Hollywood's fashion compass is pointing east these days. Witness the mandarin collars worn by stylish stars like Mimi Rogers and Bette Midler. Now seen on dresses and pantsuits, the neckline is "elegant and full of quality," says Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Zhang Ziyi, who chose a high-collared jumpsuit by Hong Kong's Blanc de Chine for an awards event. "It's a conservative way of looking sexy." Plus, the collar "necessitates a better posture, which makes the wearer look more confident," says designer Barney Cheng, who created the cheongsam that actress Michelle Yeoh wore to the Oscars. The style "works well for all body types and age groups," says Blanc de Chine fashion director Bonnie Hung. Just exercise restraint when it comes to accessorizing. "Because the look is quite severe," notes Cheng, "hair and makeup should be simple and neat."
with Karen Brailsford in Los Angeles
behind the seams
Übermodel Gisele Bündchen may be the glorious face of Lanvin's Oxygene perfume, but she isn't flaunting the association. Seems the print and TV ads for Oxygene were shot more than two years ago, before Bündchen's salary hit the stratosphere. Indeed, a source familiar with the deal says the bombshell was snapped up for "mere pocket change." Maybe that's why last year, when she inked an exclusive multimillion-dollar contract with Victoria's Secret, Biindchen informed Lanvin she wouldn't be making any perfume-peddling appearances....
It's one thing to endure the Australian Outback, but Survivor winner Tina Wesson learned last week that it's really a jungle out there when it comes to , accessorizing. Getting glammed up for the Academy of Country Music Awards in L.A., Wesson settled on a glittery halter dress by St. Vincent but then realized she had no shoes! Ever resourceful, she raced over to Stuart Weitzman's Rodeo Drive boutique and grabbed a pair of gold lamé slides and a matching handbag that he quickly offered up as gifts....
Singer Wyclef Jean has something new to chirp about: a one-of-a-kind guitar case by Italian leather house Hogan made of beige canvas and leather with a furry chocolate-brown lining....
Ensconced in a bungalow at Miami Beach's Delano Hotel last weekend, Sean "Puffy" Combs decided to join—uninvited—a poolside party held by La Prairie cosmetics for their new spokeswoman, socialite Cornelia Guest. Combs sweetly apologized to Guest for crashing. She in turn was thrilled and sorry he left without the goody bag containing La Prairie's $125 Skin Caviar Mask. "He has lovely skin, but who couldn't use a little help now and then?" she coos.
Can't put your finger on how to jazz up your look? Then take a handful of tips from divas like Madonna and Mary J. Blige, who sport talons bedecked with rhinestones and funky designs. "People are wearing their nails as jewels," notes Sue Marsh, a master technician for Creative Nail Design. The manicures "reflect personal style," adds celeb-buffer Deborah Lippmann. For singer Pink, getting a wild paint job "is the best part of being a girl," she says. "The prettier my nails are, the prettier I feel."
Andie MacDowell displayed lots of class at the Cannes Film Festival by baring very little in an elegant trumpet-sleeved lace gown by Alberta Ferretti. The modesty suited MacDowell fine. "It molds to my body but is not tight," she says. "It's sexy but discreet."
Summer's barely-there fashions demand perfectly polished skin. What's your favorite way of exfoliating so that you're good to glow?
"I use this glycerine scrub that you put on a washcloth and scrub all over you. I really use it on my arms and my chest, the areas that get sun-damaged."
Radio host "Downtown" Julie Brown
"I use Origins or Kiehls ex-foliants. I love the way Origins products smell, and Kiehls just seems unbelievably healthy. I use a combo of both and they're great."
Josie and the Pussycats' Tara Reid
"I don't use anything but a washcloth. Soap and water. Always, my whole life. All that weird [stuff] will make your skin break out."
Blonde's Poppy Montgomery
"I use something called Bliss. It's a body exfoliant. I don't really use one on my face because my skin is too sensitive. Instead I get dermabrasion power peels about every three weeks. It keeps your skin smooth and gives it a nice glow."
A Warming Trend
Winter's long gone, but that's not stopping headstrong girls-about-town Rachael Leigh Cook, model James King and Providence star Dana Daurey from stepping out in wool knit caps. "I wear this hat with anything," Daurey says of the $35 mauve topper she picked up at a swap meet. "It makes me feel like I'm in a cool old movie." The caps are stitched out of "a very light Lycra-mix, merino wool," explains L.A. designer Suss Cousins. "You can wear it year-round." Which makes the hats perfect for an air-conditioned boîte or a chilly spring night. "As we all know," says Cook, "heat escapes through the top of your head—at least that's what my mom says."