SHE'S ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF FASHION: Fashion designer Carolina Herrera may be the ultimate for glamour, but let's talk about her discretion. Bopping between Miami and Washington, D.C. recently at fashion shows celebrating Hispanic Heritage Week, Herrera let loose on a variety of subjects. On elegance: "Elegance cannot be bought. It is born with a person. Beauty doesn't have anything to do with elegance. Elizabeth Taylor is a beauty, but she is not elegant at all. Joan Collins is not elegant either." On Sarah Ferguson, whose wedding dress competed for attention with Caroline Kennedy's: "She looked huge, and such a big, big train. She spent the whole time looking over her shoulder. The dress was meant for a very sophisticated girl." Asked about fashion great Aldo Gucci being sentenced to one year in prison for owing $7 million in back taxes, Herrera kidded, "I admire him very much if he has so much money. I'm amazed. That's absolutely great."

HANGING ON BY A THREAD: While other stars prefer diamonds for their dazzle, plain Jane Fonda is decked out in less pricey, more mundane baubles these days. She wears a crystal around her neck to promote health and well-being, and adorns her wrist with a band of braided colored string. "It's a friendship bracelet that my daughter [Vanessa] gave me," says Jane. "You have to wear it until it falls off. I can't wait. But I'm superstitious, so I don't mess with it."

42 RMS, OCEAN VU: Stars of Palm Beach are fleeing their elegant digs. Peter Pulitzer's five-bedroom house (which includes a 2,000-square-foot master suite with pool) is on the market for $1.8 million, up from the humble, pre-improvements asking price of $450,000 that Pulitzer sought in 1982 during his noisy divorce from Roxanne. Peter is packing his twin 9-year-old sons, Mack and Zack, and heading two hours northwest to Okeechobee in search of solitude. Meanwhile his first wife, resort-wear queen Lilly Pulitzer, wants $3.8 million for her huge new waterfront house, minutes away from Peter's. Since her 32 boutiques closed last year, she's looking for something cozier. She certainly shouldn't consider U.S. Open champion Ivan Lendl's 42-room retreat. He's been so busy winning he hasn't been able to live in it. Asking price: $5.2 million. Also on the block is the aristocratic mansion owned by munitions heir and international playboy Arndt Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, who died last May. His heirs are asking $2.6 million for the 26-room home, which comes complete with a swimming pool Krupp had moved from one side of the house to the other.

WHAT WITH ALL THOSE PAGEANTS AND ALL: Miss America pageant officials can't bring themselves to call their event a beauty contest. They prefer to call it a scholarship pageant. But newly retired Miss America, Susan Akin, has her own ideas about scholarship after a year wearing the crown. "I hate to read," Akins told an Atlantic City paper. "I don't get anything out of it. It bores me. It's like TV and TV bores me too."

LONE STAR DATE: The setting was the turbulent '60s. She—a lonely rock star at the height of her career—had asked a friend to find her a date for a Texas barbecue. He—an earnest graduate student of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin—was a devotee of rock and Country & Western. The two, according to his recollection, "sat under the Texas sky, talked and had a couple of beers." When the Washington Post disclosed the identities of these two players, it wasn't hard to see why the match didn't last. In what must surely rank as one of the least likely blind dates of all time, the "he" was William J. Bennett, now the Secretary of Education, and "she" was Janis Joplin.