September 18, 2000 12:00 PM

OBSERVING HER HAIR-styles over the past year–a shag, curls, waist-length extensions–you can see that Lauren Holly is not afraid to take chances. Thanks to her game spirit, the former Mrs. Jim Carrey has had an interesting life and a varied, 15-year acting career. As for her adventures in fashion, however, our judges warn the 36-year-old Holly: Go lightly. “She’s a beautiful woman, but her clothes betray her,” says quiz show host Ben Stein. “She seems confused about who she is.” So does model Mia Tyler, who can’t make sense of the 5’8″ actress’s bizarre array of outfits: “Weird…throws me off…I don’t know what to think.” It’s Holly’s penchant for busy prints and for pairing perfectly chic dresses with over-the-top shoes, bags and baubles that confounds our panelists. The quickest way for the costar of CBS’s just-canceled Chicago Hope to emerge from beneath all those ruffles, willy-nilly lines and misplaced accessories? “Don’t overdo it,” says designer Elie Tahari. “Underdo it.”

Holly wasn’t dressed to the nines at the L.A. premiere of The Whole Nine Yards in February, say our judges. Elie Tahari finds the gown “too busy,” as does designer Dana Buchman, who notes, “The print is not beautiful, and the print is the dress.” Mia Tyler considers the bigger picture: “I don’t think big, flashy designs like this get you too far in this world.”

It was a lack of flair–and flare–that did Holly in at a GQ party in L.A. in February. “I wish she had left off the jewelry and the bag and simplified things,” says Dana Buchman. Elie Tahari likes the Versace top but not the Chrome Hearts pants: “They should have been bell-bottomed.”

The actress slipped into something “jellyfish-like,” says Elie Tahari of the Christian Lacroix gown Holly wore to an Oscar party in March. “It’s a bad cut,” he adds. Mia Tyler says, “The see-through is strange. I don’t like the bag either. It doesn’t look right with the dress.” Dana Buchman likes the color of the dress–but that’s it. “There’s too much going on,” she says. “It’s messy.”

A fumble, at the L.A. premiere of the football flick Any Given Sunday last December. Although the judges all praise the bold red of Holly’s dress, they cry foul about the fine points. “The dress should have been longer. And the heels on her sandals are too high,” says Elie Tahari. Seconds Dana Buchman: “The shoes don’t work with the dress. They seem Barbarella-y.”

Ben Stein’s theory about the shimmering ensemble Holly wore to the Body Shots premiere in L.A. last October: “Some cruel person said, ‘I’m going to tell her she looks great and send her out in this.’ ” Dana Buchman sticks to the facts: “The bag is a different metallic color than the jeans and top–and that’s distracting.”

You May Like