March 31, 2003 12:00 PM

JUICY FRUITS

The mantra for spring: Bright is right. Brilliant, tropical-fruit hues in rich silks and sleek satin are edging out neutrals and classic black as a red-carpet favorite. From Connie Nielsen’s lime trench by Prada to Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon’s lemon silk-chiffon mini, intense shades (paired with minimal, metallic accessories like Molly Sims’s silver sandals) set a buoyant mood. Cropping up in casual clothes as well as evening wear, hues like passion-fruit pink “grab your attention,” says Andrew Caesar, Mýa’s stylist. “Designers love doing bright colors in the spring.” Adds Colleen Quen, who designed Beauvais-Nilon’s neomod Lemon Drop dress (named for a favorite cocktail): “Color makes you feel good. It’s cheerful and it celebrates life.” Plus, it’s a berry good way to get in step with the season.

behind the seams

winner’s circle

In a Vera Wang gown with a daring plunge, Jennifer Garner was a femme fatale at a March 16 gala in L.A. Knock ’em dead, daredevil.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: What’s a star (and her stylist) to do when war anxiety grips Tinseltown on the eve of the Oscars? Scale back and wear basic black? Scramble for something in red, white and blue (sequins)? Or trot out that designer creation and call it a patriotic act (boosting morale, setting a shining example, etc.)? Hollywood is hedging its bets: In a town where political correctness—and wearing the right thing—is do-or-die, divas who’ve chosen hyperglam duds for the year’s biggest bash are getting backups, in case the mood darkens. That means a few more women in tuxedos, maybe, and a bit less flash. But the adrenaline will be the same….

BUZZ BALM: The hottest lip balm in Hollywood is also the world’s most expensive: Michelle Pfeiffer, Naomi Campbell and other beauties in the know are pampering their puckers with Jurlique’s new Lip Care Balm, which is $62.50 for one ounce. Made in Australia, Jurlique’s skin-care products—including the cult-hit lip balm—are all-natural. (So why is the artificially enhanced Pamela Anderson hooked on it? We’ll get back to you.)…

Hollywood discovers the world’s priciest lip balm.

BEDDY-BUY: Sarah Jessica Parker wanted to make sure that son James catches his z’s in splendid surroundings, so she ordered $3,000 worth of luxe bedding from Connecticut-based designer Amy Coe. The custom-designed dainties include a blanket in white piqué and yellow gingham and matching toss pillows with a smart grosgrain trim. Call it sleeping beauty for a handsome prince.

Crib sheet: Sarah Jessica Parker finds bedding fit for a prince.

MOST IMPROVED

Daryl Hannah hid her assets with this hypershaggy do, but stylist Charles Worthington straightened things out—giving her “a smooth look—very contemporary and fresh,” he says. (Nice to see you, Daryl.)

At Long Lash

Sexy, come-hither lashes are never out of style, but faking it can be a little too Tammy Faye. No longer. Fool-the-eye enhancement has been spotted on Julianne Moore, Sarah Wynter and J.Lo. What’s the trick? The usual strip of fringe has been replaced by individual lashes that pump up the volume but don’t add too much of a good thing. “I alternate individual lashes along the top lash line for density without length,” says Elaine Offers, Moore’s makeup artist. “It’s a great way to emphasize the eyes and create a romantic look.” One that whispers, instead of shouts, “Look this way….”

TRIPLE VISION

In a three-peat performance, a satin gown from Vera Wang’s fall collection turns up on Angie Harmon and Fran Drescher in New York City and on Tyra Banks in L.A. Elegant in black and sexy in scarlet, Wang’s design, with its draped neckline and mini-train, is worth a second (or even third) look. Encore!

Wrist Action

Not just for bikers anymore, heavy bands in leather and canvas are turning up on some very hip wrists. Made by Billy Kirk, these studly cuffs ($55 to $75) have been snapped up by Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Winona Ryder, Christina Aguilera and Kid Rock. Heartthrob Colin Farrell picked a clover design for an October premiere in L.A. (Does that mean he got lucky?)

Billy Kirk cuffs, at Kitson in L.A.; 310-859-2652.

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