Style Watch

updated 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

BLOND CONDITION
Madonna hasn't lost her power of persuasion. Fans have begun to copy the long, wavy ponytail that she's adopted for her current Blond Ambition tour. "Lots of women—and men—arc showing up at her concerts with this hairdo," says Warner Bros. Records publicity VP Liz Rosenberg. "It's really catching on." But surely the wannabes aren't spending as much time on their hair as the star. It takes two hairdressers 45 minutes to attach a synthetic braid to the top of Madonna's head, pinning the tail on her own slicked-back tresses. Not that Madonna has a thing to hide. "Her own hair is just fine," says Rosenberg. "She's not going bald like it said in the Star." Actually, the ponytail developed out of practical purposes. "She needed a style that wouldn't get tangled in the headset she wears when she sings," says Rosenberg, explaining that the do "was inspired by one of those dolls whose hair grows when you press a button."

SOAP ON A ROPE
Hollywood is cleaning up its necks. Where once miniature spoons dangled on chains, there are now soap bubbles. The "in" bauble is the $65 Bubbler, a black-corded, sterling silver trinket with a suds-filled lube and a miniature wand designed by craftsman Ted Cutter. As the best-selling item at Malibu's chic functional art store, Top, it has been snatched up by celebrities from Daryl Hannah to Ron Howard. "It's like a chain letter," says Top's co-owner Judy Walker. "One person buys one and three or four friends come rushing in." Actor Larry Hagman says he blows his bubbles "when people smoke around me." But the gizmo is only intended to make people happy. Just the Ten of Us's Deborah Harmon, who pulls hers out while waiting in line at the movies, calls it the panacea of the '90s.

COFFEE BREAK
Twin Peaks's loopy FBI agent Dale Cooper may (or may not) have been done in before he could cuff the ABC series' sadistic killer, but in at least one area, Cooper's influence is alive and perking. The newest rage in restaurants is the nouvelle coffee shop. Manhattan's trendiest spot is actually called the Coffee Shop, located on Union Square, north of the city's artsy Village and SoHo districts. Boasting a coffee bar and a Brazilian-flavored menu, it's mobbed nightly with models and actors. Meanwhile, Los Angeles's year-old Java, on Beverly Boulevard, serves a crowd sugared with famous faces from Mickey Rourke to Willem Dafoe. Even established haunts are attracting more customers. "People used to go out for drinks," says Gay Niven of Starbucks Coffee Co., a Seattle-based chain of 62 stores. "Now they go out for a cappuccino." Or, as Cooper would have it, a "damn good cup of joe."

THE QUEEN'S CLOSET
In case there was ever a doubt in anyone's mind, Queen Elizabeth II is no fashion plate. Now Sir Hardy Amies, 80, her principal designer, has revealed his woes to Britain's Woman's Own magazine. "I sometimes wish she had been a bit more of a clothes person," said Her Majesty's designer of 40 years. "She doesn't care, basically. She listens to our advice, then goes off and wears shabby shoes because they're comfortable." Amies also revealed that the Queen "grumbles about our prices," which can reach $3,400 an outfit (say, a two-piece suit). But the royal fashion guard wasn't completely disparaging: "Anyone who has actually seen the Queen is entranced by her."

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