September 10, 2001 12:00 PM

Piping Hot!

There’s a new line on sophisticated fashion: piping-like trim. Whether decorating dresses, shirts or pants, the borders have attracted stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Renée Zellweger and Julia Roberts. The ever-popular detailing “never completely goes out of style,” says celeb dresser Cary Fetman. It can be made of a range of materials, including ribbon, embroidered threads or, in the case of Zellweger’s white wool-tweed Chanel suit, braided applique, a Karl Lagerfeld design recalling Coco Chanel. “She always liked contrasting trim,” says a spokeswoman for the couture house. With good reason. Piping lends “depth and interest,” notes stylist Rachel Zoe Rosen-zweig. And, adds American Pie’s Natasha Lyonne, it can “make a simple shirt classy while remaining understated.”

Then there’s the flatter factor. “It makes you look thinner and taller,” notes Fetman. Of course, quality trim costs more, but it’s worth it. After all, says Fetman, “nothing looks cheaper than cheap piping.”

with Karen Brailsford in Los Angeles

behind the seams

Q&A

Steven Cojocaru has packed his luggage with breezy summer togs and Dolce & Gabbana sandals for a two-week holiday. Before leaving, however, he sat down to ponder your questions about star style. So, hang on to your Burberry bags and read on!

Q: Why do stars require a stylist? How did they decide what to wear before they were famous?

Stacie Carroll, Ada, Okla.

A: Famed fashion plates such as Madonna and Britney Spears don’t have time to hunt for the number of original outfits their jobs and lives require. The wardrobe doctors also assist with everyday necessities—perish the thought of Madonna racing into a store to pick up panty hose! Before they were famous, the stars didn’t have as much pressure to always look fabulous, so picking out clothes was not so stress-inducing.

Q: What size shoe did Jackie Kennedy wear?

Jeannie Machado, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Q: My roommate and I are curious to know Jackie’s height.

Michele Lee Amundsen, New York City

A: It warms the cockles of this fashionisto’s heart that Jackie O still inspires such interest. The iconic former First Lady was 5’7½” and wore a size-10 shoe.

Q: I once read that Jennifer Lopez‘s makeup artist custom blends her foundation in a Cuisi-nart. If this is true, could you find out which products are used?

Jessica Gapstein, Los Angeles

A: The beauty trick is real, but the mix isn’t for Lopez’s face, it’s for her body. The superstar’s makeup artist, Scott Barnes, goes Cuisinart-crazy to whip up a concoction consisting of pigment, a Shu Uemura moisturizer and other ingredients. Barnes is keeping the exact formula top secret because he plans to launch it as a product in the near future.

Q: Why does Catherine Zeta-Jones‘s hair always look so great? What are her hair-care secrets?

K. Domino, Los Altos, Calif.

A: She may be a glamor girl, but Zeta-Jones takes a down-to-earth approach to care for her gorgeous locks: She’s been known to condition them with honey and beer. Cheers!

what was he thinking?

Actor Heath Ledger strolled into the London premiere of A Knight’s Tale last week in genuine need of sartorial rescue. “Hip-hop meets Sgt. Pepper,” says L.A. style strategist Pikke Allen of his oddball pairing of a red Nehru jacket and a slouchy green cap. “If he’s going to do a period look, he should choose a period that better suits him,” advises Allen. She recommends the 18th century with its rich brocade coats. Plus, “he doesn’t need the hat,” she says. “He can run his fingers through his hair and still look amazing.”

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