June 28, 2004 12:00 PM

Fair Ladies

From the streets of Manhattan to the red carpet at Cannes, pretty dresses are a breath of fresh air

THE LOOK

Soft-flowing fabrics, feminine and modest—think antisexy.

THE DETAILS

Pale colors, midcalf full skirts with this season’s sweetest accent: the bow.

HOW TO WEAR IT

Don’t junk up with accessories. Let the belt be the focal point.

THE FORECAST

Chloé designer Phoebe Philo leads the ladylike trend—for fall, she adds bows to menswear-inspired trousers and tweeds.

Behind the Seams

MAKEOVER OF THE WEEK

Where’s the flash? The flesh? The Simple Life must agree with Nicole Richie, who looked surprisingly subtle in a Michelle Mason suit at a party in Santa Monica.

INITIAL REACTION: What are friends for? When actor and director Chazz Palminteri wanted to thank his leading ladies Penélope Cruz and Susan Sarandon (whom he directed in Noel, due out this winter), he turned to his pal Mauri Pioppo. Each actress got one of the designer’s Love Letters neck laces with her first initial engraved on a pendant. Cindy Crawford has the letters of her kids’ names on hers. It’s a love letter without all the mushy prose or x’s and o’s….

Gold-turquoise-and-diamond Love Letters necklace, $413; Fred Segal Tiara, 310-394-8186.

UMA UNWINDS: If it ain’t caviar, it’s oxygen. The latest, greatest beauty craze isn’t so much about what you put on your face as what you put in your ears. The Ona 21 facial, which Uma Thurman just got at the Ona Spa in Los Angeles, is meant to calm the mind, body and spirit through a 15-minute guided visualization delivered via headset with custom treatments using their botanically based products. The idea is to promote beauty through relaxation—and couldn’t the Kill Bill fighting machine use a little R & R?…

KNOT FOR SALE: You don’t need to be a card-carrying Kabbalist like Madonna (or Demi or Ashton or Britney) to wear the famous red string on your left wrist. The string, now available at the Kitson boutique in Los Angeles, is taken to a special tomb in Israel and imbued with the essence of protection to ward off the “evil eye.”…

Official Kabbalah red string, $26; http://www.shopkitson.com

DOES SHE GET TO KEEP THE GOWN? Those lips! That hair! If you think Barbie bears an uncanny resemblance to the divine Ms. D—well, it must be the dress. The world’s most famous doll has borrowed a frock from Donatella Versace. She’s been gussied up in a fall-winter 2003 chiffon gown (Beyoncé wore the same dress in chartreuse to the 2003 MTV Movie Awards) to benefit Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. Too bad Barbie and Ken broke up—if he could only see her now.

Versace Barbie available through July 1, $140; Versace stores nationwide, 212-317-0224.

Accessory of the Week

Turquoise Necklaces

It may be December’s birthstone, but in fashion turquoise knows no season—and this summer it’s big and bold. Considered sacred, it is said to have powers of healing and protection. But maybe stars like Eve and Sharon Stone just like the power of the statement it makes: Notice me!

STAR TALK

Ashley Judd talks about the get-ups and get-to-keeps of her new film De-Lovely

“Giorgio Armani created a few original dresses, and we used a lot from his modern collections and archives. We’d add a little detail or change that would convert it into a more period look. [He and I] have a wonderful history, and he knows how to fit me. This brilliant woman made the linen suits and day dresses—I kept all of those!”

AFTER BABY BLUES…

BLUE CULT JEANS

Gwyneth Paltrow is still loving her beloved Blue Cult jeans. Her top may be fuller (she gave birth to daughter Apple only five weeks ago), but she’s back to skinny Gwynnie.

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