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Scene Stealers

August 27, 2000|DEIRDRE MENDOZA

Accessories play a starring role this season, adding personal style and polish to clothes. After all, shoes, handbags and jewelry have a language all their own, speaking volumes about the wearer: whether she's elegant or playful, modest or status-conscious. Here four up-and-coming actresses demonstrate that little things mean a lot. And on the following pages, more finishing touches that lend individuality and, above all, make getting dressed fun.

KATHRYN MORRIS

Kathryn Morris embraces her nerdy alter ego as a rookie federal agent by slipping on a pair of Stride Rite shoes for the political thriller "The Contender," due out in October. Her artful interrogation style hooked Steven Spielberg, who has since cast her opposite Jude Law in his upcoming epic about artificial intelligence, "AI." "I was shopping when my agent rang to say Spielberg wanted to meet with me," recalls Morris. "There was dead silence on my end as I tried to get some air back in my lungs." But mostly she finds her biggest verbal challenge is saying "no" to vintage shoes. She gets her fix at Jet Rag on La Brea Avenue, where she scored '60s go-go boots and a soigne faux-fur coat.

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Christian Dior silk chiffon dress, $3,095, at Christian Dior, New York. Etro fur-trimmed velvet bag, $590, at Savannah, Santa Monica, and Barneys New York, Beverly Hills. Slane & Slane 12-strand garnet necklace, $1,670, at Slane & Slane, Los Angeles. Miguel Ases gold-dipped crystal-and-bead bracelet, $284, at Kitson, Los Angeles. Jimmy Choo kid boots with translucent disc ankle detail, $1,475, at Jimmy Choo, Beverly Hills. Opposite: Marc Jacobs wool-and-leather dress, $2,600, at Marc Jacobs, San Francisco. Helmut Lang patent leather bag, $290, at Helmut Lang, New York. M&J Savitt gold cuff bracelet, $150, at Ron Herman/Fred Segal Melrose, Los Angeles, and Kitson, Los Angeles.

REBEKAH JOHNSON

"I'm not a mall person, I'm a boutique person," says Rebekah Johnson, who leads a double life as an actress ("Liberty Heights") and a solo recording artist ("Remember to Breathe"). The 26-year-old Johnson is currently in production on a second album and has begun work on a still-untitled film by director Todd Solondz ("Welcome to the Dollhouse"). Johnson combines ethnic and vintage finds and accessories to define her look, pairing them with her latest purchase, a pair of glittery "rock star" pants from Fred Segal. "There's a law that actresses have to shop at that store," she quips. "If you don't, you get fined."

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Dries Van Noten tweed jacket, $1,160, and wool skirt, $320, at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills. Ralph Lauren embroidered velvet clutch, $440, at Polo/Ralph Lauren, Beverly Hills. Oxygene Collectif silver choker, $700, at Traffic, Los Angeles. Edmundo Castillo suede pumps, $425, at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. Opposite: Prada embroidered chiffon dress, $2,770, with Prada fur collar, $240, at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills, over La Perla lace bra, $225, at La Perla, Beverly Hills. Lulu Guinness hand-painted fan bag, $870, at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. Alain Bao gold-and-citrine ring, $2,795, at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills.

ANGELA BETTIS

Most days are casual-dress for actress Angela Bettis, who's often found in the red snakeskin cowboy boots with the silver tips that she picked up in her hometown of Austin, Texas. Bettis, who pirouetted around the psych ward as a strung-out, chain-smoking anorexic opposite Angelina Jolie in last year's "Girl, Interrupted," plays a heroin-addict mother waiting for the second coming of Christ in this summer's psychological thriller "Bless The Child." Bettis admits that she invites edgy, offbeat roles. "I will never play the girl next door. That's just not me," says the 25-year-old actress. "I find the dark roles more interesting."

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Emporio Armani leather top, $224, and velvet pants, $248, at Emporio Armani, Los Angeles and Costa Mesa. Megan Park silk embroidered wrap, $850, at Savannah, Santa Monica, and Barneys New York, Beverly Hills. Dana Kellin crystal bracelet, $179, and necklace (worn as bracelet), $212, at Moondance, Santa Monica, and Barneys New York, Beverly Hills. Me & Ro silver cuff with cross, $380, silver engraved cuff, $335, silver bangle with garnets, $725, silver fringed bangle, $315, silver bead necklace on leather (worn as bracelet), $805, at Jennifer Kaufman, Los Angeles, and Barneys New York, Beverly Hills.

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Jean-Paul Gaultier pinstriped jacket, $1,175, and pants, $580, at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills. Hogan "Chevron" suede bag, $790, at Hogan, Los Angeles. Giorgio Armani jeweled cuff, $395, at Giorgio Armani, Beverly Hills. Tod's patent leather-and-suede pumps, $425, at Tod's boutiques, Beverly Hills and South Coast Plaza.

MARIE MATIKO

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