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Hollywood puts on the ritz -- but where's the style?

Monday, January 21, 2002

By LaMont Jones, Post-Gazette Fashion Editor

And the Golden Globe for Showstopping Look on the Big Night goes to: Nobody.

Nicole Kidman picked up a Golden Globe for actress, musical or comedy, for "Moulin Rouge". (NBC, Chris Haston, Associated Press)

After last night's awards telecast, it's apparent that the stars don't put as much thought into what they're going to wear as the public believes.

Or is it that they overthink the fashion thing, allowing stylists, handlers or simply people with marginal taste and no creativity to talk them into something they'd be better off leaving in a designer showroom.

Nicole Kidman exemplified the evening's look in black -- a color hard for anyone to mess up -- but her racy strapless dress was upstaged by an uncomfortable-looking choker that actually looked like a lariat.

Overall, Hollywood appears to be back to normal in terms of putting on the ritz for major awards shows.

The big story of the night was what the fellows wore. Black and white was de rigueur for guys, but the interesting array of jacket cuts and styles is a clue to a more liberal spring, where casual and dressy fuse for more interesting menswear looks.

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There were a number of same-color shirt and necktie combinations with black suits, as seen on Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Billy Bob Thornton. (Though Thornton looked like an old man in his over-buttoned jacket.)

Open-collar was another big look, done well by Benjamin Bratt and especially Sting, who sported a white open-collar shirt under a snug, striped three-button suit.

There were a few particularly bad looks among the ladies. Flower blossoms continued as a big accessory trend, with Jennifer Connelly looking good in a white one at the plunging V of her slinky black gown.

But not everyone did the flower thing as effectively as she. Sarah Jessica Parker looked like a gift puppy in the black flower stuck to the side of her head. It apparently was intended to match her perilously low, strapless, bedspread-like black ball gown with sequin pants. Add to that her larger-than-life, vintage cameo-pearl necklace, and the only thing missing from the goth prom look was the black lipstick.

Regrettably, Parker wasn't the only fashion faux pas. Sela Ward stepped out in a red dress that looked like it got caught in a corn picker. And Rachel Griffiths, who snagged a statuette for "Six Feet Under," proved that that's where her pink off-the-shoulder fishtail dress belonged. It was beaded, fringed, feathered -- too much going on.

A few women, however, managed to stand out from the pack. There was Jessica Alba in a sexy, cream-colored tuxedo suit with a vest and hip-riding bell-bottom pants. Halle Berry scored in a breezy, floor-skimming brown number sprinkled with beads and crystals, and Marisa Tomei was elegant in a black gown with an asymmetric neckline (one of many such looks) and diamond teardrop earrings.

Kate Hudson dazzled in a sparkling long-sleeve gown with a down-to-there neckline and a jeweled belt that skimmed her hips, and Cate Blanchett's beaded, striped, Asian-inspired top with a mandarin collar was suitably festive.

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