June 05, 2000 12:00 PM

Quill Power

Fashion needs a little levity now and then. Maybe that’s why plumage—from vibrant indigo peacock feathers to funky dyed tufts of fluff from chickens and ducks—is cropping up on trendsetters like Madonna, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Jada Pinkett Smith, lending a light-hearted touch to everything from shoes to shirts to earrings. “The hottest items now are neck pieces,” says Hollywood stylist Ricci DeMartino, who recently dressed Lara Flynn Boyle in a feathered Carolina Herrera sheath. “Feathers make us think of old-time glamor—they’re sexy.” Ally McBeal chanteuse Vonda Shepard agrees: “They’re whimsical and soft. They bring out the Marilyn Monroe side of a woman.”

What’s more, they’re perfectly p.c.—or almost. Chickens and ducks get plucked en route to the dinner table, “and peacocks shed naturally,” notes L.A. jewelry designer Jennifer Kaufman, who has helped singer Toni Braxton join the flock. “So I say, be feathery and guilt-free at the same time.” Just keep your eye on the horizon. Cautions Kaufman: “I wouldn’t wear feathers in the rain.”

with Ana Figueroa in Los Angeles

behind the seams

Jerry Hall picked up some pocket change during Australian Fashion Week this month, earning a reported $60,000 to strut the runway for designer Charlie Brown (no relation to Snoopy). Not that the modeling pro didn’t work for her money: Wrapped in a leopard-print dress, Hall strolled the catwalk clutching a Chihuahua (who was surely earning less)….

It pays to make house calls. Temptress Jennifer Lopez got tempted herself by the gold baubles an L.A. jeweler delivered to her home before a Hollywood wingding. Lopez was so taken with the loaners—a bangle bracelet, diamond-studded hoop earrings and cigar-band ring—that she kept them. A few days later a Lopez handler rang up the jeweler to say the star would spring for the $20,000 worth of trinkets….

A pared-down Gwyneth Paltrow—locks unkempt and clad in turtleneck and jeans—thought she was going to a low-key affair, only to be met by a swarm of shutterbugs at the New York City premiere of the new movie Hamlet. After the flashbulb jj frenzy, Paltrow was overheard griping that she was unprepared fv for such a mob scene….

For her next movie, Hilary Swank will be sporting a diamond even heftier than the rock Celine Dion made famous when she warbled the Titanic theme song at the Oscars. The Affair of the Necklace centers around a dazzling diamond number that hugged Marie Antoinette’s neck, and jewelry houses are vying to re-create the choker as a promotional tie-in. A fake will be used for filming, but Swank may don a real version for a future red-carpet stroll….

Seen: Tori Spelling, in a multicolored top and matching skirt, celebrating her 27th birthday with Mommy and Daddy, at L.A. hotspot LINQ.

presto change-o

When ‘N Sync’s Justin Timberlake returned to his old elementary school near Millington, Tenn., recently, he also revisited the cornrows that got him sent home a few years back. “They said I’d have to take my braids out or go,” says” the singer, 19. Now that he’s beyond suspension, Timberlake has chosen the braids as an easy look for touring. Plus, he says, “it adds to my thug appeal.”

star talk

She just launched a new cosmetics line, I-Iman; her next production, a baby with husband David Bowie, is due in August. We asked model Iman about staying stylish during pregnancy.

Are you buying maternity clothes?

I get maternity pants from Liz Lange and Barney New York. A lot [of the tops] I see, I don’t like, so I buy [regular] tops a couple of sizes bigger.

Do you borrow David’s shirts?

I can’t. He’s m skinnier than me.

What nonmaternity designers do you favor?

Yves St. Laurent, Alexander McQueen. They make you feel feminine. You don’t have to look drab because you’re pregnant.

winner’s circle

As a jurist at the Cannes Film Festival, actress Mira Sorvino says she didn’t “have time to partake in any of the zaniness “She was obviously talking about her wardrobe too—judging by her coolly elegant white silk matte-jersey gown by Vera Wang.

Puttin’ On the Glitz

Are the stars shining a little brighter lately? Credit the crystal tattoos adorning Britney Spears, Sharon Stone and other Hollywood dazzlers. The adhesive stones, made popular by crystal manufacturer Swarovski ($18 for three sheets of various designs), “make every outfit funkier,” says The Bold and the Beautiful’s Adrienne Frantz. Plus, they’re temporary—in case, notes L.A. stylist Jeanne Yang, “you don’t want to go to the office looking like a club girl.”

Smile Therapy

So long caps! Goodbye bonding! These days, Hoi lywood grinmeisters like Kathie Lee Gifford and Matt Dillon are gaga over porcelain veneers. “You can create the ‘power smile’ with stronger, squarer teeth,” says Manhattan dentist Larry Rosenthal. Though pricey ($750 to $2,000 per tooth), the glued-on veneers can last 15 years, says New York City’s Irwin Smigel, who put them on Robin Givens recently. She’s thrilled. “I was shy about smiling,” Givens says. “Now I feel like, ‘Yeah, let’s smile!’ ” But only those with healthy gums qualify. Says Manhattan dentist Marc Lowen-berg: “You can’t build a mansion on quicksand.”

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