It looks as if fashion has returned to the age of innocence as chic celebs like Penélope Cruz and Sheryl Crow abandon daring décolletage in favor of the feminine flair of the Victorian lace blouse. "I love the Victorian era; it really suits my style," says actress Julie Delpy, who designed the high-collared top she chose for a recent premiere. Perhaps it's because the look of the frilly frock reflects "a quieter femininity," notes Manhattan designer Lindsay Morris. "It's edgy yet sophisticated at the same time."
Pairing the top with trendy togs like low-rise jeans or a sleek suit "shows you can be modern in a romantic way," says stylist Danna Weiss. Plus, she says, "it's a great way to show your figure. It gives you a nice shoulder line and bust." Just be sure to keep the look loose and fun, advises Morris. "If it's not done right, it can look prissy," she warns. "You don't want to look like a funky widow."
with Tina L. Redwood in New York City
behind the seams
The future Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Sheen have yet to set a wedding date, but designers are already salivating over the prospect of garbing the ravishing bride-to-be, actress Denise Richards. I hear Vera Wang and Badgley Mischka, among others, have approached the Bond girl with offers to whip up a wedding gown. But they better not go overboard sketching beaded creations with yards of lace: Richards has told pals she wants something smashing but simple....
Gwyneth Paltrow recently took it upon herself to prepare her retro-girl look for her cameo role in Austin Powers 3. The star asked the stylists at L.A.'s Sally Hershberger at John Frieda Salon to work their magic on the wigs Paltrow will sport in the movie. They cut and colored five hairpieces, tinting them tawny blonde, the color of Paltrow's real tresses. The fakes were such a dead-on match that when a producer came to check on Paltrow and remarked, "Her hair looks great, but where are the wigs?" everyone was thrilled. Paltrow was wearing one at the time....
Rocker Steven Tyler put on his fashion consulting hat last week while shopping at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. That's where 1980s TV vamp Morgan Fairchild marched up to the Aerosmith frontman and introduced herself as an unabashed fan. Tyler later made his own friendly overture, telling Fairchild she should buy the $490 granny-style lace-up Miu Miu boots she was trying on. The bargain-loving actress declined, but asked a sales clerk to call her when the footwear goes on sale....
Taking the Daphne and Niles engagement very seriously, the producers of Frasier didn't mess around when it came to finding the perfect ring. The show's prop master descended on Harry Winston last month and pored over various gems until he narrowed it down to five. The final say went to Jane Leeves: The blushing TV bride went for a three-carat oval-cut diamond set in platinum. The bauble's value? A steal at $75,000.
Channeling the past, stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Teri Polo are raising profiles other than their own with cameos. Whether new or antique (like Parker's Edith Weber necklace, a cameo framed by diamonds and set in gold filigree), the carved silhouettes make outfits "look inspired," says L.A. jewelry designer Suzanne Wilson. MTV's Molly Sims agrees: "It looks sweet and elegant," she says of her vintage cameo, bought in Milan. "I love mixing the old and new."
With some clothes, one is not enough. What do you buy in multiples?
Samuel L. Jackson
"My hats, of course. I've lost count of how many I have. I am getting new ones all the time."
A Beautiful Mind's Jennifer Connelly
"I have lots of Petit Bateau crewneck T-shirts. They're staples."
The West Wing's Stockard Channing
"Hiking shorts. I have about five pairs. They're khaki green and so comfortable."
"I have a couple pairs of Prada pants that are black, they don't wrinkle and make you look thin. What more could you want?"
Want to capture a celeb's heart? Here's your chance. On Feb. 1-14 the Platinum Guild International will auction off platinum pendants designed by 22 luminaries, including Britney Spears, Faith Hill, Tara Reid and Kristin Davis, as part of its Women with Heart program. Proceeds from the online bidding (at www.sothebys.com) will benefit each woman's favorite charity. Turns out the stars were quite the creators. "It's like the ultimate autograph," says Guild president Laurie Hudson. "So much thought went into their sketches." With good reason, notes Davis, whose ruby-dotted pendant will help Sept. 11 firefighter widows. Her heart, she says, "symbolizes the giving of one's own heart."
Salma Hayek played the Snow Queen last week at a Manhattan fete in a bright white Narciso Rodriguez dress accented with a fur stole and rhinestone clutch. The glacial ensemble is "simple but exquisite," says L.A. stylist Tameka Foster. "A very classy choice."
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