August 25, 2003 12:00 PM

Jean Flirts

Well-worn jeans are the hardest working pieces in any wardrobe. But when temperatures soar, even die-hard denim fans have to find alternatives. A summer favorite: the cutoff mini. Worn with tees or tanks (Naomi Campbell, Jordana Brewster), it’s an easy daytime look; with a pretty top and fancy footwear (Brandy), it sashays right into evening. The newsiest version is frayed, faded and—most of all—brief. “Denim is definitely getting shorter,” says Blue Cult creative director Caroline Athias. “But it’s like a tight jean— you have to be in shape to wear it.” (Long legs and standout shoes don’t hurt.) Mind you, this denim charmer isn’t just a fad: “It’s such a classic piece,” says stylist Robin Page. “Like a cashmere sweater.” Only cooler …

behind the seams

winner’s circle

Amy Smart chose a savvy look for the L.A. premiere of The Battle of Shaker Heights. In a Collette Dinnigan silk dress with a sequined star-burst, she made the most of her stunning gams. Strappy heels and antique bracelets played off her dress, and loose hair kept the mood light. In short, a clever way to put some sparkle into a summer evening.

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY: With hubby Arnold running for gov, NBC’s Maria Shriver will have to look First Lady-like 24/7. Luckily, she’s assembled a cosmetics arsenal with the help of pal Francesca Guerrera, a makeup artist whose line just hit Barneys New York stores nationwide. Hooked on the Refillable Color Palette ($124), Shriver reveals why the luxe products get her vote: “They go on beautifully, give me a flawless look and wear all day.” (Next stop, Sacramento?)…

DESIGNING DIVA: Move over, J.Lo! Stylish Latina singer Thalía Sodi (wife of music mogul Tommy Mottola) launched a super size “lifestyle collection” at Miami’s Kmart on August 6. Look for hip duds like satin cargo pants ($24.99), trendy extras like suede bags ($24.99) and even zebra-print shower curtains. We hear that rhinestone tanks ($9.99) are among the hottest items: Perfect for back to Palette and school, no?…

Guerrera’s Refillable Color Palette and Misteria Lip Gloss Trio ($42).

MURPHY’S SPLURGE: In her new film Uptown Girls, Brittany Murphy plays a socialite who loses her fortune but keeps her baubles. Murphy loved Mimi So’s delicate diamonds so much that she snapped up $11,930 worth. Murphy spent $9,950 for a starfish necklace, ring and earrings and $1,980 for a flower pendant. Sounds uptown to us.

Murphy fell for designer Mimi So’s fanciful pieces in platinum and white gold (

Alpha Bands

Want to show your ID? Hollywood style setters are flashing these distinctive, diamond-initialed leather bands from Dillon Rogers. Seen on wrists that need no introduction (Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate), they come in sweet pastels as well as basic black. A hit at L.A.’s Kitson boutique, they’re a gem-bandy way to punch up a summer look.

Dillon Rogers bands; $195, Kitson, 310-859-2652.

In a Slather

L.A.’s Jessica Nail Clinic is pampering Demi Moore, Rachel Griffiths and other stars with a new cocktail. Moisturizing Smoothies, scented with fruits like tangerine and mango, are massaged into the hands postmanicure. Cheers!

Jessica Smoothies; $11, 800-582-4000.

Night Falls

Celeb hair is going to great lengths on the red carpet, thanks to a nifty hairpiece called the fall. A must for modsters in the ’60s, it’s a swatch that easily attaches to the hair for a “look that’s retro but modern,” says Brett Freedman, Kristanna Loken’s stylist. Best at night, since “it has a sexy vibe,” says Freedman, the fall offers instant style gratification. “For cocktails after eight, it’s amazing.”

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