Style Watch

UPDATED 11/06/2000 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/06/2000 at 01:00 AM EST

Cross Purposes

These days, Faith Hill, Ann-Margret and Elton John all have large crosses to bear. Gone are the dainty pendants of recent years, replaced by supersize versions that give neck muscles a workout. "I just loved that cross," sighs Everybody Loves Raymond's Patricia Heaton, who wore a big yet elegant platinum version by Ann Whatu when she picked up a best actress award at this year's Emmys. "I am a Christian," she explains, "and I feel so many of the things that have happened to me careerwise have been because of God opening these doors for me."

Not everyone embraces the look for religious reasons, however. Sean "Puffy" Combs "likes to wear a big cross on a long chain because it makes him stand out," says his jewelry designer Jacob Arabo. Says Cathy Waterman, who created a $30,000 platinum and diamond cross worn by Sex and the City's Kristin Davis: "A large cross is usually more a statement of beauty than faith." L.A. designer Loree Rodkin is drawn to the oversize pendants because she "loves the architecture" of the shape. "My mother is always saying, 'Honey, what's up with the crosses? We're Jewish!' "

with Samantha McIntyre in New York City

behind the seams

Liv Tyler was on a mission backstage at the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards in New York City—to find a spare hair dryer. But it wasn't to touch up her perfectly coiffed chestnut tresses; Tyler was looking for a quick solution to the large wet stain on her cigarette pants after someone accidentally doused her with water. "Does it look bad?" the conscientious star was overheard asking a chum. Come on, Liv, could you ever look bad?!...

Though Jerry Seinfeld's wife, Jessica, went hog wild on chichi Italian handbags when she and her hubby hit the Tardini boutique in New York City recently, the expectant mother wasn't just thinking about herself. After scooping up four bags—including a hip $650 bowling-bag-style purse—during the spree, Mrs. Seinfeld vowed to return to purchase a luxe leather satchel to carry diapers for their offspring, due any day....

If the mega music mogul and his fiery singer-actress girlfriend in next year's indie film Perfume seem familiar, they should. Though the film's producer won't comment, a set source whispers that the characters in the fashion-industry parody are loosely based on Sean "Puffy" Combs and Jennifer Lopez. Omar Epps portrays the rapper extraordinaire in threads by Sean John, Combs's clothing line, while Carmen Electra, wrapped in look-at-me wear by Roberto Cavalli, does her best Lopez impersonation....

Seen: Spanish stunner Penélope Cruz sporting a trés chic beret and clutching a cage full of kitties as she boarded a New York City-bound flight at LAX....Boxer Oscar De La Hoya, the height of elegance in a crisp baby-blue dress shirt and gray flannels, checking in at New York City's JFK airport....Lovebirds Carson Daly of MTV and actress Tara Reid (Dr T. & the Women) shopping at an Express store in Las Vegas. Daly gave Reid the thumbs-up on a faux-mink vest.

DOUBLE VISION
Don't let the color variations fool you. The multistriped Christian Lacroix gowns donned by Lauren Holly for a June party and Tori Spelling for an October awards gala were cut from the same fabric. The hues on the jersey viscose cloth "reflect the night sky," says Lacroix spokeswoman Ellen Copeman, adding that the $1,020 frock looks best on slim, curvy bodies. Both women obviously qualify.

Startalk

Is thong underwear your thing?

Jennifer Love Hewitt
"I'm a thong queen! I pretty much wear nothing else. You get used to it, and you don't have to worry about your underwear bunching up."

Actress Natasha Lyonne
"No. They're wrong, inappropriate and uncomfortable. I'm severely opposed to them."

Spice Girl Emma Bunton
"Definitely. I hate the knicker line. It's not good."

The Geena Davis Show's Kim Coles
"No. I don't understand it. No fabric belongs rubbing your nether regions."

Winner's circle
After a nattily clad Dylan McDermott presented himself at the VH1/ Vogue Fashion Awards in a Hermès suit and black turtleneck, L.A. stylist Alison McCosh said the Practice star "looked sleek and sophisticated." The verdict: guilty of studliness in the first degree.

A Reversal of Fashion

What do you call a trend that has Mena Suvari, 21, managing to look matronly, while Katie Couric, 43, turns up turned out like a teen? A major fashion flip-flop. Mature women such as Goldie Hawn, Cher and Fran Drescher are donning sassy duds usually worn by women half their age, while the 25-and-under set—including Chloë Sevigny, Christina Ricci and Leelee Sobieski—are slipping into stodgy ensembles "that offer up a ladylike feeling," says L.A. stylist Vincent Boucher.

The fad flatters some more than others. While Suvari "looked too old at the Oscars," tsks stylist Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig, Sevigny "has such a funkiness it works," says celeb dresser Philip Bloch. As for the midlifers, some try too hard. Cher "needs to tone it down," says Rosenzweig. More successful is Hawn. "Goldie's a young spirit," says Bloch. Rosenzweig agrees: "She can pull off anything."

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