SIZING UP: Evidently having one of the best bodies in Hollywood doesn’t guarantee getting into any dress a girl’s heart desires. When Jill Hennessy couldn’t squeeze into the sample-sized couture Elie Saab she’d planned on wearing to the Emmys, the “Crossing Jordan” star had to act quickly. To the rescue: Dolce & Gabbana. Guess it takes a figure more in the line of Halle Berry (who wore him to the Oscars) to handle a Saab.
WHAT A MENACE: Which former red-carpet queen left Jane Kaczmarek and her stylist scrambling late last week by not delivering the goods? Luckily, seven months-pregnant Kaczmarek had a backup — though just barely: a nightgown from her “Malcolm in the Middle” wardrobe to which she had costume designer Heidi Kaczenski add sleeves.
GIVING THE DRESS OFF HER BACK: Kaczmarek and hubbie Bradley Whitford (of “West Wing” fame) are hoping to raise some big bucks for four charities by auctioning off awards-show looks worn by Jennifer Garner, Susan Sarandon, Wendy Malik, Allison Janney and many other fellow TV stars. “You get this beautiful stuff and you really can’t wear it again for another function,” said Kaczmarek, who decided to form the fund-raiser just two weeks before the Emmys. “The response has been amazing. It just makes you feel good about doing the red-carpet walk.” Fans can bid now through Oct. 7 at Ubid.com. All proceeds benefit Cure Autism Now, Heifer International, UNICEF and the Union of Concerned Scientists. One of Primetime’s most conscientious couples (they drive a hybrid car) hopes to keep it going through the coming awards season.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD: It was about changing their red-carpet images — or at least shaking them up a bit. Several actors eschewed their long-standing stylists in hopes of a fresh eye and, perhaps, fresh press exposure. Rachel Griffiths collaborated with stylist Deborah Waknin, as did Anjelica Huston and “CSI’s” Marg Helgenberger. Lisa Kudrow teamed up with Isaac Joseph; Heather Locklear turned to Daniel Caudill; and “West Wing” star Janel Maloney stuck with Jessica Paster, who also copped Kim Cattrall.
As for Jennifer Garner, the “Alias” star worked with Ralph Lauren directly. Could this be the start of something big now that Penélope Cruz’s contract is up?
DUKE-ING IT OUT: Randolph Duke, who had stopped designing collections in favor of private clients and HSN projects, returned to the red carpet by way of Joan Allen, whom he had dressed for the Golden Globes and Tony Awards. “When the designer and the actress have a relationship, it’s the best,” said Duke by mobile phone from Santa Monica. He’s bi-coastal these days. “And Joan’s so tall and elegant.” TV viewers might be seeing more of Duke in the future: he’s been pitching a fashion-based reality show. “Someone’s optioned it for a pilot,” he confided.
SEASON PASS: With Sunday’s temperatures in Los Angeles hitting the low 90s, the ongoing dilemma over whether to wear a fall look or not got even more heated. After all, it didn’t help that New York’s spring collections shared calendar space with the Emmys. The solution? Original looks created for the Emmys in fall colors with hints of spring. The two options Badgley Mischka made for Kristin Davis were based on fall looks. But John Galliano, Carolina Herrera and Richard Tyler sent several stylists looks from spring 2003 remade in fall colors. Let’s hope organizers on both coasts keep these two fashion-heavy events at least a week apart next year.
TROPHY GIRLS: Apparently, it’s not enough for the actresses and TV talking heads to boast a designer. The costumers behind the Emmys tapped Kevan Hall to glam up the two trophy presenters. Besides plenty of lace, paillettes and bronze bullion threadwork, Hall gave them both a fishtail train.
HOTEL HOPPERS: Has the Beverly Hills Hotel, which come awards season sees more foot traffic than Grand Central Station, lost its cool? Although the parties and promos leading up to the Emmys have never reached the proportions of those linked to the Oscars or Golden Globes, those who do set up suites chose sites anywhere but L’Ermitage (long known as the “Oscar-Mart.”)
While many brands returned this year to servicing celebs in their stores with the help of newly created VIP areas, others went for a fresh pitch. Judith Leiber moved to the Regent Beverly Wilshire, the Cabana supersuite took up residence at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, The Johnny Walker men’s suite with Fred Segal Beauty moved into the Four Seasons, Lancôme set up shop at the Peninsula, and the Ted Inc. multibrand suite booked the Avalon Hotel.
FACE IT: It may only take a week to make a single TV episode, but evidently it takes six times that long to get a TV star ready for her close-up. Debra Messing and Emmy winner Allison Janney are among the incredibly loyal — and patient — clients of Hollywood skin care guru Sonya Dakar, who frowns upon quick fixes. She demands six weekly visits for exfoliation, cleansing and green tea/lactic acid peels. During the last two weeks, clients come in every other day for protein masks and a skin-tightening treatment from a supersonic wave-emitting machine. Finally, on the day of the show, they get a diamond peel. Oh, is that all?