Going In Style
nowadays, teri peterson is content to pick and choose from fashion's ever-changing styles. someday she hopes to create a few
One of the first things you notice about Teri Peterson (that is, if you can shift your attention from her big, bewitching brown eyes) is the way she is dressed. It's a difficult style to categorize -- she seems to favor colorful, loose, low-cut tops, leg-hugging Spandex pants and short cowboy boots. Or very short dresses. Very sexy, very stylish, very New Wave, always unconventional. And arresting as hell. We once saw her part the traffic on Sunset Boulevard with the ease of Moses directing tides in the Red Sea. "I really do enjoy creating my own fashions," she tells us, "a style that's different, my very own, and sort of a mixture of wild and conservative. I like looking somewhat bizarre, because I really don't care what people think." A native of California, one of four daughters ("All my sisters are beauties"), Teri likes to pick up on changing styles and trends -- after all, California is the trend capital of the world. "I admit it," she says candidly, "I like to get into fads. But I generally pick and choose: Certain fads appeal to me, others don't. I didn't get too deeply into roller skating, but I did go for disco and now I'm into New Wave -- Blondie, The Pretenders, the B-52's. I like the beat and the sort of defiant attitude of the lyrics. I wonder what'll be next." Next on Teri's agenda are two all-consuming goals -- first, to one day grace the cover of Vogue ("It's my favorite magazine. The fashions are terrific and the graphics are so, so stylish") and, second, to become a model and a fashion designer in Paris, so that someday her own personal style may become the trend. All of which is quite ambitious for a girl who admits to having had problems with shyness throughout most of her life. "I've always been exceedingly shy," she tells us. " When I was younger, I didn't think I was good-looking; I was left out a lot, too, so I became somewhat withdrawn, you might say. I'm gradually getting over it, though, but I still tend to be a bit shy when I meet people." Some of that may also stem from the fact that Teri comes from an extremely close-knit family, and with three sisters all approximately her age, she never had a real need to seek other close friendships. "My younger sister and I still go out together a lot," she says. "She's 19, so we're pretty much into the same things. Plus, she's just starting to become a model herself, so we've got a lot in common." A family trip to Tahiti -- on Christmas of 1978 -- awakened Teri to the excitement of travel, and one of her dreams is to satisfy her wanderlust. "The first thing I plan to do with my new-found wealth, thanks to Playboy, is invest in some real estate," she tells us. "And the second thing is travel, travel, travel!" Wherever she goes, we're certain she'll be going in style.
Photography by Phillip Dixon