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Couture Clash

updated 12/18/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/18/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

WITH APOLOGIES TO RUDYARD Kipling: East is East and West is West, and if you're going to wear a loofah on your head you're better off doing it in New York City. That, at least, was the fashion lesson that emerged from two parties that were one day, 3,000 miles and, apparently, lifestyles apart.

At the CableACE awards on Dec. 2 in Los Angeles—where Garry Shandling, with four awards for The Larry Sanders Show, was the big winner—most guests opted for glamor rather than flash. Host Mary Tyler Moore sparkled in a beaded gray ensemble by Armani while Jamie Lee Curtis was slinky in a white satin Pamela Dennis. Only the dinner afterward, in a tent decorated with red velvet and crystal chandeliers outside the Wiltern Theatre, pushed the envelope. "I feel like I'm in a Victoria's Secret boutique," observed Carrot Top, the comic.

A day later, fashion and music shared the stage at Manhattan's normally unglamorous Lexington Avenue Armory, where VH1 gave out its first Fashion's Future award to Gucci's Tom Ford and Designer of the Year to Miuccia Prada. "What music brings [to fashion] is good old-fashioned raunchiness and sex," declared model Iman, escorted by French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, who was fetching in a floor-length leather skirt. No slouch in the unconventionality department herself, singer Chrissie Hynde wore a hat made from a dried, fibrous fruit—perhaps on the theory that all the world loves a loofah.

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