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Look to big screen for style cues

Forget the runway. This spring, the most important fashion inspirations are found on the big screen.

'AmŽlie,' 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Vanilla Sky' may not have moved your thumbs skyward, but there's no denying their impact as style indicators for spring 2002. The perfect hair color, the most underrated erogenous zone and the freshest wardrobe-boosting pieces are all waiting for you in Technicolor.

• Just don't call it a chick flick: Audrey Tatou's heartbreakingly adorable AmŽlie generated as many style points as it did tears. Her choppy, updated Louise Brooks bob spotlights the nape as one of the most alluring Ñ and underrated Ñ erogenous zones. The sweet spot also has been famously exposed by the likes of Mia Farrow ('Rosemary's Baby') and Jean Seberg ('Breathless'). Model Kate Moss also embraced the shears recently, exchanging her stringy locks for an Eton schoolboy's cut, a move that revitalized her flagging, post-rehab career.

Although best worn by the narrow of neck, Tatou's nape-baring bob is proof that femininity doesn't lie in the length of one's locks. The cut is also a life-simplifying move: No jewelry is necessary. In fact, Tatou is accessory-free throughout the film.

If the idea of a bob seems overly butch, try juxtaposing the look with a femme'd-up wardrobe. In 'AmŽlie,' whimsical pairings of opposing elements created a gamin look that's sure to influence fashion in the near future. A vintage blouse worn under a notch-collared cardigan, a wispy slip skirt toughened up with chunky black shoes and rolled socks: The final effect is endearingly AmŽlie Ñ not to mention a refreshing change from low-rise pants and tube tops. (Buh-bye, Britney.)

Like Tatou's character, Penelope Cruz's Sofia in 'Vanilla Sky' promotes the notion that the sexiest people are comfortable in their own skin. Cruz first appears in the film wearing an oversize puffy parka, a distinctly unglamorous look that underscores her character's down-to-earth charm. Meant to counter Cameron Diaz's overdressed Ñ and overwrought Ñ character, Julie, Sofia's authenticity is reflected in her simple-but-sexy wardrobe. In fact, anything more than lash-skimming bangs would be excessive for Cruz's luminous character.

• Don't let the hobbits fool you: 'Lord of the Rings' also has its share of style and beauty inspiration. Update your look with the perfect platinum, as worn by Cate Blanchett and her fellow elves, whose otherworldly elegance make Gwyneth and her golden-blonde ilk seem passŽ. Take a beauty cue from both Blanchett's Galadriel and Frodo's pal, Legolas: Pale skin and a strong brow are the perfect counterpoint for the cool hue.

• Lip service: There's one perfect accessory for the season. Tatou has it, Cruz sports it, and Liv Tyler Ñ also in 'Lord of the Rings' Ñ has based her career on it. For spring 2002, every girl needs an upper lip that's slightly larger than her bottom lip. Unless your parents gave you the trait, you'll need collagen to acquire it, as Meg and Calista have done. If it's the puffy path you choose, enjoy it now: All signs point to a Sophia Loren-inspired fall.

Contact Jill Spitznass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .