designs during her concert tours, but her real-life wardrobe is much more subdued. She loves beautifully-tailored suits by Giogio Armani and Donna Karan, slinky Pamela Denis gowns, and anything Prada.
"I think Prada makes the most beautiful jackets.
Those little jackets with the zippers! Fabulous!"
The 5-foot 1-inch star admits that dressing can be "a struggle"
for someone with her proportions. "The combination of big
bosom and big arms can make you look very wide. But I
have an eye for what suits me."
Her favorite department store is Saks Fifth Avenue because
she likes the store label. "They've got a nice line. They
have a petite department and I'm little, so I like to
In the past few years, her signature look for
glitzy show biz events has been colorful silk
pantsuits featuring fitted jackets and straight
leg trousers. She likes hats so much that
she has one-of-a-kind toppers made for
her by Manhattan designer Kelly Christy.
When it comes to pocket-books, however,
she sticks with the classics. "There's nothing
like a great bag. A beautiful Hermes bag is
unbeatable. People carry them for 50 years,
the same bag."
Bette doesn't mind that she wasn't
born with a small, up-turned nose, sculpted cheekbones, and big blue
eyes. "I don't fit the show biz
norm - I'm different and I'm proud
of that. And now, as I go toward
my middle years, I don't have to
worry about every wrinkle. I'm
comfortable with my face the
way it is."
"There is no square inch of my body that
doesn't require intense maintenance," says
Bette. "And it's a bloody bore." So much
so that, when Bette isn't working or
attending a media event, she wears little
makeup and doesn't even bother putting
in her contact lenses. However, her eye
lashes always look lush because she has
them professionally dyed.
"I like to dye my eyelashes. But I wouldn't recommend it
unless you have someone to do it for you." Her favorite
makeup item is lipstick. Bette recently purchased the IL
Makiage 12 Lipstick Kit, which allows her to mix colors
together like paint so she can experiment with lots
of different shades.
Bette and her husband, performance artist Martin von Haselberg, sit down to a home-cooked meal every night with their daughter, Sophie. They don't believe in dieting, but they do believe in eating healthfully.
"We eat fresh food - grains, yogurt, fruits and vegetables,
chicken, fish - nothing processed and nothing from cans.
Food is our friend."
Bette even starts the day with good-for-you tofu. But she
admits her husband does most of the cooking. "My husband
can cook anything. Sophie and I are only handmaidens, the
scullery maids to the maestro. We wash, we scrub, we peel.
Sometimes we are allowed to chop. Occasionally there is
a request that I make my great potato salad - my mother's
old recipe." The staple you'll always find in Bette's fridge?
"Greek olives," she says. "And we have to have good pickles.
My husband is a connoisseur. Sometimes we have 20 jars
of different kinds of pickles."
Bette considers working out a means toward an important
end - eating. "Working out is a lot of fun and you can
eat to your heart's content as long as you work it off. You
don't have to worry about calories. I exercise a lot - six
days a week - and I love it. I work out for an hour a day -
30 minutes with weights, 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Exercise is the only thing that really counts in getting the
body in shape. It's the weights that really do it." Bette also
practices yoga when she can find the time and burns off
calories cleaning up trash and litter around the Big Apple
in her role as founder of the New York Restoration Project.
"I do believe I'm divine," says Bette. Everybody is.