Shirliey Fung
October 06, 1995 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Just a few of the ways the new syndicated talk show Lauren Hutton And… is trying to separate itself from the pack: (1) Each half-hour episode, which began airing Sept. 11, focuses on one guest, as opposed to the usual couchful; (2) it’s shot on film, as opposed to the usual videotape (it’s ”like Irish linen versus polyester,” explains hostess Hutton); and, most important, (3) the show includes an intimate audience of six or seven — usually friends of the guests or the crew — dressed exclusively in black.

To guarantee the noir effect, coexecutive producer and former fashion photographer Luca Babini has designed World War II-inspired black cotton flight suits, which will be worn by the crew and lent to any audience members who — gasp! — arrive wearing another color. This way, says Hutton, everything other than her and the guest will ”melt into the background” and maintain what she calls a ”cocoon of dark.” ”With the black background,” she adds, ”there are no distractions.”

Some visitors were already poised to take flight in the suits. ”People try to buy them from us,” says Hutton, adding, ”We have to keep them from walking out with them. They’re highly desirable.” So desirable, in fact, that Hutton ordered two for herself (one in a lightweight twill, one in a heavier twill), and recent guests Isaac Mizrahi and Kathleen Turner have requested their own. Could a clothing line be far behind? ”We’re almost forced into doing that,” says Babini. ”But right now it’s not a priority.”

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