THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with your magazine. The psychedelic patterns and electric colors that you see here are real. Ally McBeal‘s Portia de Rossi has taken fashion to its outer limit. “She’s willing to take risks,” Yana Syrkin, de Rossi’s stylist, recently explained to PEOPLE. Well, that’s one way of looking at it. But our panel of judges does not appreciate the 27-year-old Australian actress’s wild wardrobe. “Her general style is way too noisy,” says fashion designer Dana Buchman. “Every one of her outfits is horrible!” adds game show host Ben Stein. And singer Sisqé says emphatically, “Yo, she is the worst-dressed woman!” (Still, he figures, “there must be a method to this madness, because her hair is always done. It looks so fresh and clean, it makes you just want to walk up and smell it.”) Oddly, the 5’8″ de Rossi told IN STYLE last year that she aspires to own a “closetful of Armani.” Until then, however, she seems content “trying to be different so she gets attention,” Sisqé believes. De Rossi may be succeeding, but at a hefty price. “She’s such a gorgeous woman,” Buchman says, “that to do this to herself is a waste
Our judges wanted to sign up de Rossi for a remedial fashion class after viewing the way she mixed and matched at an L.A. movie premiere. “It looks like she’s going to school in the ’80s,” says designer Elie Tahari disapprovingly. Dana Buchman adds, “The jacket doesn’t go with the pants, and the shoes don’t complement anything. It’s a hodgepodge outfit.”
De Rossi’s decision to pair this Kali Isa slit–uh, slip–dress with pointy black Walter Steiger boots at last September’s Emmy Awards gave Sisqé visions of the Wicked Witch of the West. ” ‘I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!’ ” he says jokingly. Dana Buchman agrees that the actress looks otherworldly–”The boots have no place on the planet,” she says–while Elie Tahari notes, “The hemline looks like somebody stepped on it and she lost pieces of it.”
The zebra stripes on this Roberto Cavalli dress may go every which way, but our judges’ verdict on de Rossi’s look at the March Screen Actors Guild Awards in L.A. is unanimous. “Woo! Yes! This is really ugly!” says Sisqé, while Dana Buchman adds, “This has got to be one of the worst looks I’ve seen in a long time. It’s just awful on every front–the hair, the necklace, the outfit.”
Polka dots. Python-print boots. A cascade of curls–and jewels. No wonder Ben Stein complains, “She has 10,000 times too much going on here,” and Dana Buchman laments, “I like the blouse, the skirt and the boots. But the three together, I don’t understand.” The result? “She looks like a clown,” says Elie Tahari.
Echoing Elie Tahari’s complaint that this Rick Owens gown and Chanel jacket (which de Rossi wore to an Australian Day event in January) have “too many cuts and too many layers,” Sisqé says it looks as if the actress “couldn’t make up her mind before leaving the house, so she was like, ‘I’m gonna put this dress on and this one–and this one too!'”
While Elie Tahari faults this Christina Perrin gown–which de Rossi donned for the January Golden Globe Awards in L.A.–for having “too much glitter” and Dana Buchman decrees that “the shawl doesn’t go with the dress,” Sisqé objects entirely. “She’s really happy to have this on,” he observes. “But I’m really upset.”
For a movie premiere in L.A. last October, de Rossi chose an embroidered shirt and low-slung pants that Dana Buchman says send “too many mixed messages.” She’s not the only one who’s confused. “I don’t know,” Sisqé says with a sigh. “I don’t like it. That’s all.”