The author, fashion observer for the New York Times, casts a conservative eye heavenward at the circus swirl of contemporary style setters It's a case of pen over paraphernalia with a lively, unstinting approach: ""It's a matter of more and more commotion over less and less dress;"" ""Arrested development is the essential of pop fashion;"" ""The incredible fact about fashion in the sixties is its pervasiveness... Fashion is a tool in the frantic effort to prove personal or commercial merit;"" ""There's no doubt about where Vogue editors stand. Shoulder to shoulder with Dorian Gray."" There's no doubt about where Miss Bender stands Or her intimate knowledge of the industry and all of its wunderkinder from Yves Saint-Laurent to Tiger Morse. The pages are packed with tales of designers, socialites, exhibitionists, parties, banquets and balls with everyone at their very best dressed (or ""un""). Agree or not that taste has been plummeting right down to the ""No-bra,"" you won't get abetter close up of The Beautiful People preening, scheming and scandalizing. Ye-ye.