New York does yoga while L.A. kickboxes and spins

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
October 27, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s not for nothing that cell phones flash the words power on. Moguls great and small know they’re powerful, but, oh, how they love those tangible reminders. Everything from the make of a car to the detailing of a shoe provides reinforcement. This is true whether that Gucci footwear belongs to a resident of Gotham (who sports the traditional loafer) or Tinseltown (the latest silver horse-bit). Power, you see, is in the particulars.

In New York, where soot, not Michael Eisner, reigns, black is unremitting, style is understated, and old is a word that connotes class. In Los Angeles, beige is uniform, fashion is a statement, and the O-word is alarming enough to send you scurrying for surgical intervention.

”In Hollywood, they wear a lot of Armani, and they wear it so proudly it screams at you,” observes Alisa Bellettini, producer of MTV’s House of Style. ”When they aren’t on the phone, they actually carry it. Here in New York, you won’t see that. It’s very easy to put it in a pocket.” Village Voice gossip columnist Michael Musto agrees: ”East Coast power people don’t have to announce their style. In L.A., they don’t feel powerful unless there are price tags visible.”

At least the West Coast can relax a bit, counters Patty Fox, Academy Awards stylist and author of Star Style: Hollywood Legends as Fashion Icons: ”Out here there’s more leeway to style. From casual independent producers to button-down studio execs, we have more diversity.”

Unlike power, power accessorizing can be faked, given the will and the wallet. Choose a coast, and the trappings will follow.

Coast-to-coast chic

Book

N.Y. A Good Life, the memoirs of The Washington Post’s Ben Bradlee

L.A. Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings From the Pleiadians, a book about channeling

Restaurant

N.Y. The Regency (breakfast), Four Seasons (lunch, martinis), Nobu (dinner)

L.A. Four Seasons (breakfast), the Ivy (lunch), Drai’s (drinks), Eclipse (dinner)

Exercise

N.Y. Yoga

L.A. Spinning or cardiac kick-boxing at Sports Club/L.A.

Car

N.Y. Mercedes $500 with driver (city); BMW Z3 Roadster two-seat convertible (country)

L.A. BMW 325ic convertible; for major show, the $110,000 BMW 850csi

Water

N.Y. Tap

L.A. Miracle Water with electrolytes from Mrs. Gooch’s

Beauty fix

N.Y. Glycolic peel treatments

L.A. Botulism injections for smoothing furrowed brows

Fantasy

N.Y. Early retirement

L.A. That one person would have all the power. That you are that one person

Complaint

N.Y. ”They’re always at lunch”

L.A. ”They’re always gone when we come back from lunch”

Point of therapy

N.Y. Know yourself

L.A. Know your enemies

Health fad

N.Y. Juice fasts

L.A. Timothy Brantley’s Primary Resource herbal detox

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