By Kat Giantis
Reality Checked: In recent months, Drew Barrymore has repeatedly insisted that she and ex-boyfriend Justin Long are just good friends. And even though there's been plenty of PDA evidence to the contrary, including their tightly clasped digits in the picture above, we're sort of inclined to believe her. Why? Because the affable actress's unsightly pink plaid jumper doesn't say rekindled flame — it says flame retardant. This is what you wear when a relationship has grown staler than a week-old unwrapped Twinkie, and the mere thought of making an effort, whether it's finding a flattering outfit for a night out on the town, running a brush through your hair, or slipping on shoes that don't inspire "your mama wears combat boots" jokes, is met with an immediate, "Eh, why bother?" Appearance apathy can be a romantic red flag, and Drew's indifference is flapping in the breeze much like that dinner napkin she has inexplicably wrapped around her neck. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when her tongue lived inside of Justin's mouth. Now, she seems determined to snuff off every last ember of smoldering passion by blanketing herself in that guaranteed romance extinguisher, the flannel nightgown.
Wand Ambition: Emma Watson, much like her witchy "Harry Potter" character Hermione Granger, is smart, wholesome and sensible (or, as she puts it, "a proper nerd"). Which might explain why she was drawn to the edginess of this deconstructed black-and-blue Rodarte creation, with its haphazard layers of tatty mesh and netting that make her look like she just took on the entire population of Slytherin in a game of Exploding Snap. But avant-garde couture, especially when it comes pre-shredded across the bust, requires an attitude that struts the line between bold and brash, and the winsome teen, who may as well have Miss Congeniality emblazoned on her sash, is just too darn sweet to pull it off. Which is what we suggest she do with this frock. Pronto. Besides, we hear that Hogwarts has some delightful black robes that are all the rage with nerds, proper or not.
Bundle of Oy: You'd think that Heidi Klum would be pretty blasé about the procreation process given that she's already popped out three rug rats and is pregnant with No. 4. But far from having a been-there, birthed-that attitude, the positively radiant "Project Runway" overlord is brimming with stork excitement. How can we tell? What else besides overflowing bun-in-the-oven fervor would compel her to ask the show's designers to create a grown-up replica of a baby romper? Alas, like most of the show's style challenges, Heidi's maternity one-piece has a major design flaw. Scratch that — it has two major design flaws, which, in the lingo of high fashion, are typically known as "legs." As a flowing maxi-dress, this outfit would have made a fetching and comfortable complement to her swelling belly. But as a jumbo jumpsuit, it's too much, particularly when coupled with Klum's misguided decision to plaster her doublewide failure with pictures from her latest ultrasound.
The Path of Khan: After spending much of last year encased in a rubbery prison of her own making (OK, the good folks at Michelin might have helped a little), Chaka Khan is enjoying the sweet, sweet freedom that comes from non-vulcanized clothing. Happily, it looks like her liberation from latex has led to a journey of sartorial self-discovery, a trek that's taken her from the bell-bottomed hippies of Woodstock to the corseted beer wenches working the Renaissance Faire circuit. But somewhere along the way, the big-lunged singer's uninhibited duds paths diverged, and she took the one less traveled, which is too bad, because we're fairly certain the road not taken led directly to the fitting room of Victoria's Secret, and that would have made all the difference.
Fringe and Purge: There's a lot we'd like to say to Lindsay Lohan at this downward-trending juncture of her life. For instance, we'd tell her how worried we are over how she seems to be aging at a rate twice as fast as those who don't subsist solely on drama and streaky self-tanner. And we might broach the subject of how she would be far better off dropping out of the public eye for a good long while instead of loudly complaining in London nightclubs about how "totally caged" she feels. And we would try to explain how codependence and dysfunction aren't actually the cornerstones of a relationship, no matter what her parents told her. But we know all too well that those suggestions would fall on deaf and extension-covered ears. So instead, we'd probably just offer up some advice that's within her power to take, which is this: Always, always avoid the folly that is the fringed, open-toed bootie. Then we'd make her a deal. If she vows never to wear those tassel-trimmed clodhoppers again, we'll promise not to bug her about her flailing professional and personal lives for a whole week. And if she burns that "Barbarella" reject of a scrunchy metallic minidress, we'll make it two weeks.
Escape Claus: Every year, Santa Claus makes his list and checks it twice in order to find out who's naughty and nice. But jolly old Saint Nick has needs, too, and there are times when he has an itch not even Mrs. Claus can scratch. But instead of pouting or crying, he simply creates a naughty list of his own. Well, truth be told, it's not so much a list as it is a calendar filled with ho-ho-hotties dressed in festive, elf-sized costumes. And thanks to Katy Perry's holiday-hued, polka-dotted pinup look, it's shaping up to be a very merry Christmas indeed for Santa, who is already dreaming about the many reindeer games he'd like to play with his newly crowned Miss December once his deliveries are done. Now, if he could only convince her to hang her stockings by the chimney with care . . .
The Last Blaze of Disco: If Liberace had a music box, and that music box played Barry Manilow's "Copacabana," then chances are the tiny dancer inside doing the Hustle amid the glow of an itty-bitty mirror ball would look a whole lot like Vanessa Williams, who poses in a plunging sequined jumpsuit (three words that should never be used together outside of an Elvis convention) while promoting her new album. We can only imagine how the "Ugly Betty" beauty's Mode-fronting, fashion maven alter ego Wilhelmina Slater would react upon seeing this glittery gaffe. There would probably be laughter, then guffawing, and then gasps for air quickly followed by several Botox injections to smooth any expressions that might have been made during the preceding hysterics. Finally, there would be Wilhelmina's callous dissection of the getup's many problems. The belt? Honey, just put a picture in it and stick it on the mantle. The hair? Only unfashionable assistants like Betty should be teased that much. The stringy purple ear accessory? Return that immediately to the backside of My Little Pony, because it's a world of neigh.
The Flaws of Nature: It's been 20 years since Kylie Minogue first topped the charts with "Loco-Motion," and the good news is she's hardly changed a bit since then. The bad news, besides the fact that "Loco-Motion" will now be stuck in your head for the next 24 hours: She's hardly changed a bit since then. The glossy pop queen can't quite seem to let go of her '80s roots, and not just the ones sprouting from her dated wavy 'do. Despite the passing of years, her enthusiasm for designer animal prints remains undiminished, and she descends on the red carpet wearing what amounts to a very special episode of Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom." If you look closely, you'll see how the snake-embroidered bodice of her strapless black frock is attempting to mate with her leopard-patterned and freakily feathered shrug, an untoward move that, in a crime against both fashion and nature, could bring forth a pack of ticky-tacky, critter-embellished couture.
Boo Ribbon Winner: It's not always easy being Fergie. Case in point: Japan's MTV Video Music Awards. The Black Eyed Peas singer was minding her own business on the red carpet, deep in thought as she tried to remember whether she turned off the iron in her hotel room after she pressed her black minidress and flattened the hell out of her hair, when out of nowhere a group of hooligans covered her basic but sexy frock with the softest and fanciest toilet paper she'd ever seen. But Fergie is no stranger to overcoming adversity, particularly when it's bathroom-based, and she made the most of her satiny blue ribbon TP'ing by plastering on a smile and quietly reminding herself, "I'm rich and famous. I get to go home to Josh Duhamel. And Josh Duhamel's chiseled jaw. And Josh Duhamel's chiseled abs. And did I mention the rich and famous part?"
The Bryce Isn't Right: Bryce Dallas Howard's stylist apparently took the concept of "Terminator Salvation" a little too seriously. Before hitting the red carpet for the film's Tokyo premiere, the copper-topped, button-cute actress implored the so-called fashion expert to let her wear something — anything! — else. Heck, she was even prepared to get down on her knees and beg, if only she weren't securely bandaged into a full upright and locked position. But Bryce's pleas went nowhere, and she was forced to say hasta la vista to her dignity by posing in an electrical tape skirt, a grungy white T-shirt that her dad Ron grabbed from Fonzie's dirty laundry pile three decades back, bright blue sock-topped stiletto booties, and a feathered purse that spent its formative years perched atop Cher's fabulous head. And it was at that moment that the horrified starlet realized that this particular stylist couldn't be reasoned with. S/he doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And s/he absolutely will not stop, ever, until Bryce's self-confidence and fashion sense are dead.