02/26/2001 at 01:00 AM EST
Sure, leather is a fashion staple. But these days patch-work versions of the old favorite are cropping up on stars like Carmen Electra
, Leelee Sobieski and 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake
. Pants, jackets, even hats made from pieced-together leather or suede squares are "just fun and funky," says country singer Lee Ann Womack, who loves wearing patchwork leather onstage. "It says, 'Where's the party?' with no effort." L.A. stylist Xavier Cabrera agrees. "It's very rock and roll," he says. "The sexier up-and-coming people are totally into it."
The passion for patches recalls the hippie chic of the 1970s. Cutting leathers into crazy quilts is "a modern interpretation of the past," says a spokeswoman for Bottega Veneta, whose monochromatic patchwork leather halter graced Sobieski for a recent awards show. The result is a look totally of the moment. Says Womack: "It makes the place you are seem like the spot to be, even if it's the grocery store!"
with Karen Brailsford in Los Angeles
behind the seams
When it comes to the gratis goody bags Grammy Award performers and presenters will score on Feb. 21, there are VIPs and then there's Madonna
, While the rest of the stars will receive similar cadeaux—including a none-too-shabby $6,000 Sports Club/LA health club membership—the Material Mama's bag will include some personalized freebies for her and her kids. Among the items: a dramatic $800 seven-strand chakra necklace, custom-made $100 flip-flops covered in Swarovski crystals and a $250 cashmere baby blanket and matching hat for 6-month-old Rocco....
All but zipped into their Grammy ensembles are the members of Destiny's Child, who I hear are getting drapey numbers whipped up for them by Versace. A little birdie blabs that the babes are happy with the designer's sketches and leaning toward wearing the outfits in a blush hue....
Trying to hit New York City's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in style, Tori Spelling
admits she didn't get it exactly right. "It's so cold here and all I brought were open-toe shoes. I screwed up," she moans. At least she can console herself with the purchases she made at Chanel just before the runway madness began: a $3,620 brown leather jacket and a $1,350 orange python handbag....
I hear Toni Braxton has selected Vera Wang to create the gown she'll wear when she walks down the aisle with producer-musician Keri Lewis in the spring. And it looks like Braxton is pulling out all the stops: After viewing the designer's wares at a Beverly Hills trunk show, the songstress decided to plunk down $10,000 for her own Wang creation....
and Tracey Ullman recently sealed a choice fashion deal. The two met at the Golden Globes last month and the gabfest soon focused on the crocheted shawls Theron sports in her new flick Sweet November. When Theron revealed that her mom, Gerda, makes the cozy wraps, savvy Ullman got Theron to agree to sell the shawls exclusively on Ullman's Purpleskirt.com Web site.
Ambassador of Bon Bon Ricky Martin got a fresh buzz cut for a recent European trip. "He said, 'I don't have anything coming up,' " says his clipper Jonathan Antin, " 'so let's just cut it off.' "
The devil made her do it. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Satan in the upcoming film The Devil and Daniel Webster, and dyed her locks red for the job. "I'm having fun with it," she says of her new hue.
After Saving Silverman Steve Zahn shaved off his boyish blond hair for an upcoming role. But he won't be bald for long. Says his rep: "I don't think he's making a conscious style effort with it."