Style Watch

updated 05/07/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/07/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Chain Reaction

Round 'em up, rope 'em in. That's the message as stars like Nicole Kidman, Lara Flynn Boyle and Charlize Theron stride into the season's big events with necks bedecked in sparkling lariats. "It's young Hollywood's way not to be stuffy," says stylist Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig, who recently draped the loopy necklaces on Cindy Crawford and Jada Pinkett Smith. "Instead of wearing a diamond choker that maybe Ivana Trump would wear, they're taking a sexier, modern twist." Indeed "a lariat is more fun," says Cathy Carmendy, the L.A. designer of the platinum-and-diamond version worn by Helen Hunt to this year's post-Oscar parties. "You can wear them with anything."

Longer lariats can be "wrapped around your neck twice," says Carmendy, noting that other lengths can be tied "at your neck, your cleavage or below." The lower the better for former television host Cindy Margolis. "It's playfully sexy," she raves of the lariat she got as a gift from hubby Guy Starkman, "and it points to my heart." To which Guy, smart fella, obviously already knows the way.
with Ulrica Wihlborg in Los Angeles

behind the seams

That much anticipated Monica-Chandler wedding on May 17 will have the femmes of Friends dripping in enough diamonds to make even Elizabeth Taylor squeal. New York City designer Lorraine Schwartz supplied the rocks for the episode, adorning bride Courteney Cox Arquette Arquette in a snazzy $80,000 yellow-and-white-diamond necklace and putting a $75,000 ca. 1920s emerald bracelet on Lisa Kudrow's wrist. But guest star Kathleen Turner—who plays groom Matthew Perry's cross-dressing father—boasts the top trinket: a 55-carat diamond necklace valued at a whopping $800,000....

During a recent seven-day swing through New York City to plug her musical flick Moulin Rouge, Nicole Kidman gave it her all on the fashion front, wearing a chic one-sleeve Jean Paul Gaultier couture number at Bloomingdale's and a vintage Loris Azzaro dress at a benefit. But there's clearly another side to this glamor girl. Perked-up ears couldn't help overhearing Kidman chatting about the kick she got from ditching her glad rags and slipping into cozy pj's for nightly slumber parties with her Aussie posse of girlfriends back at the hotel....

Lara Flynn Boyle, designer? Not such a far-fetched idea, considering the overhaul the Practice star performed on a silver crepe de chine frock by New York designer Donna Haag recently. Boyle, gussying up for the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, decided to have the straps, linked to the gown's crystal choker, cut off. The result? A slinky strapless stunner....

Seen: Michelle Pfeiffer and husband David E. Kelley shopping the designer shoe department at Barneys New York in Manhattan. The lovely actress bought nothing and left holding hands with her hubby.... Susan Sarandon traveling incognito—busted! —in dark shades, long-sleeved football jersey and khakis on a shopping spree in Santa Monica.

presto change-o
Bada bing! Just like that, The Sopranos' Edie Falco has hit a high note with a sexy new cut. It's "ravishing," praises hair don Frédéric Fekkai. "Less femme fatale and more downtown." But fans needn't worry about the do changing their favorite Mob wife. Says an HBO rep: "Carmela will remain Carmela."

DOUBLE VISION
Dueling divas? Actually, the fur didn't fly when Wynonna Judd and Patti LaBelle turned up in twin Adrienne Landau coats at a recent benefit. "We just smiled," says LaBelle, and buddied up. "When Ms. Patti walked in," says Judd, "I said to myself, 'I must be all that!' "

winner's circle
The premiere of hubby Matthew Broderick's Broadway show The Producers called for special threads, so Sarah Jessica Parker got Isaac Mizrahi to stitch her a lacy '50s-flavored frock. Smart move. "No one does retro the way Isaac does," says L.A. stylist Ricci DeMartino. "It's beautifully executed."

Stars and Stripes
No need to read between the lines to figure out what drew Kate Hudson, Catherine Oxenberg and Kate Moss to trendy striped tops. The bold bands "add a lot of character to an outfit," says stylist Trish Summerville. Of course there are the usual warnings. "I was always told stripes made you look like a tire," says Oxenberg. But the bright hues and clingy fabric of her Dolce & Gabbana top helped change her mind. "It felt retro," she says. "It's my Motown look."

star talk

What item of clothing do you buy every season?

Jane Seymour
"Escada elasticized jeans. It's an embarrassment how many I have."

Joan Rivers
"Shoes, shoes, shoes! I paid for Manolo Blahnik's country house."

Natasha Richardson
"Little T's and jeans. I just keep buying them."

Hulk Hogan
"Every year we have a few new bandannas made. I'm the one that started all this stuff, and the guy that invented it has to stay true to the invention."

Model Helena Christensen
"Antique dresses. I have so many of those silky lace-up slip dresses, but every time I see one I snap it up."

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