June 29, 1998 12:00 PM

Full Circle

Not since the cinematic debut of Scarlett O’Hara has Hollywood been so crazy for cinolines. In fact, with the recent return of ball gowns, even the most body-conscious celebs are swapping bare midriffs for bodices, and plunging necklines for pouf skirts. “Ball gowns are major drama,” says Los Angeles fashion stylist Cary Fetman, who recently put Sarah Jessica Parker [1] in a vintage Comme des Garcons creation. Adds designer Richard Tyler: “There’s a real renaissance right now. Women are ready for that luxury and elegance.” Indeed, wearers confirm that reactions to the style are nearly magical. “My husband looked at me like he never had before—he didn’t even look at me that way when we got married!” says former Guiding Light, star Cynthia Watros [3], who hit May’s Daytime Emmys in a white tulle Jessica McClintock. “It had that fairy-princess feel to it.” The Young and the Restless’s Kate Linder [4] says she has another reason for going under cover cotillion-style. “I can eat dinner,” she says, “and they’re not even going to be able to tell.”

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