Casual has never been so chic since sizzling stars like Marisa Tomei, Natasha Richardson and Jennifer Love Hewitt started warming up to a cool trend—the white tank top. The tantalizing tee is "a really sexy piece," raves designer Shoshanna Lonstein, who favors snowy Juicy Couture tanks to make her outfits "trendier and fun."
No longer limited to a day at the beach, these cotton tops are becoming red-carpet staples for those who "don't want to look as though they're making too much of an effort," notes L.A. stylist Jeanne Yang. "I pretty much wear them with anything," says Joe Dirt's Jaime Pressly, who likes to pair a fitted Fruit of the Loom version with sleek Chloé slacks. The look is "easygoing," adds Juicy Couture stylist Janey Lopaty.
It's also a great way to bare arms, says The View's Lisa Ling. The cut of her favorite Gap tops is "flattering," she says. Plus, she adds, you can "dress them up and make them look elegant, or just chill in them."
There are limits, though, to the look's versatility. "I wouldn't wear it to a wedding," advises Lonstein. "And stay away from the bat mitzvahs. That's an occasion where you want to be respectful."
with Amy Baumgartner in Los Angeles
behind the seams
Staff at Versace's Rodeo Drive emporium had all but written off respectable sales for September due to shopper anxiety in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Then Elton John came to the rescue. I hear the extravagant entertainer saved the day when he strolled in at the end of the month and dropped about $100,000 on clothes and jewelry. The big spender would have rung up an even higher tab, but, a source whispers, John took advantage of his 30 percent VIP discount....
Wanting to look the part of a street-smart cop in Training Day, Denzel Washington
asked his jeweler, Chris Aire of L.A.'s 2 Awesome International, to create a treasure trove of flashy gems for him to sport in the film. But when the estimate for the ice came to $221,000, the producers balked. So the bijou-maker constructed fabulous fakes instead, including a $400 sterling-silver-and-cubic-zirconia necklace doubling for an $8,700 diamond-encrusted cross and a $100 faux diamond-dotted Rolex—standing in for the real $90,000 timepiece....
Pasties-loving Lil' Kim is secretly hatching a toned-down look. The outrageous rapper is embarking on Project Take Kim Seriously as she branches out into acting with an upcoming guest spot on UPN's The Parkers and a big-screen role in next spring's Juwanna Mann. Since Kim is in need of a new wardrobe, the shock queen's reps have put the word out that they are looking for elegant garb. Call me a cynic, but I'll file this in my "I'll believe it when I see it" folder....
Is it possible to be a patriot and a style diva? Goldie Hawn thinks so. The star was meeting with budding screenwriter Suzi Landolphi recently when the scribe pulled out some T-shirts featuring the Statue of Liberty. The $20 Thoz Girlz tops are made by Landolphi's daughter Kyrsha Wildasin and business partner Lisa Koral, who are donating the proceeds to disaster relief. Showing her true stripes—and stars—Hawn scooped up 10 tees on the spot....
Seen: Aerosmith's Steven Tyler slipping into Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills and popping for a funky velvet Eric Javits beret.
Balls and Chains
In the market for a necklace? Think round and chunky, advise the stars. Large, circular pendants "work so well" with simple outfits, says Leeza Gibbons, who has a 1940s version in crystal. Jill Hennessy feels "very adorned" in her coral-and-turquoise flea-market buy. Her tip: "Don't overload with other jewelry."
Which of Madonna
's many style phases do you like best and why?
MTV's Carson Daly
"I liked the burning-cross phase from 'Like a Prayer.' I liked the gothic look—the dark hair and the light eyes."
L.A. Laker Shaquille O'Neal
"My favorite phase was during 'Like a Virgin,' because she was more innocent, more fun."
"When she did the video wearing all the S&M stuff. That was incredible."