Sure, Summer has its moments. Tan lines, sunny afternoons, burgers on the grill. But we prefer fall. More than any other season, fall inspires invention. Just how much should be apparent from this, our first-ever fall preview issue. We dispatched our experts and they delivered the goods--on everything from clubs to cars to indoor climbing walls. Start big, with a TV so huge that its ''picture-within-a-picture'' is 35 inches. It's in Playboy's 1996 Electronics Preview by Jonathan Takiff.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478). September 1995. volume 42, number 9. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Second-class postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 56162. Subscriptions; in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster; Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. E-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't look for high-velocity car chases and mass slaughter in The Usual Suspects (Gramercy Pictures), scintillating drama produced and directed by Bryan Singer from a deft scenario by Christopher McQuarrie. There's plenty of explosive action, but Suspects is more cunning than crash-happy. Its convoluted plot demands and deserves a viewer's attention. The movie opens with a docked freighter going up in flames--and a $91 million cache of cocaine apparently being lost with it. The story behind the botched caper unfolds in flashbacks, largely between Chazz Palminteri as a U.S. Customs agent and Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint, a talkative but insolent suspect being grilled in a California D.A.'s office for details he won't divulge. Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollack and Benicio Del Toro play the other culprits. who perpetrate a series of crimes that ends in a bloodbath on the San Pedro waterfront. The information squeezed out of Kint in the meantime reveals a web of intrigue and treachery involving a master crook known as Keyser Soze and his oily agent. Kobayashi (Pete Postlethwaite). The delectable ending is a real kicker--cool, unexpected and classic. [rating]4 bunnies[/rating]
IN HIS first novel, The Shallow Man (Crown), Coerte V.W. Felske spins a clever tale of the narcissistic world of fashion modeling. In this comic send-up, Nick Laws is the shallow man whose every thought and word reflect his sole interest in life: boffing models. From the late-night clubs of Manhattan to the art deco bars of Miami, Nick searches for beautiful women to take to bed. That's all he does. He's so perfect, he's hilarious.
With people all over the world--even shepherds in the rainy hills of Ireland--obsessed with computers, you probably have many questions: Is it worth plunking down another two grand in order to have a multimedia system with CD-ROM and all? What is CD-ROM, anyway? What about going online? And why do shepherds need computers?
My lover and I have kinky sexual tastes, to say the least. It's not enough merely to get naked on a golf course or in a park at three or four in the morning. To add to the element of risk, we play what we call ''pick-six bondage.'' We have 50 empty 35mm film canisters, 44 of which contain one handcuff key each. The remaining six each contain a penny. We mix up the canisters and pick six at random. My lover and I go to a public refuge in the wee hours, where we strip, cuff ourselves to something immovable and have sex. We leave our clothes just out of reach. When it's time to put our clothes back on, we try to retrieve a key from one of the six canisters. What if we hit the ''lotto bondage jackpot'' and none of the canisters contains a key? We're naked and helpless until the sun comes up and someone discovers us. Has this sexual fantasy ever crossed the mind of anyone at Playboy, or do my lover and I need professional help?--T.W., Fair Oaks, California.
New York lawyer Philip Howard's simple, eloquent book The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America has sold more than 250,000 hardbound copies. In it. Howard attacks the bureaucratic monstrosity created by Washington--the almost 100 million words of law that tell us ''exactly what to do and how to do it.'' He describes how liberal politicians have tried to create a perfect society through precise regulation. The result, he argues, is paralysis, not paradise. Janitors can't change locks in schools without facing tons of paperwork, managers can't fire their incompetent employees, church leaders can't put day-care centers in the basements of their buildings and we all search for parking spaces while those reserved for the disabled go unused. The book has won support across the political spectrum--President Clinton, Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole have waved copies in front of cameras. While critics say that Howard's argument amounts to little more than trial by anecdote, he has clearly hit a nerve. We tracked him down to hear more.
We've chronicled the regrettable human habit of shifting blame for one's own stupidity three times now, and we're beginning to wonder if people have the wrong idea. It is not an honor to be included in this growing community of moral chameleons--this is not a Hall of Fame. The nominees have become so numerous since we last completed this exercise (in November 1993) that tracking absurd excuses has developed into a cottage industry. Lawyer Alan Dershowitz (The Abuse Excuse), ABC reporter John Stossel (The Blame Game) and newspaper columnist Chuck Shepherd (News of the Weird) have compiled long lists of blameshifters. A former lawyer, Roger Conner, went so far as to launch the American Alliance for Rights and Responsibilities, an activist group that hopes to make accountability respectable again. This time around, we at Blameless Central were pleased to find at least one brave soul who accepted responsibility for his actions. No, it wasn't Robert McNamara--more than 50,000 U.S. troops died before he got around to it. And no, it wasn't O.J., who claimed to be a ''battered husband.'' We're talking, of course, about Kenneth Lane of Elk River, Minnesota, who was discovered burying a large mound of carpeting for no apparent reason. ''I don't know what to say,'' he told a puzzled cop. ''You got me. I can't even make up an excuse.'' We don't know what the hell you were doing, Kenneth, but we salute you for owning up to it.
Subversives in our midst are acting like foreign agents of the Japanese and Europeans, and it's about time they were exposed. You know who I mean: the people who go out of their way to attack the U.S. government. I don't care if they call themselves congressmen or militiamen--they are giving comfort to our economic enemies. Soon we will be such weak players in the new world order that we'll have to beg the United Nations to send its troops to deliver our mail. Even the Voice of America, which represents the U.S. in 42 languages, is part of the fire sale. So is every federal nonmilitary program that works.
Her Last lover called himself Sir Fuckalot. She tells you this as you stand at the stove, stirring spaghetti sauce, impressing her with your sensitive side. You stop and smile down at the sauce because you're older, wiser, have been around, and you aren't easily intimidated.
If you want to help author and celebrity-mom Jaid Barrymore with her research--and given her chosen subject, who wouldn't?--you have to come equipped with a supply of hot wax, blindfolds and extra batteries for the vibrator. ''I drew on a lot of my own experiences for Secrets of World Class Lovers,'' she says of her recently published sex guide. ''Then I excavated the personal lives of my friends.'' She also had the publisher's wife test the erotic manifesto on her husband. The result? ''They had their best sex ever!'' Secrets is a manual for lovers that covers everything from the thrill of public sex to kinky ways to masturbate. ''Joycelyn Elders should give my book to everyone she knows,'' Jaid suggests. The publication of her book was an unparalleled high for the Hungarian beauty, who was born in Europe just after World War Two. Jaid's eventual pursuit of a stage and screen career led her to Los Angeles, and into the brief marriage with actor John Barrymore Jr. that produced Drew. Of her rebel daughter, Jaid says: ''As a kid, I was just as incorrigible as Drew--always on double-indefinite detention.'' We don't mind. The Barrymore women are our kind of bad girls.
Fall and Winter 1995 will be big seasons for restaurants, bars and clubs. Enormous establishments that will seat upwards of 400 customers are opening nationwide. Theme restaurants will serve terrific fusion cuisines, such as Asian with Californian. Some wild new bars are on the way, and the club scene will be a killer. Planet Hollywood has already headed south to Atlanta, and a new jazz joint, Green Dolphin Street, has just blown into the Windy City. Organized, cigar-smoking boys' nights out will add a sophisticated whiff of tobacco to the autumn air. Here's where the dining, drinking and dancing action for the next six months will take place.
Autumn is the season when menswear designers shake up their collections, introducing new looks and refining others to keep their clothes fresh and interesting. Here's what to expect. Suits: The latest jackets are cut longer and narrower than last season's models, with slightly nipped waistlines and lightly padded shoulders. Choose a three-button single-breasted style (worn with or without a matching vest) or a six-button two-to-button double-breasted in dark shades of gray, brown or blue. Striped suits, such as the ones by Joseph Abboud and Calvin Klein pictured on page 86, are good choices--particularly when worn with one of the new dark-toned dress shirts in blue, gray, brown or tan. Sports jackets and pants: With relaxed corporate dress codes, this is the time to add a sports jacket to your cool-weather wardrobe. Look for chenille, English tweed and other subtly textured fabrics that complement plain or pleated corduroy or cavalry twill trousers. Sweaters: Light-weight turtlenecks, V-necks and polo collars are all hot and team up well with sports jackets. Ties: Neckwear with luster is the way to go, whether it's a solid-colored jacquard weave, a small woven pattern or stripes.
It was on the volcanic sands of Kona and Kaanapali in Hwaii that Cindy Crawford and fashion photographer Herb Ritts made history during three torrid days in 1988. Ritts took along plenty of black-and-white film, and Cindy--well, Cindy packed lightly. The results appear in our July 1988. issue, with an encore (above) in December 1990. Those photos launched the age of the erotic supermodel, a revolution for which Playboy is proud to take credit.
Call it Ponzi. Call it pyramid. Federal prosecutors call it ''the mother of all kiting schemes,'' a fraud six times greater than the scandal that brought down the venerable house of Baring. For his part, John McNamara, the polite, rumpled, 53-year-old Long Island car dealer who masterminded the world's largest con game, was pleading guilty as he stood before a federal district court judge in Brooklyn in September 1992.
It's time to give the heave-ho to your antiquated stereo receiver and underpowered PC. And while you're at it, dump the biceps-building camcorder, because these techno staples (and others) are being challenged this fall by a new generation of electronics. For example, Hitachi's latest compact Hi-8mm camcorder uses infrared technology to beam your home video footage to your television--without wires. Kenwood and Clarion are introducing talking car-navigation systems. And digital video will soon be coming at you from all directions--through the air and on tape and disc--with crystal-clear pictures and spectacular sound. Here's the scoop.
Imagine the scene. You arrive in Las Vegas on business (yeah, right), and you scan the airport lounge for your ride to the hotel. Standing there holding a cardboard sign with your name on it is Miss September, Donna D'Errico. Don't laugh--it could happen to you.
Vodka and Tequila are stepping up in the world. The newest ones--described by the liquor industry as ''superpremiums''--should be savored rather than knocked back. This trend to smoother and subtler spirits began a few years ago as drinkers discovered the complex pleasures of single-malt scotches and single-barrel bourbons. Stolichnaya has entered the premium vodka market with Stolichnaya Cristall, which is named for the crystalline purity of the spirit, achieved through a double-distillation process more thorough than that used for most other vodkas. Stoli has also contributed to the category of flavored vodkas with such brands as Stolichnaya Ohranj, which is double-distilled, enhanced with orange zest, juice and pulp and then filtered to leave behind a hint of citrus flavor. Served ice-cold, as an aperitif, Ohranj is a great way to begin an evening, as are two other flavored vodkas, Finlandia Arctic Cranberry and Absolut Kurant.
Many of the most fun-to-drive new cars in a decade will be introduced in 1996. But while manufactures are keeping their sexiest automobiles under wraps, we've uncovered four of the best and persuaded company insiders to talk about other new developments, such as stability guidance systems.
When the beaches close and the sidewalks snow over, boredom and lack of variety can become workout killers. To face this challenge, exercise equipment is going interactive, with some of the hottest products scheduled to debut in health clubs before the first frost. If fact, don't be surprised if your gym starts to resemble an arcade. Thanks to new ''exertainment systems'' from Life Fitness and Nintendo, you'll be able to play Pac-Man while pedaling a Lifecycle. Speed up or slow down on these specially programmed exercise bikes, and the pace of the on-screen action changes accordingly. Likewise, if your character is scaling steep terrain in a game called Mountain Bike Rally, for example, you'll have to pedal harder as the resistance automatically switches into uphill mode. Other games include Speed Racer and Tetris. And don't worry, these systems aren't strictly for amusement--the Lifecycles still track time, distance, calories burned and other important details. If you like the idea of a personal trainer but hate the cost, Life Fitness and IBM have come up with an interesting alternative--the Life Center Interactive Training System. This multimedia kiosk, which is being installed at health clubs nationwide, costs users nothing but offers plenty in the way of one-on-one training. After surveying your fitness interests and goals, the Life Center will create a 12-week custom workout and provide a video demonstration of proper exercise techniques. Even better, the Life Center is electronically linked to the club's Life Fitness strength-training and cardiovascular gear. Once the kiosk is programmed with your workout specifics, it sets the weight levels, repetitions and durations as you move from machine to machine. Details on complete sets and routines, including total calories burned, are downloaded and stored in the kiosk. Each time you visit the club, you can view the status of your program on the monitor or receive a hard copy from the Life Center's printer. In-line skaters who want to stay in motion during the off-season should check out the Nautilus Skate Machine. A $3200 electronic trainer that can be used both at home and at the gym is the only piece of electronic exercise gear that simulates the side-to-side motion of skating. It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout that involves different muscle groups than do traditional stair climbers, treadmills or stationary bikes. For added motivation, the Skate Machine features computer simulations that let you race through 12 different courses, including Central Park, while monitoring calories burned, speed in strides per minute and miles skated. Another cross-training system, the C544 Transport, by Precor, will be available at health clubs in October and for home use shortly thereafter. Describing the machine is almost as (continued on page 165) muscle-bound (continued from page 124) challenging as the workout it provides. It resembles a stair climber with pedals attached to a paddle wheel-like base. Instead of the standard up-and-down movement, the C544 lets you step in forward or backward motions at varying speeds, degrees of incline and resistance. Some have likened the movement to riding uphill in a standing position on a bike. The result: greater muscle involvement and a glute workout that's twice as tough as a stair machine's.
Wear it again, Sam. A water-resistant brushed-cotton french with a padded lining, raglan sleeves and slash pockets, by Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni ($995) and a fur felt snap-brim fedora with grosgrain ribbon trim, by Worth & Worth ($100).
Great products for saving face. Left to right: Cordless mustache trimmer by Conair ($17) stands next to Geo F. Trumper's black-handled straight razor ($140), which keeps its edge via the Trumper leather strop, $132, pictured farther right. Pewter shaving accessories from Mont Source include a brush, cup, mug and razor ($35 each). Vetiver aftershave balm by Guerlain ($40). Sensonic electric toothbrush and plaque remover by Teledyne ($130). Mousse à Raser shaving foam by Decleor ($11). Norelco's rechargeable 486XL Speedrazor ($90). Battery-powered Shiatsu Untangler hairbrush by Amirra ($20). The Body Shop's line of No Debate men's toiletries includes aromatic soaps ($6 a bar), shampoo ($6) and an after-shave splash ($11). Conair's GMT 180CS rechargeable beard and mustache trimmer ($25). On the top shelf is Braun's quick-charge Flex Integral shaver ($180) and the portable Access 410DB battery-powered razor by Norelco (about $80).
The Long-Legged Woman runs along the beach, framed by the burnished orange of a Malibu sunset. Her two young children dance by her side, oblivious to the flowing hair, the fine features and the voluptuous form beneath the T-shirt and jeans that somehow seems so different from the body of a typical mother. Over by the road, catching the horizontal rays of the dying sun, is the 20-year-old Chevy pickup truck that brought us to the beach. That vehicle, the children and the arresting beauty all belong to Kimberley Conrad Hefner. As I trail behind her I am struck by a thought: Perhaps she is the exception to philosophy's law of the excluded middle, which says that no one thing can be another thing at the same time. Kimberley Conrad Hefner is ordinary and extraordinary all at once.
She got a quick start in last year's public-transportation thriller, ''Speed,'' and even more attention in the recent romantic comedy ''While You Were Sleeping.'' But those who really know Sandra Bullock's oeuvre fell for her beguiling smile and personality long ago in her debut film, ''Love Potion #9.'' Since then, the 29-year-old has appeared as the dead girlfriend in ''The Vanishing,'' as a waitress who befriends Robert Duvall in ''Wrestling Ernest Hemingway,'' as a country-singing wanna-be in ''The Thing Called Love'' and as Sylvester Stallone's future-cop sidekick in ''Demolition Man.'' No doubt being the daughter of a German opera singer and an Alabama-bred vocal coach prepared her to take on diverse roles. Next, she plays an agoraphobic computer geek in ''The Net'' and will star opposite Denis Leary in ''Two If By Sea.'' Contributing Editor David Rensin met with Bullock at her Los Angeles home, a fixer-upper she's proud to have fixed up herself. ''We talked in her breakfast nook for two hours,'' says Rensin. ''The whole time I kept wondering why, with all her talent--as an actress and as a general contractor--wrapped up in such a fabulous and approachable package, this woman was single.''
A few years ago, reading about alarm clocks would have been a snooze, but electronics manufacturers now add all kinds of innovative features to their latest bedside buzzers. Sony, for example, lets you rise to the radio--or a wake-up call--with its combination AM/FM clock radio and cordless phone model. If you prefer to be nudged back to reality by your favorite tunes, Magnavox makes a combination CD player and clock radio with a special sensor that turns off the sounds with a wave of your hand. Like to stay in bed on rainy days? Oregon Scientific's alarm clock wakes you with a soft beep and the day's weather report. There's even the Power Pyramid, a New Age alarm that lets you start your day to the sounds of 12 ''aural universes.''