When the Washington Star asked New York's top designers to update Miss Piggy's wardrobe, the idea "struck their funny bone," says fashion editor Eleni Epstein. The results included an oversize slouchy coat by Perry Ellis, who said, "I don't think Miss Piggy gets involved with the serious side of her clothes," a high-on-the-thigh bathing suit with lots of cutouts by Norma Kamali and a slinky Bill Blass gown. Said he, "I want her to wear something very slim, very soignée. Most blondes know black is becoming, and Miss Piggy can carry it off." Geoffrey Beene decided he'd "clean her hair up a little but not have her nose done over. I'd like her to have a strapless dress in her fall wardrobe," he added, since "fuller women have such pretty shoulders."
A Lot of Baloney
Ingenue Jessica James, who has to eat a salami sandwich onstage every night in the long-running Broadway play Gemini, has gained 25 pounds in three years, and she is unhappy. "If the producers don't increase my salary to help me pay for the diet classes," says James, "I'll have to demand a clause in my next contract guaranteeing me a thousand dollars per pound."
His long-playing feud with Rod Stewart is for laughs, but Elton John may start some that aren't with his song titled Ego. "It's dedicated to the Jaggers and the Bowies of the world—and especially to Mr. McCartney," Elton explains. "I like most of the stuff the Stones have done, but they're one of the worst live bands I've ever seen. David Bowie is a pseudo-intellectual, and I can't bear pseudo-intellectuals. And McCartney's music has gone so far down the tubes I can't believe it." Besides, John adds, "They all just annoy me."
Filming Yesterday's Hero in London, Suzanne Somers and hubby Alan Hamel got the use of producer Elliott Kastner's Rolls-Royce. When Somers fell in love with the car and tried to buy it, Kastner presented it to her as a gift. Trouble is, the car legally belonged to Elliott's ex-wife. Mrs. K. claims she sent the Rolls out to be serviced in London, but it never came back. Now her lawyers are working to retrieve the auto, tentatively snuggled 5,400 miles away in the Hamels' L.A. garage.
Dame Margot Fonteyn, 60, still hasn't retired—officially—but her performances are less and less frequent. "I have to be honest and say I don't dance anymore," she confessed. "I appear. I can't pretend it's dancing." Still, Margot insists, "I do have the ability to make a presence. Some ballerinas can do 10 pirouettes, but ask them to take three steps across a stage, they can't."
•Vice-President Walter Mondale, campaigning for Sen. Gary Hart in Colorado, said if Jerry Brown becomes President he'll replace Air Force One with a glider. That way, Mondale explained, "If you want to know where he's coming from, you just check the prevailing winds."
•So what if three of his best short stories are on PBS this year? John Cheever's harsh opinions of TV haven't changed. "I never had any trouble with the children and television," he says. "They watched whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and they reached a saturation point when it ceased to interest them." Why? Says Cheever: "Because it's banal and vulgar. It's as simple as that."
•He played a kindhearted MD in House Calls but in real life Walter Matthau, 56, has little sympathy for doctors. At work on his spy-spoofing Hopscotch, Matthau alluded to his heart valve surgery a few years ago. "My doctor gave me six months to live. But when he found out I couldn't pay him," Walter cracked, "he gave me another six."