the top designers or brands for back-to-schoolers are:

Tommy Hilfiger, 38%

Levi's, 27%

The Gap, 20%

Polo/Ralph Lauren, 19%

Calvin Klein, 17%

Pub Date: 8/30/98

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