First, Sly Stallone swore off further Rocky movies and declared that any future Rambos, would have a kinder, gentler, more ecological theme. Then he started wearing postprep specs and exhibiting his paintings.

No problem. But one week last month, his attempts at changing his image from two-fisted to sensitive began seeming a bit de trop (too much). Sly was partout (everywhere) in Paris, eyeing the fall frocks at seven—count 'em, seven—fashion shows. What was this? Had Sly forsaken bazookas for bustiers?

Mais non! (But no!) Ever supportive of his woman, Stallone, 44, was there to cheer on his longtime girlfriend, fledgling model Jennifer Flavin, 21, as she walked the runways at the Dior, Chanel, Lagerfeld and Valentino fashion shows. (Sly, sometimes with and sometimes without his lady love, also caught the Gaultier, De la Renta and Montana shows, although Jennifer wasn't modeling in them.)

Perhaps, the fashion press slyly sniped, Jennifer had been hired because Sly had promised to attend every show she worked, thereby guaranteeing a lot of kiss-kiss, click-click (hoopla and publicity).

Not so, says Flavin's French booking agent, Patrick Blanchard. She was hired, he says, because, "When one is Stallone's girlfriend, you have the aura of Hollywood. You're not just any little girl from Bordeaux who knows nobody." (In fact, Jennifer is 5'9", comes from Los Angeles and knows many people other than Sly.)

But Sly hasn't gone all wussy. His lawyers, meanwhile, were filing a libel suit in London against The Spectator, a magazine in which international gossipist Taki Theodoracopulos had called Stallone a wimp for never having served in the military. And once back in the States, Sly had a tiny tangle with the law. Roving lensman E.L. Woody filed a complaint with the Los Angeles police claiming that Stallone, at the wheel of a Mercedes 500SL, had pursued the photographer from outside L.A.'s Bar One for two miles. During the pursuit, the photographer contends, Sly allegedly bashed into Woody's car three times. Sly, calling the 2 A.M. chase right "out of The French Connection," claimed he was trying to get the photographer's license-plate number after Woody hit his Mercedes.

To which his transatlantic fans can only say: "Phiou!" (Phew!)