Razzle Dazzle

updated 02/04/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/04/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST

When it came time to dress up for the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 20, celebrities dug deep—into their closets. Last-minute partygoer Kate Beckinsale slipped into a black Dolce & Gabbana she bought months ago "for, like, surprise things," she said, while nominees Calista Flockhart (in raspberry Oscar de la Renta) and Debra Messing (in de la Renta's navy ruffled chiffon) wore outfits originally intended for the Emmys, before Sept. 11 dimmed the luster of that event's dress code. "I was hoping I'd have some reason to put on a formal gown again," said Messing.

Others saw the soiree—hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to honor work in TV and film—as an excuse to shake things up. Ewan McGregor accented his eyes with black liner and mascara—"He felt the girls shouldn't have all the fun," said his makeup artist Jeannia Robinette—and joined Benjamin Bratt and best original song ("Until," from Kate & Leopold) winner Sting as guys-without-ties. "I've been exercising my personal freedom here," Bratt said. As for Sarah Jessica Parker, third-time best actress winner for Sex and the City, she took no credit—or blame—for her beaded Chanel jumpsuit with a voluminous overdress topped by a faux flower in her bobbed hair. "I had very little to do with it," Parker said of her getup, "but I was thrilled to wear it."

After the three-hour telecast, it was the thought of dinner that excited Moulin Rouge best actress Nicole Kidman, who shouted, "Where's the food?" as she led an Aussie posse that included Kate & Leopold nominee Hugh Jackman and Beautiful Mind best actor Russell Crowe into the Universal/DreamWorks/USA Films bash at Trader Vic's for lobster salad and sushi.

More relaxed was the crowd at the HBO fete, held poolside at the Hilton. Rachel Griffiths spent part of the night chatting on her cell phone about her best supporting actress win for Six Feet Under, while Cynthia Nixon kicked off her Donna Karan sandals ("My feet are hurting!"). As for nominee Julianna Margulies, delayed gratification was good enough. "When I get home," she said, "I'm throwing on sweatpants and eating a bowl of ice cream!"

Galina Espinoza
Carrie Bell, Lorenzo Benet, Rachel Biermann, Karen Brailsford, Ruth Andrew Ellenson, Alison Geejeena Hammond, Marisa Laudadio and Ulrica Wihlborg in Los Angeles

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