updated 12/08/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/08/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST
Time was that going gray implied growing old, and none too gracefully at that. Now, at least sartorially, the silvery hue is in fashion—high fashion. "It's a regal color—you feel classy when you wear it," says Melrose Place's Lisa Rinna, who, like Melanie Griffith, Baywatch's Yasmine Bleeth and Cindy Crawford, is a fervid fan. Designer Jill Stuart calls it "less hard than black, but still very sophisticated and elegant," while Maria Maples, who wore a steely Stuart pantsuit to the New York City premiere of The Peacemaker, says, "Gray is so much less flashy. Sometimes I don't want to be so girlie." Not that the shade is boring. "It's not the stuffy businessman's suit anymore," says Hollywood fashion stylist Phillip Bloch, whose clients include Kirstie Alley and Helen Hunt. "It is glamorous, but a little icy. Gray has a real Grace Kelly feel. It's a soft color that makes you look vulnerable, yet it also says, 'Stand back.' " And then there's gray as camouflage. "You can wear gray and kind of sneak around in the woodwork to watch what's going on," says Maples, "and not be the center of attention."