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Style Watch

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Hot Flashes

Looks like a bare market these days as stars like Jennifer Connelly and Alyssa Milano greet the summer in off-the-shoulder blouses. The ethnically inspired tops, made popular in the late ’70s by designers such as Halston and Yves Saint Laurent, offer “a subtle way to be sexy without going overboard,” notes stylist Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig. “They show skin without showing cleavage, which is a lot classier,” agrees actress Amy Pietz, who revels in revealing what her bohemian blouse doesn’t hide. “I’ve been lifting weights lately,” she says, “so I like to show off my shoulders.” The gathered top is particularly “sensual” when paired with a streamlined pant, says L.A. boutique owner Cameron Silver, who warns against getting carried away with the look. “If you’re going to wear a ruffly skirt and an off-the-shoulder blouse, you better have castanets in your hand,” he jokes. “When you do the head-to-toe look, you look like you work in a Mexican restaurant.”

With Alison Singh Gee and Amy Baumgartner in Los Angeles

behind the seams

While en route to the Sex and the City set not long ago, Sarah Jessica Parker spotted a Manhattanite sporting a dazzling vintage-style diamond brooch. Parker suggested a similar pin be created for her character Carrie Bradshaw. Done deal: Kwiat Diamonds was commissioned to create the $45,000 15-carat piece, which incorporates a letter C among tiny flowers. But don’t expect the trendsetter to wear it in a conventional way. Kwiat was instructed to create a design that could be pinned to the hip of a dress….

Presenters and performers including Jennifer Connelly and Eminem at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards on June 1 will enjoy a lavish $20,280 gift basket containing such freebies as a $450 digital camera and a $600 teeth-whitening treatment, but the show’s hosts, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jack Black, will nab even bigger bounty. The duo will also get a special goody bag (valued at $8,200) with a techno massage chair, a surfboard and a high-tech TV-DVD-video system….

With such fashion greats as Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld set to attend the 2002 CFDA Fashion Awards on June 3 at the New York Public Library, the dress-to-impress pressure is on. I hear presenter Julianna Margulies has already locked in her look: an off-the-shoulder, bias-cut black crepe gown by pal Narciso Rodriguez….

The charts aren’t the only thing R&B sensation Ashanti is burning up. The star started a fire in a hotel room last month when the hot comb her hairstylist was using to straighten her locks sparked a blaze. The stylist quickly put it out, but it wasn’t the fire that worried Ashanti—it was the headlines that could have resulted. “They would have said, ‘Ashanti trashed her room!'” the singer says, laughing.

What was she thinking?

Juliette Lewis had a brownout at a film premiere last week and conserved little positive energy. “It’s not my favorite thing on her,” says MTV stylist Darshan Gress of the actress’s slit pants and wishbone-shaped top by the L.A. design company Grey Ant. Still, she adds, “it’s original and eye-catching, which is what you want on the red carpet.” Lewis “is unafraid to take risks,” explains a Grey Ant spokeswoman. “Those are the kinds of girls that buy our clothes.” We noticed.

Winner’s circle

“I’m a woman now,” says LeAnn Rimes, who proved her point at the Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in a slinky salmon-hued halter gown custom-made by L.A. designer Pegah. “It was so comfortable,” says Rimes, 19. “The look was sexy and fun—the new me!”

Taking Wing

“The butterfly is a symbol of fragile beauty,” says Valerie Steele of Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology. But celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz aren’t flitting about in Gucci’s butterfly stilettos as a reminder of fleeting youth. Sarah Michelle Gellar, for one, “fell in love” with them, says her stylist Deborah Waknin, “because they make the leg look feminine.” Even at $450 a pair, though, the heels can only do so much. “If you don’t have good ankles,” says Steele, “you would be advised not to wear this style.”

star talk

The heat is on! What beauty product is a must-have for you in the summer?

Jane Seymour “SkinCeuticals sunscreen. I just went fishing in the Florida Keys, and I didn’t get burned. I only put it on once.”

Angela Bassett “Aveeno moisturizer because it’s sunscreen moisturizer, and it evens out skin tone. I don’t need four or five different potions for one effect.”

Gretehen Mol “A moisturizing mask from the skin-care line Ling. I put it in the fridge and use it when I’m feeling flushed or puffy.”