Alice M. Lee

Queen Latifah starts a new tool belt trend

To whip up Gina’s one-of-a-kind ”tool belt,” Queen Latifah called on the L.A.-based handbag house Junior Drake, whose fans include Ashanti. ”She wanted something flashy that matched her character’s attitude — fresh and creative,” says design director and longtime personal friend Tgia, who observed a dearth of fashionable options at beauty-supply stores.

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Watches feature recycled celebrity duds

Stalker alert! Metallica’s James Hetfield, Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, and other rockers have given their sweat-soaked guitar straps, belts, and jackets to a line of limited-edition watches from SoCal-based accessories designer Nixon. It’s ”an ingenious recycling operation,” says No Doubt axman Tom Dumont, whose jacket was turned into straps for the ”Rocker” and ”GTO” models (proceeds benefit the Musicians’ Assistance Program). ”My fans can now wear a killer watch that smells just like me.” Cool, in an icky sort of way.

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Tee shirt spoofs pricey fashion logos

Tired of those overpriced ”J?Adore Dior” tees, L.A.-based designer Rocio Soler whipped up a sartorial retort. And voilà! ”Je Déteste Fakes” tanks that send up logo-happy fashion victims. ”I wanted to do a funny spoof,”she says. Soon, her cheeky – and affordable – Jolie Vie label (Cameron Diaz and Christina Aguilera are fans of the $40 tees; there?s also a snarky greeting card line) will take on overpampered tots: The upcoming spring line includes an ”I Only Fly First Class” baby onesie. Sadly, the irony will no doubt be lost on some customers.

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New jeweler to the stars creates art-deco baubles

Has blingmaster-to-the-stars Jacob the Jeweler met his match? Celebs in search of custom-designed red-carpet baubles are snapping up edgy pieces by upstart Daniel K. Founded by 30-year-old Daniel Koren, the NYC-based luxury diamond house recently fashioned a right-hand ring for newly single Halle Berry; other stylish fans include Mary J. Blige and Debra Messing. ”My diamonds are fresh and youthful – they make a statement without being decadent about it,” says Koren, who cites art deco architecture as a source of inspiration.

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What married men really want

To conceptualize the perfectly manicured style of ”The Stepford Wives”’ alluring automatons, Oscar-winning costume designer Ann Roth (”The English Patient”) delved into the minds of the movie’s married men. ”I wanted the [fashion] to come out of their heads,” says Roth of the characters played by Christopher Walken and Matthew Broderick. ”They are all corporate high achievers and brilliant scientists, so they have similar tastes,” she says. ”They all want Breck Girls.”

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Uma Thurman sports ''Killer'' looks

”The tone of Vol. 2 was more of a spaghetti Western, so we wanted a rugged, earthy look,” says Kill Bill costumer Cat Thomas. Hence the Bride’s (Uma Thurman) mustard yellow jacket and phoenix-emblazoned cowboy boots. The leather jacket was ”perfect desert camouflage,” and the phoenix symbolized ”rising from the dead,” says Thomas, who designed both items. But the most important rule for dressing a Viper? ”If a woman knows she’s going to kick ass, she’s not going to wear a miniskirt.”

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Body Jewelry is the Slimy Swag of the Week

Presenters and performers at this year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (including the Olsen twins and Jamie Lynn Spears, left) received $750 gift certificates from L.A.’s BellyBella, which makes midriff baubles that have adorned the likes of Paris and Britney. ”[These celebrities] are role models to our customers,” says BellyBella president Claudio Gutierrez. Because every little girl should aspire to be Paris Hilton?

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The fate of ''Sex and the City'''s fab frocks

Bereft Sex and the City fans are indulging in nostalgic retail therapy. And the shopping has gotten as fierce as Charlotte’s Vera Wang salon outing. Fans mobbed NYC consignment boutique Ina (where Sex costumer Pat Field shops) for March 11’s one-day sale of items from the show, snapping up everything from flower pins to the suede patchwork coat Carrie wore when she met Aidan.

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Oscar LOVES N.Y.

With the Academy Awards pushed up a month this year, celebs (and their dressers) face a wardrobe malfunction of their own: The new Oscar date conflicts with the European fashion shows – traditionally the red-carpet source. That means NYC’s Olympus Fashion Week (Feb. 6-13), which featured American designers such as Douglas Hannant, Carolina Herrera, and Carmen Marc Valvo, might become the new Oscar-frock destination. ”The stress is unbelievable,” says designer Marc Bouwer.

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