September 18, 2000 12:00 PM

IN THE UPCOMING Charlie’s Angels movie, Lucy Liu will pay homage to her ’70s sisters by playing it smart, sexy and oh-so-stylish. Offscreen, however, our judges say this angel–Ally McBeal‘s hyper-litigious Ling Woo–has a long way to go to earn her fashion wings. “I think Lucy has good potential, but she’s all over the lot,” says Dana Buchman. Fellow designer Elie Tahari is more blunt in his verdict: “Her sense of style is bad,” he says. “She’s spoiling her beautiful body by overdressing it.” Model Mia Tyler agrees that the 5’3″ Liu hasn’t hit her stride: “She dresses too young sometimes and too old at other times.” Granted, Liu, 31, has only been playing TV Star for a couple of years. Says musician Sisqé: “She doesn’t know her own style yet, but she’s trying.” Buchman concurs. “When she wears elegant, sophisticated styles, she looks dynamite. I hope she picks them when she finally settles down.”

Liu was a gracious guest at the Oscars in March, but our judges give her Versace gown the cold shoulder. “It’s way too busy,” says Elie Tahari. “Overdone. Overdesigned. Over-everything.” Dana Buchman likes the shape and drape, but calls the pattern” very unattractive. And the color throws it off.” Make that colors. “She looks like a melting crayon,” says Mia Tyler. Or, as quiz show host Ben Stein puts it, “this dress is like the flavor of the month at Baskin-Robbins.”

“Oh no,” moans Dana Buchman at seeing the Edwardo Lucero outfit Liu wore to L.A.’s Play It to the Bone premiere in January. She dislikes the “schlumpy shirt,” Mia Tyler cringes at “the crisscrossy stuff,” and Elie Tahari calls the whole thing “terrible. She’s trying to look sexy and looks unsexy instead.”

Our panelists were not dazzled by Liu’s sequined Versace mini at the MTV Movie Awards in June. “The dress is ugly. The shoes are ugly,” says Elie Tahari. “The pattern is ugly” too, adds Dana Buchman. Ben Stein tries to help Liu with an explanation: “She must have made this dress as a science fair project.”

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