Style Watch

updated 04/16/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/16/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Buckle Up!

Hollywood hipsters including Britney Spears and Soleil Moon Frye are adding sparkle to their spring with big rhinestone belt buckles. Jennifer Lopez shimmered in a heart-shaped version, while Drew Barry-more scored one emblazoned with the Canadian flag for fiancé Tom Green. In sassy colors paired with sexy hiphuggers, the detachable buckles "are a great way to dress up jeans," says Stephanie Layne, designer of the Haute Stuff accessories line. Dawson's Creek star Katie Holmes likes that the adornments "let you flirt with being a rock star," she says. Maybe even one in particular. "The look definitely has Madonna to thank for its popularity," says designer Paige Roberts, who made Holmes's and Lopez's belts.

And there's no need to cut calories. The buckles, says stylist Jeanne Yang, "work better on a curvy shape, people who have a pretty good hip."
with Ulrica Wihlborg in Los Angeles

behind the seams

Lisa Kudrow recently had what must have been a hair-raising experience: She was mistaken for an ordinary person. Getting her highlights touched up at chic Beverly Hills salon Gavert Atelier, the Friends star told master colorist Stuart Gavert, "You know, if I look good, then Jennifer will probably come in." When Gavert replied evenly, "That's nice," an amused Kudrow said, "You have no idea who I am, do you?" The colorist said: "Sure I do. You're Lisa from France. That's what the receptionist said." Friends, France, get it? Gavert obviously didn't—he had never seen Kudrow's top-rated show....

Notice a certain glow about Brooke Shields lately? It may be due to her latest passion—candle making. After spotting soybean-wax candles at the wedding of her Suddenly Susan costar Kathy Griffin, Shields asked candle designer Jennifer Brown to teach her the craft. The actress and her fiancé, Chris Henchy, spent an entire afternoon at Brown's L.A. store Jenni Originals, where they made 20 lavender votives and one pillar candle....

Oscar watchers—If you thought Best Supporting Actress Marcia Gay Harden looked slimmer on Awards night, you're right. I hear Harden signed up for the Zone Diet food-delivery service for a month beforehand so she could squeeze into her glamorous but unforgiving Randolph Duke frock....

Rocker Steven Tyler has gone so gaga over his new Michael Schmidt ring that he refuses to take it off even to get it sized. The $350 bauble encrusted with black Swarovski crystals in the shape of a skull is so big that Tyler has to wear a Band-Aid underneath to keep it from falling off....

Seen: Penélope Cruz, in a black V neck and black slacks, cruising for purses and jeans at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills.

Steven Cojocaru is on vacation. Alison Singh Gee reported this column.

DOUBLE VISION
Clad in the same Dolce & Gabbana suit (at separate events), Rachael Leigh Cook and Spice Girl Emma Bunton proved there's more than one way to pep up pinstripes. Cook says she added a black bra because "I had to wear something under there!" L.A. stylist Brenda Cooper prefers Bunton's bright idea. "Emma's willing to take chances and it pays off, because she looks great," Cooper declares. "Rachael hasn't tapped into her true sense of style."

star talk

With warm weather come hot colors. What's your favorite pattern?

The West Wing's Allison Janney
"Floral. I had a beautiful Nicole Miller suit that had roses that I really liked."

Jenna Elfman
"Stripes. They look good on me."

Haley Joel Osment
"My favorite pattern has sports logos all over it. Preferably the Lakers and 49ers. I'm a big fan."

Skater Kristi Yamaguchi
"I like to wear solids because of my [small] size. If I wear too many prints, it chops me up."

Melissa Rivers
"Burberry plaid."

Reba McEntire
"My favorite pattern is no pattern. I go very simple. Tweed is about as complicated as I get."

winner's circle
The verdict is in: Swathed in chic shades of gray, former Ally McBeal attorney Courtney Thorne-Smith looked stunning at a recent L.A. fund-raiser. "It's her own updated Princess Grace look," says L.A. stylist Cary Fetman. "The only thing missing is the pearls."

Winging It
Critics squawked over singer Björk's Oscar getup, and that suits its designer just fine. "Why a swan dress?" says London-based Marjan Pejoski, 33 (whose offbeat duds are also favored by Chlöe Sevigny). "Why not? I hate limits." Björk chose the frock after pal Pejoski sent her a tape of his recent show, which featured numerous bird looks. "She doesn't care about what others say," notes Pejoski. Nor does he. "If my work either charms you or makes you want to puke," he says, "I achieved something."

A Bargain on Beauty
"It shouldn't be right," says Catherine Hickland, "that just because you don't have $150 to spend, you can't look like we look on TV." Now the One Life to Live star—a former makeup artist—is helping remedy the injustice: Cat Cosmetics, her new makeup line, is priced from $10 (for a lip pencil) to $65 (for a 10-piece kit). Available at her Web site, catcosmetics.com, the line is selling briskly. Says Hickland: "It's a dream come true."

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