Here's a new way to ward off winter's chill: Pick up one of the funky sweater coats draping the curves of Julia Roberts, Farrah Fawcett and Lucy Liu. "It's just like wearing a security blanket," says designer Shoshanna Lonstein of her own knee-length ivory cardigan with brown toggles. "You can sleep in it, live in it, take it everywhere with you." Nostalgia motivated Julianne Moore, who slipped into a fuzzy bronze sweater for a recent event. "It reminds me of the 1970s," says the actress. "I never had one then, so I wanted one now." L.A. knitter Suss Cousins understands why. Below-the-knee lengths, she says, "make you look very dramatic and special."
For the most flattering look, choose your yarn wisely. Wool holds its shape better than cotton, Cousins says, while mohair adds texture. As for cut, she adds, "make sure it's a slim silhouette, or you'll look dowdy." If sophistication is key, says L.A. stylist Ricci DeMartino, "dark colors are more urban; pale pink, blues and greens are more casual." Not that there's anything wrong with looking a bit country. Says Lonstein: "I like to wear my coat and pretend I'm walking in the countryside with my sheep."
with Alison Singh Gee in Los Angeles
behind the seams
Laura Bush packed off more than family mementos to Washington. The First Lady hit D.C. with new gems courtesy of Dallas designer Sue Gragg. The baubles, I hear, include a 5-carat, three-stone diamond necklace (worth more than $60,000 wholesale) representing the past, present and future, and 1½-carat stud earrings valued at $13,500 wholesale. The latter especially must be a treat, I'm told, since Mrs. Bush has never had diamond studs before. (For more on the new First Lady, see the cover story on page 50.)...
Meanwhile, First Daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush arrived with some goodies of their own: footwear by Jimmy Choo. The twins selected the same $480 slingbacks with 3-in. heels to toddle in for the daytime Inaugural events, but in different hues. Jenna chose a soft taupe to go with her beige plaid skirt, while Barbara opted for black to complement her hounds-tooth coat and matching dress....
A beaming Jane Seymour is the proud owner of a 24.88-carat diamond-and-ruby Chopard necklace given to her by hubby James Keach for Christmas. But Seymour barely had time to ogle the chunky choker before sending it back to the jeweler with a rush order to shorten it in time to shine at this week's Golden Globes....
No wonder Sandra Bullock has taken to wearing men's pinstripe pants. Bullock, a die-hard Sex and the City fan, has told pals she sees herself as a cross between Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie and Chris Noth's power-dressing Mr. Big....
Seen: Nicole Kidman hardly off the dance floor all night in a denim patchwork jacket and sequined bell-bottoms at a pal's birthday bash at Hollywood hot spot Kane. Fellow reveler Gwyneth Paltrow looked tame by comparison in black pants and top. Hmmm, were those extra-long locks hair extensions, Gwyneth?
It was match point for tennis ace Serena Williams at a recent bash when she donned the same Versace halter dress Julianna Margulies wore for another event. "It accentuated her back and arms," says Williams's publicist. Dark Angel star Jessica Alba also showed fine form (at the People's Choice Awards) in the rose-print Dolce & Gabbana frock that graced Denise Richards last month. Says a D&G spokeswoman: "They have the perfect bodies to wear that dress."
what was he thinking?
Mixing surfer-dude shagginess with Carnaby Street dandiness, Mickey Rourke strode down the red carpet shirtless under a Henry Duarte pinstripe suit for an L.A. premiere last week. The look was a washout with stylists Yana Syrkin and Penelope Francis. "Henry Duarte should stop making ladies' suits for men," says Syrkin. "He looks like a socialite going to do lunch." Francis agreed: "He needs a triple strand of pearls and a good Chanel bag and he's done."
Get connected. That's the message celebs like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez are sending with their favorite find of the season: Fendi chain-link furs. The $35,000 coats feature the newest look in fur design—striping—fine silver or gold links that join the pelts. "It's a jet-set mood with the appeal of luxury," says the firm's creative director Silvia Fendi. Madonna's stylist Arianne Phillips concurs. "She's wearing it nonstop," she says of the singer's mink. "It's glamorous and functional, like a beautiful piece of furniture."
Red-carpet walkers like Annabella Sciorra and Maria Conchita Alonso are mad for the Nikon Nuvis S camera that comes with leather, amethyst and onyx straps designed by stylist Phillip Bloch. "My dress was elegant and classy, and the camera is too," says Miss Congeniality's Jennifer Gareis, who focused the slim $300 shooter on fellow celebs at the Vertical Limit premiere. That's what Bloch had in mind. "It's the perfect little accessory," he says.