Around- the-block frock

Special to The Times

Chanel made a pretty big splash at Monday's Golden Globe awards. Chanel dresses were spotted on hot young actresses Reese Witherspoon, Emily Mortimer, Natalie Portman and Vanessa Paradis as they strolled the red carpet.

But many in the fashion world are wondering why Witherspoon ended up in a Chanel gown previously worn (horrors!) by Kirsten Dunst. Reportedly, Witherspoon was excited to wear a "vintage" gown, thinking "vintage" meant a classic frock worn in some bygone era. She had no idea it was a Dunst redux.

It was only after the Globes that Witherspoon's camp learned the dress was worn by Dunst to a 2003 Golden Globe Awards party, with her hair done just like Witherspoon's. Yikes.

Chanel issued a statement: "Chanel apologizes for the oversight that Reese Witherspoon's dress was previously worn to a Golden Globes after party three years ago. We are honored that Reese chose to wear Chanel and thought she looked beautiful. We congratulate her on her well-deserved win."

Witherspoon's publicist, Nancy Ryder, told reporters that she and her other clients will boycott Chanel. And other stars' stylists are aghast that this duplication occurred.

"A star in the best actress category should never be seen in a dress that's been seen before anywhere, even on the runway," sniffed a top L.A. fashion public relations agent. "Most actresses today insist on a couture gown, specially made for them."

Hunt ends with a statue in hand

Stars come and go from these after-parties like groundhogs popping in and out of their holes. You can spend the entire night hearing, "Oh, too bad. George Clooney just left."

I decide to celeb hunt inside the enormous tented bash on the roof of the Beverly Hilton, decorated with red flowers, hanging lanterns and sectional sofas scattered about, with a big bar in the middle of the room.

There's Peter Jackson, with his entire family, and he's really skinny, wearing, according to his longtime pub Carol Marshall, a Hugo Boss designer suit.

Jackson says he's about to take a year off. "We have just got to the end of 10 years of continual work, so we're going to have family time, maybe write a few scripts but not be slaves to a film schedule anymore."

He started dieting before "King Kong" began and he's gone off meat. "While I'm not a vegetarian, I find that meat doesn't even interest me as much now," Jackson says.

I wander to the bar area and "Brokeback Mountain" best director Globe winner Ang Lee is talking to friends. So I grab a glass of wine, look down and see a Globe statue on the bar next to me. Its winner, composer Gustavo Santaolalla, is smiling.

"Congratulations! I loved the film's music," I stammer. "Is that -- heavy?" He thrusts it into my sweaty hands and it really is heavy, about 5 or so pounds.

And for a moment, just a moment, I consider running out of the party with Santaolalla's richly deserved trophy.

Red and orange: They can pair up

Desperate hausfrau Marcia Cross definitely looked peachy on the red carpet in a pale orange Marc Bouwer flowing goddess gown.

According to her makeup artist Collier Strong, the secret is the right makeup colors.

"By using makeup in the same color family, a redhead can look amazing in orange," says Strong, a spokesman for L'Oreal cosmetics, which co-sponsored the Weinstein brothers' Globes after-party.

Strong used bronze eye shadow for definition, champagne for shimmery highlights, a light apricot blush and a coral lip liner and gloss.

The finishing touch: "Lots and lots of black mascara."

An Internet connection

Activist-author Arianna Huffington, whose website is reportedly making beaucoup bucks, was seen chatting with fellow blogger Mickey Kaus at the Showtime/Lionsgate party for "Weeds" and "Crash" on Saturday.

Surely, they were discussing and disagreeing about sex, greed, power, politics, and, naturally, movies about sex, greed, power and politics, of which there are more than you can shake a stick at this season.

What does Huffington think about "Crash's" Oscar chances?

"With everything that's happening right now after Katrina, the topic of racial inequality in this country is more important than ever."

How about a pre-Globes cuppa?

OK, so no George Clooney, Heath Ledger, Keira Knightley or even Judi Dench. But the Los Angeles chapter of the British Academy of Film and Television's 12th annual Tea Party was jolly good fun.

David Cronenberg, Maria Bello, Bob Hoskins, Ziyi Zhang, Paul Haggis, Q'orianka Kilcher, Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard, many on the shortlist for the British Academy Film Awards, which will be held Feb. 19 in London, were sipping and smiling at the late Sunday afternoon affair in the Park Hyatt in Westwood.

Howard was talking about the new low-budget movie he's writing and giving the first look to Harvey Weinstein. And Bello looked beautiful in a black sundress, posing for pictures with her "History of Violence" director, Cronenberg.

"Munich" producer Kathleen Kennedy was hanging with screenwriter Tony Kushner, who said he wasn't really nervous about the next day's Globes.

"Capote" director Bennett Miller said he's not a bit tired of the awards season schedule.

"How can you call this work? Getting up at 4 in the morning, driving for 17 hours across the frozen tundra, working with difficult actors, that's demanding. Having tea and sandwiches with the crusts cut off is not very hard work."

Snead writes "Styles & Scenes" as a blog for the Envelope (, a Times website devoted to Hollywood's awards season.

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