Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Style Extra

Oscar fashion frenzy grows hotter

Everybody wants to get in on the Academy Awards Sunday, including gown and accessory designers, make-up and hair artists, and jewelers who lend their precious stones to the stars. One estimate of last year's gift basket value: $22,500. This year is no different.

• A multimillion dollar, 600-carat diamond dress from an Italian designer may be worn "by a major star" at the "Best of Italy at the Oscars" event.

• Handbag designer Timmy Woods of Beverly Hills, whose whimsical sculptures made a splash on Sex and the City, has created one-of-a-kind designs for nominees Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger.

But designing for stars is a gamble. They often "intend" to wear or carry a particular designer's creation only to change their mind at the last minute. Woods designed a bag in honor of the movie Chicago and is creating a glammed-up version of her Oscar kiss bag for Britney Spears. But whether you'll see them on the arms of the stars is another thing.

• Besides their choice of dresses and diamonds, nominees get gift bags that have grown into basket proportions in the last few years. This year's baskets will include everything from a lip bag designed by the above-mentioned Woods, a hand-stitched Vachetta leather Dooney & Bourke mini tassel bag, an OMAS 360 Rolling Ball pen ($250), Fendi watches ($595-$995), a Cargo Cosmetics Red Carpet Kit with $600 worth of lips glosses, blushes, eye shadows, eye pencils, mascara and bronzers, a Thomasville Chesterfield leather accent table from the Bogart furniture collection and a $2,600 Sleep Number Bed by Select Comfort.

Makeup workshops: Make-up artist Barbara Holzderber will have a series of workshops at Madelyn San Tangelo Salon in Park Hills, 7 p.m. Monday, March 31, April 7 and 14 including changing make-up needs for the 40-plus set. $30 includes make-up. (859) 426-1200.

Sewing retreat: Seamstresses and embroidery fans will learn the latest sewing secrets, embroidery techniques and computer digitizing at the Cincinnati Spring Fever Sewing & Embroidery Retreat Thursday through Sunday at the Eastgate Holiday Inn. Kramer's Sewing and Vacuum Center of Montgomery is sponsoring the event, which includes 8 a.m.-5 p.m. classes presented by nationally-known teachers. $250. Reservations: 891-5005.

Liz Claiborne event: Liz Claiborne's new Spring Carefree Collection of wrinkle-free, stain-resistant, no-iron tops and bottoms will be in the spotlight at a "Simplify Your Life" show 2 p.m. Saturday at Lazarus' Tri-County store. Free. Information: 562-6770.

Salon bridal show: La Bella Salon, Spa, Self-Image Centre in Western Hills will have a show with wedding vendors and surprise gifts noon-5 p.m. Sunday at 3330 Parkcrest Lane. Free. Information: 481-4800.

Wedding flowers: Flowers by Vicki in Aurora will have a spring open house with wedding information, silk and dried flowers, antiques and framed prints, noon-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday at the store, 305 Sunnyside Ave. Free. Information: (812) 926-4334.

Bridal lingerie: Knickers of Hyde Park, on the square, will have a bridal foundations, lingerie and accessories show 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Free. Information: 533-9592.

Wedding favors: Look into chocolate favors for guests and register to win $100 raffle toward Godiva favors 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Kenwood Towne Centre. Free. Information: 745-0081.

Daymakers award: The Hairy Cactus Salon, Spa & Wellness Center in Sharonville wants to give a makeover and spa package to a "Daymaker," described as a "caring compassionate person who uplifts others making life lighter and full of perfect moments." One-paragraph nominations should be submitted by April 25 to observe National Daymaker Day April 29. Nominations should be sent to the Hairy Cactus, attention Katie Workman, 11276 Chester Road, Cincinnati, OH 45246. Information: 771-9335.

Latin fashion week: The international fashion community arrives in Miami's South Beach for the Fashion Week of the Americas Wednesday through Saturday, highlighting 30 designers from Latin America and the Caribbean. Sitka Semsch of Peru will receive the New Star in Fashion Award, and Patricia Field of the House of Field, whose clothes are seen on Sex and the City, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Information: www.FashionWeekAmericas.com.

Designer perfume debut: Designer Alexander McQueen's new sandalwood fragrance Kingdom showed up at Saks Fifth Avenue Monday in a bottle with a memorable design, like his clothes that draw oohs and aahs. It is accompanied by the first line of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jorie Graham that starts out "Pierce my heart again" and will continue as the product line develops. $50-$195.

Contact Joy Kraft by phone: 768-8467; fax: 768-8330; e-mail: jkraft@enquirer.com.

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