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Flavors of the Year: Chocolate and Vanilla

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The newest neutral has created a fudge ripple in Hollywood and beyond

Cybill Shepherd (1), in a mini by Cybill costumer Leslie Potts, earns brownie points for matching shades, wrap, bag and shoes at the American Music Awards in L.A. in January; how now! Johnny Depp (13) was up-to-the-minute in a Dolce & Gabbana relaxed suit at the New York City premiere of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in May.

And the winner is…brown. You know it’s a trend when it shows up repeatedly at the fashion event of the year. Eartha Kitt (2) and Raquel Welch (3) made dramatic entrances at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards in Manhattan in February, Says Kitt; “With a name like Eartha, wearing brown makes me feel right at home.” Adds Welch: “Black is hard to beat because it’s so glamorous. But brown makes you look softer and more accessible.”

Two hosts with the most look crisp in toast” Martha Stewart (4) attended a Manhattan museum exibition in November; Oprah Winfrey (12) led a Brooklyn rally to raise money for Oprah‘ Angel Network in February. Stewart says, “I love brown; it matches my eyes and is a pleasant change from somber black.”

Arnold Schwarzengger and Maria Shriver (5) were color-coordinated at the L.A. premiere of U.S, Marshals in March.

Three towns, painted brown: Halle Berry (6) dazzled in a Pamela Dennis at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in L.A. in March; Hillary Clinton (11) looked businesslike at a Children’s Defense Fund gala in Manhattan last October Anjelica Huston (10) buttoned up at the Cannes film festival in May.

Did Titanic star Gloria Stuart (7), in a paisley Escada tunic, even think about wearing rose to a humanitarian award dinner in L.A. in April?

Helen Hunt (9) arrived in copper and took home gold for Actress of the Year at ShoWest, a Vegas trade show, in March; clad in Bill Blass, Diane Sawyer (8) all but brown-bagged it at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Awards in Hollywood in November.


No longer plain or ordinary, it’s the icing on the cake

Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna you-know-who (1) turned heads, not letters, at a Las Vegas convention in March; that same month, Fargo’s William H. Macy (2) showed a little eccentricity in Mon Atelier at the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica. He had previously worn the suit for his September ’97 wedding to actress Felicity Huffman.

She’s rough and tough in Lethal Weapon 4, but actress Rene Russo (3) lightened up in a beaded Celine skirt and Ralph Lauren T-shirt at the film’s L.A. premiere in July; Friends star Courteney Cox Arquette (4) accentuated her suntan in a midriff-baring Halston at a Beverly Hills charity gala in September.

A couple of white chicks (5): Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche combined forces at a D.C. dinner in November.

Ahoy, sailor! Oops, that’s Prince Charles (10) in his Royal Naval tropical uniform for the Coronation of King Letsie III in Lesotho last fall.

Skating, anyone? Aretha Franklin (7) looks fit for the February chill in her snow-suitable muff and gown at a pre-Grammy Awards party in New York City.

“White is the color my husband likes on me,” says Susan Lucci (9), who wore Galliano to a Manhattan awards ceremony in June. “He feels it complements my dark hair and dark eyes.” Ashley Judd (8) went completely white, but didn’t blanch, in her daring, leg-baring Richard Tyler Oscar gown.

Usually colorful Christine Baranski (6) wore a pigment of her imagination to an awards ceremony in L.A. in April.