Style Watch

UPDATED 07/31/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/31/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

FIRE POWER

Tired of summer's tame old pastels? Try a dragon print on for size. Spotted on trend-friendly celebs including Christina Ricci, Denise Richards and Cyndi Lauper, the mythical creature is rearing its head everywhere these days, breathing fire into pants, skirts and tops. According to the Chinese calendar, "it's the year of the dragon," says stylist Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig. "Everyone's doing them." Indeed, designers Roberto Cavalli and Vivienne Tarn both stitched the creatures into their collections. Why the urge to look beastly? For TV personality Katie Wagner, who recently sported twisting serpents on her black cotton stretch pants, it's simple: "I was born in 1964, a year of the dragon." Explains Hong Kong-born Tarn: "Dragons have strength. They represent the power in the universe." And they're not without whimsy. Says Lauper, who owns Tarn's raglan-sleeved dragon tee: "It's pretty. Besides, I always liked that song 'Puff the Magic Dragon.' "

with Karen Brailsford in Los Angeles

presto change-o
Ex-Jesse star Christina Applegate has decided to explore the dark side, dyeing her locks chocolate brown. "It gives her a little more of an edge," says her manager Tami Lynn, noting that the actress hopes the change will help her snag different roles. When—or if—she will go blonde again is anybody's guess.

Maggie's Bag
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who once said the safest place on Downing Street was inside her handbag, recently donated one—a black leather Ferragamo—to an online charity auction for breast cancer. Last week Scottish businessman Ian Rushbrook snatched the purse for $150,000. "I am thrilled," Thatcher said—as is Rushbrook's wife, Anne, to whom he will hand over the bag. Less thrilling is the amount fetched by current PM wife Cherie Blair's purse: just $735.

behind the seams

Halle Berry, who turned heads at New York City's recent X-Men premiere in beaded yellow pants and matching itsy—bitsy bikini top, can attest that necessity is the mother of invention. When she couldn't find anything to go with her glittery Lanvin pants, the actress had some leftover material from the extra-long trou fashioned into the bra....

Nothing tickled Angelina Jolie's fancy when she scoped the racks at L.A.'s Trashy Lingerie recently—until she spied the boutique's oh-so-racy Honeymoon Set. Pointing to the lace-trimmed peekaboo cupless bra, frilly garter and crotchless panties, the actress declared, "I want it in pink!" Mrs. Billy Bob Thornton got her wish, dropping $165 for the set....

Expect Heather Locklear to up the fashion ante on Spin City this fall. La Locklear is apparently so keen on making a sartorial statement that the show's costume designer is ringing up top designers—including Chanel (not known for dressing many real-life mayoral aides)—for fab frocks....

A fashionable little birdie whispers that singer k.d. lang is undergoing an image overhaul, deep-sixing her trademark mannish suits in favor of more feminine rags. I hear the chanteuse now favors ethereal gauze and linen—think sea goddess meets J. Crew....

Christina Aguilera has developed a serious Hello Kitty habit. The pop princess recently stocked up on the Japanese kiddie tchotchkes at an L.A. boutique. Among her buys: a Hello Kitty soap dish, wastebas-ket, pens, pencils and candy....

Is long hair sooo over? It might be, considering that supermodel Kirsty Hume—she of the blonde Lady Godiva locks—just chopped off most of her signature mane. Fellow runway queen Shalom Harlow has also had a shearing, one that her intimates whisper was inspired by Hume's dramatic clip job.

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