From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Belles of the Ball

A dazzling dress is only the beginning. Fabulous hair, flawless makeup, gleaming jewels and the perfect shoes (and bag) are also required to ace the evening gown competition. Take it from these winners

Originally intended for last year's Emmy Awards, DEBRA MESSING's densely ruffled Oscar de la Renta gown made the Will & Grace star "feel like a princess" at the Golden Globes in January.

Floating into the SAG Awards in Gucci, KATE BECKINSALE confessed that her billowy dress felt "almost like a nightgown."

Shining star KATE HUDSON took a daring plunge into Italian couture when she gilded the Golden Globes in hand-beaded silk georgette from Atelier Versace.

At the Oscars, Best Actress 2000 JULIA ROBERTS turned presenter in a sexy black jersey dress, cut to perfection by Armani.

"It was the last one I saw," Monster's Ball nominee HALLE BERRY said of her much-lauded Golden Globe gown by Valentino. "I put it on, and it just felt right."

At N.Y.C.'s Media Spotlight Awards in January, SALMA HAYEK greeted the klieg lights in a Narciso Rodriguez dress and faux fur stole.

ANGELA BASSETT copped to loving "the beautiful mix of femininity and sass" in her flouncy Roberto Cavalli gown worn to the Essence Awards in May.

Oscar knockout REESE WITHERSPOON delivered a powerful punch in black lace Valentino.

JENNIFER CONNELLY'S black taffeta Vivienne Westwood with cocotte neckline, worn to London's BAFTA Awards in February, was a beautiful find.

For the Academy Awards, Moulin Rouge nominee and new blonde NICOLE KIDMAN chose French dressing—a pale pink column by Chanel.

In an Oscar gown by London-based Ben de Lisi, KATE WINSLET (who admitted to being tightly corseted) appeared fluid, flowered and well-red.

On Oscar night SANDRA BULLOCK played against tomboy-type, taking a turn in Valentino's paillette-covered tulle gown.

The movie was Charlotte Gray, but at the London premiere CATE BLANCHETT went lily-white in an embroidered silk and tulle handkerchief dress by Christian Dior.

Golden Globe nominee CALISTA FLOCKHART, in Oscar de la Renta, showed that she mastered her three R's: ruffles, ruching and romanticism.

In Monaco CATHERINE ZETA-JONES threw a few curves at the Laureus World Sports Awards with her one-shoulder Versace column of beaded pink silk macramé.

Erasing all memory of her Bridget Jones bunny costume, RENEE ZELLWEGER swept into the Oscars wearing a silk organza Carolina Herrera with two-tiered skirt.

Usually in Prada and proud of it, AMANDA PEET switched to the designer's Miu Miu line for a soiree at L.A.'s Miu Miu boutique.

Pairing Valentino's bouffant black gown with a contessa-style fan purse, model SOPHIE DAHL found her inner bella donna at a charity event in London.

Felicity's KERI RUSSELL kept it simple at the SAG Awards in an ivory slip dress by Ralph Lauren.

With her clingy Versace sliced in all the right places, host CHARLIZE THERON ignited the Scientific and Technical Oscars.

Asset Management

The members of the If-You've-Got-It-Flaunt-It Club know how to accentuate the positive

Standing taller post-Cruise, NICOLE KIDMAN reveals a lot more than high heels in a strategically cut Gaultier at a London premiere last fall.

When GWEN STEFANI shows her abs, "it's not in a sleazy way," says Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig, a New York City stylist who has worked with the No Doubt diva (at last year's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas). "She looks very healthy and fit."

With model-perfect posture, GARCELLE BEAUVAIS-NILON(at an L.A. premiere in June) flashes an eyeful in an Escada keyhole catsuit with "no butt cleavage," emphasizes her stylist Tod Hailman.

Luminous in a simple Dolce & Gabbana top and Prada skirt, The Good Girl star JENNIFER ANISTON bares her bronzed biceps (toned with thrice-weekly workouts) at the film's Hollywood premiere in August.

This contour-hugging dress gives Beyonceé Knowles (at a Manhattan film premiere in July) an enhanced rear view. "She doesn't mind it being a little full, either," says mom Tina.

Still boasting what ex Hugh Grant once called "the best boobs in showbiz," new mom ELIZABETH HURLEY wows London partygoers in an Angel Sanchez gown in June. "The V neck and Empire waist enhance her figure," says the designer.

Fit to be tied in a dress by Curve, REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS shrugs off the competition at an L.A. premiere in July.

RENEE ZELLWEGER plays the clavicle at a New York City fashion awards show last year.

Working It

Requisition forms and sales calls are none of their business. But even without typical day jobs, these busy bodies have mastered 9-to-5 style

At an N.Y.C. soriee last year, newswoman DIANE SAWYER was the very model of career couture in a Susan Dell wool pantsuit,"She prefers understated," says designer Dell,"She doesn't do froufrou."

Who says a suit can't be playful? MINNIE DRIVER wore this pale pink Burberry combo to an L.A. benefit in May.

In a winning bid for elegant sophistication, UMA THURMAN dressed in tout Gucci for an L.A. benefit and art auction in March.

To sign off on his Minority Report; TOM CRUISE turned out for the movie's London premiere in June in a Dior suit.

The Prada suit he wore to the MTV Movie Awards in L.A. in June said "serious actor," says VIN DIESEL'S stylist Linda medvene, but his Skechers boots, she adds, "said, 'I'm still Vin Diesel.' "

Well-suited for some funny business in Cerruti, HARRISON FORD arrived for his meeting with David Letterman on the Late Show in June.

At an L.A. premiere, Celine-clad RENE RUSSO "knew she could best show sexy and casual by pairing a cashmere sweater with a lace skirt," says the company's Dana Lambros.

Taking a break from The Practice's power suits. LARA FLYNN BOYLE (at an East Hampton party in June) mixed "hard lines with soft fabric to play with a masculine/feminine look," says stylist Phillip Bloch, who works with her.

Pinstripes are not just for bankers. An Armani-clad MEL GIBSON looked "terminally chic" at an L.A. premiere in February, says his sometime stylist Basia Zamorska.

For the May opening of a New York City Chanel boutique, MICHAEL MICHELE "liked the simplicity of this suit and the surprise Of leather," says Chanel's Anne Fahey.

KATE WINSLET, at a New York City premiere in April, exemplified the "chic, understated, modern girl," says stylist Zamorska, who works with her.

Living up to her surname. HILARY SWANK worked the night shift at a New York party in May in Versace's version of the little black dress.

Mom & Pop Style

Sticky fingerprints...spit-up...showerless mornings...sleepless nights....Bad hair days are for other people. These new parents stay in step with family-friendly fashions

New mothers know CATE BLANCHETT has accomplished the impossible—dressing in clean, stylish, matching clothes. Crossing a London street with son Dashiell, 9 months, she pairs a Paul Smith pantsuit with red Tod's slides.

Underneath her smart trench coat, busy single mom CALISTA FLOCKHART (with Liam, 1½, in L.A.) is wearing...who cares? That's the beauty of this always stylish essential.

MATCHING THE STROLLER
Anne Heche & Coley Laffoon

On the set of their upcoming movie Swept Away, MADONNA (transporting Rocco, 2) and director husband GUY RITCHIE prove it's possible to look perfectly pulled together in play clothes.

Calm, cool, collected and stain-free, CATHERINE ZETA-JONES and MICHAEL DOUGLAS breeze through London's Heathrow Airport in June with son Dylan, 2.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Keeping up appearances, three fashion icons await the stork in style

4 MOS. CLAUDIA SCHIFFER
Growing and glowing

5 MOS. SARAH JESSICA PARKER
Bumping along beautifully

6 MOS. KATE MOSS
Waist not, want not

Knocking Around Town

Put your hands together for those who make the effort to look like they don't even try. Easy does it

For the Independent Spirit Awards in L.A., BENJAMIN BRATT sported a winning combination of hippie threads, love beads and a beard left over from last year's Pirñero.

Why did chanteuse KYLIE MINOGUE cross the road? Because in Dolce & Gabbana jeans and a miu miu coat, she wanted to stop traffic in Manchester, England.

At the L.A. opening of the 20th-anniversary edition of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in March, DREW BARRYMORE—the film's Gertie—exercised her inalienable right to look down-to-earth.

Impeccable PENELOPE CRUZ and her Ralph Lauren bolero and khakis made a fashionable exit from a Manhattan hotel in December.

A sleeve of her YSL top hid her three-week-old wedding band, but for JULIA ROBERTS (at Full Frontal's L.A. premiere) the bloom was still on the rose—and on her Esther Chen pants.

Behind every successful Men in Black star named WILL SMITH is wife JADA PINKETT SMITH, who poured a shot of lime juice into the pair's monotone mix during a December stroll in L.A.

At an L.A. benefit, Bourne Identity star MATT DAMON remained his own man in classic, understated preppy gear.

Dashing even in his downtime, HUGH GRANT turned up the heat in loose, comfortable chinos after dinner with pals in Madrid in June.

Attendees at a February Luca Luca fashion show in Manhattan were lucky to catch a view of LISA LING's demure turtleneck and tough-chick biker jacket.

At a San Diego comedy convention in August, Insomnia star HILARY SWANK didn't miss a beat in Marc Jacobs jeans and colorful sweater.

GWYNETH PALTROW dressed down, then glammed up with a Gucci motorcycle helmet for the ride home from a London club on a pal's bike.

CHELSEA CLINTON and beau IAN KLAUS exhibited post-collegiate chemistry while shopping on London's Sloane Street in February.

Though reviews of her play Up for Grabs weren't great, MADONNA left London's Wyndham's Theatre after a June performance looking every inch a winner in pants by Pinko, Versace jacket and Puma sneaks.

His Eton uniform in mothballs for the summer, Britain's PRINCE HARRY was too-cool-for-school at England's Cirencester Park Polo Club, where he played a match in June alongside his dad.

Track Stars

On the street or on the town, these celebs don't subscribe to the 'Never let' em see you in sweats' credo. Why should they? We should all look this gym-dandy

HALLE BERRY made a run for it but was too slow to head off a parking ticket after working out with her trainer in Hollywood in July.

Juicy-clad JADA PINKETT SMITH cut a colorful swath through the crowd at an NBA final in L.A. in June, while her husband, WILL SMITH, wore the white stuff (Phat Farm) at an L.A. premiere in April.

Running mates MADONNA (In May) and GUY RITCHIE (in July) geared up for their respective laps around London in Adidas warm-up suits.

ELLE MACPHERSON did the London-street dash in June.

In his own Sean John label, P. DIDDY showed his stripes at a New York City premiere in June.

Fresh Scrubbed

On the next three pages you won't see any bizarre piercings, embarrassing tattoos or unmentionable body parts. Here's proof that even in Hollywood it's possible to be young, hip and refreshingly wholesome

Unfazed by the sultry July weather, actress JORDANA BREWSTER was the picture of cool in a Katayone Adeli top, toting a summery Coach bag at a benefit on Long Island.

Actress MONET MAZUR makes a striping case for black and white in a United Bamboo dress at an L.A. awards bash in May.

Once again triumphing over the forces of darkness, Buffy's alter ego SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR topped white Seven jeans with a sheer-midriff Bleu blouse for August's Teen Choice Awards in L.A.

"Not all young actors need to dress rebelliously," says HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN's stylist, Diana Larkin, who dressed him in Armani for a New York City gala in January.

For a May taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, JENNIFER GARNER wore Katayone Adeli pants and a Plein Sud jacket. "She's very elegant," says stylist Julie Waldorf of Fred Segal Beauty, who works with her.

Confidently bridging the gap between day and evening, JESSICA ALBA paired pinstriped pants with a simple James Perse tee for an L.A. premiere in July.

In a Marc Jacobs sweater and Christine Ganeaux blouse, SELMA BLAIR went long, lean and crispy clean at a Hollywood awards show in May.

"She's not trying to be a grown-up movie star," says Fred Segal Beauty's Estee Stanley, a stylist for MANDY MOORE (at a Hollywood premiere in Chanel in January). "She is the classic American beauty next door."

For a royal encounter with Prince Andrew at a Windsor polo match in July, model and First Niece LAUREN BUSH (in a Marbella sweater and Diane Von Furstenburg pants) embodied "traditional all-American style" says her Elite agent.

Most Improved

From then to wow! PEOPLE style maven Steven Cojocaru hails four transformations

KIRSTEN DUNST

1. Too young. She's playing dress up—and both she and the frock need a chaperone.

2. Too old. She's going for retro, but she looks like Lucy Ricardo

NOW: Just right. A perfect blend of youth and sophistication.

MENA SUVARI

1. This is something a woman three times her age would wear to meet the Pope.

2. Way too severe and heavy for such a young girl. And that helmet hair!

NOW: She looks fresh, sleek and modern. And I love the new do.

NELLY FURTADO

1. This is a hodgepodge of trendy pieces overpowered by black tights and Sheena boots.

2. Is she going to a premiere or to the gym? This is slouchy and not red-carpet worthy.

NOW: Masterpiece. An elegant beauty.

CARMEN ELECTRA

1. Very inventive use of a garbage bag for a dress.

2. This is Pocahontas gone terribly wrong. Someone please skin her a decent top.

NOW: Classy, polished and pretty. She's gone from bad girl to girl next door.

On Her It Looks Good

Punk hair? Pink anklets? Heavy metal mixed with dainty lace? On other people these would be fashion felonies. But it all works for 17-year-old Kelly Osbourne, a fun, funky fashion original

For her Cosmo Girl cover unveiling in July, Osbourne chose a "grown-up vintage look, but with an edge," says her stylist Brooke Dulien. The Chanel necklace, worn to the side, is "that perfect touch that sets her apart from the rest."

"She's great at balancing punk rock with couture," says stylist Dulien. At the MTV Movie Awards, Osbourne played rebel with an Idil Vice skirt and Cristy Lucken jacket.

Even Pop's little princess is a bargain hunter. For a pre-Grammy party, Osbourne bought this pair of Marc Jacobs shoes on eBay. A perfect match with her D&G coat.

"Kelly is all about the details," says Dulien, praising the tickle of pink from head to toe worn to a party. "She brings that Kelly element to this outfit, and that puts her ahead of the game."

Rock meets rap at the Teen Choice Awards. "This Co-op jacket reminds me of an old MC jacket," says Dulien. Blue Cult jeans, chain belt, vintage tee and White Trash Charms earrings by Dulien make Kelly "stand out in the crowd."

Osbourne tones down her socks with a classy clutch and a YSL blazer. "She has no boundaries on where her inspirations come from," says Dulien. "It's the way she puts it all together that makes it special."