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FASHION MOGUL SPEAKS HIS MIND

"What's wrong with sluts? If sluttiness is what you like, what's wrong with that? Why do we think being a slut's bad? Sluttiness is just a lot of freedom."

That's fashion's Tom Ford from his quite sensational interview in the November GQ (Colin Farrell is on the cover). Many of today's most celebrated ladies -- and gents -- should take comfort from Tom's credo.

The interview bits that GQ provided for us last week don't begin to tell the tale of the interplay between writer Michael Hainey and the famous Ford who was Gucci -- and who can now be anything he wants to be. Ford has been partnered for 18 years to Richard Buckley, but he keeps telling Hainey how attractive he is ("such cute ankles"), how he should swing the other way and how the interview should have taken place at Ford's "seductive" home.

Hainey laughs, blushes, is probably flattered, but retains his professional cool and gender preference.

Ford also talks about his Botox injections and plans for collagen. A candid chat to say the least.

Pierce Brosnan is the big man who will present Glamour magazine's Women of the Year Awards next Monday at the Museum of Natural History.

This year's winners are Rita Wilson, Kate Capshaw, Natalie Cole, Kelly Chapman Meyer, Anne Douglas, Quinn Ezralow, Marion Laurie and Jamie Tisch. They are all co- founders of The Women's Cancer Research Fund. This great organization has raised $25 million for the cause.

Also on hand will be Mr. Wilson and Mr. Capshaw, better known as Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Barbra Streisand has "Meet the Fockers," her first film in years, coming out soon. And it is a return to antic comedy, too. (Maybe, a la the old "Garbo Talks" and "Garbo Laughs" campaigns, "Fockers" should tout itself as "Streisand Funny!") But for those who cherish Barbra the velvety singer, she has another treat as well. The star performs a duet on Kenny G.'s upcoming album from Arista, "At Last." She'll sing "The Music That Makes Me Dance." This was a great Bob Merrill/Jule Styne song from the stage version of "Funny Girl," but cut from the film.

Others contributing to Kenny's disc include Gladys Knight, LeAnn Rimes, OutKast with Earth, Wind & Fire as well as Chaka Khan. Chaka fans might want to check out her terrific new CD of standards, "Classikhan."

So many are going this "real music" route -- Rod Stewart, of course, and more recently the fabulous Queen Latifah. There is hope for civilization, even though I tend to agree with the genius George Carlin that we are, generally, a civilization in decline.

More music news: Mariah Carey is out and about, looking good and looking confident. (At Usher's birthday party, she huddled and danced with Denzel Washington for most of the night.) Carey, who has seen her stock rise and fall and then rise again, is said to have a monster hit with her new album from Island Def Jam Records. And she hasn't even finished it yet! First listeners say it is "the strongest album of Mariah's career." In a career that has seen some stratospheric highs, that's saying a lot.

The label's honcho, LA Reid, has worked closely with Mariah on this effort, as has producer Jermaine Dupri. He has a hit with Usher and Alicia Keys.

I wish all the best for Mariah, a girl who has had her share of problems. She is, I think, essentially a young woman to whom fame -- in the person of career molder Tommy Mottola -- came too fast and too furious. Also, her 1994 Christmas album remains constantly in my CD player during the holiday season. It is my favorite Mariah recording. (Her "O Holy Night" is stupendous.)

Want to see big stars? The Stella by Starlight gala next Monday at the Pierre will blow the roof off as Warren Beatty steps up to receive from Arthur Penn, the Stella Adler Award to be given posthumously to Marlon Brando.
Tribune Media Services

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