Acting Up

updated 06/15/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/15/1998 01:00AM

The buzz was less about who won and who bombed at the 1998 MTV Movie Awards—held at the Santa Monica Airport on May 30—than about how celebs dressed, or undressed, for the anything-goes event. "My dress is so short, you can see all the way to Mexico," joked Minnie Driver, in a purple Valentino micromini, as she shivered in the air-conditioned hangar. Jennifer Lopez's floor-length leather skirt left more to the imagination, but her Paco Rabanne halter didn't. "I'm very cold," she said. "But I don't care."

Playing it cool is the awards' calling card. "You don't have to put on a long, slinky gown," said Brandy, decked out in a Ralph Lauren tank top and DKNY trousers. "This is more come-as-you-are." The honors were equally irreverent. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore nabbed Best Kiss for The Wedding Singer, and Leonardo DiCaprio made up for his Oscar snub with a Best Male Performance win for Titanic (he accepted by video).

After the awards, 1,600 guests, including Courteney Cox Arquette and Jennifer Love Hewitt, dashed to a nearby tent for post-show noshing on Szechuan pancakes and asparagus risotto. Despite the footloose vibes, not every reveler thought less was more. Said Vivica A. Fox, elegantly chaste in a sky-blue Pamela Dennis pantsuit: "I just want to go up to these girls and say, 'Honey, put your bra on!' "

Jeremy Helligar
Steven Cojocaru in Los Angeles

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