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Cyber disgrace now a fashion fiasco

Los Angeles, Jan. 14 (Reuters): Paris Hilton, the 22-year-old socialite whose unclothed exploits made headlines last year, found new, fully-dressed fame yesterday.

The hotel heiress was named worst dressed woman of 2003 by Blackwell, Hollywood’s self-appointed fashion guru, topping a list that included singers Britney Spears, Madonna, Shania Twain and Courtney Love.

On the opposite end of Blackwell’s sharp tongue were the “fabulous fashion independents” of 2003, led by actresses Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Garner, Diane Lane and Salma Hayek, and talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey.

Hilton leapt from minor socialite to most-talked about Internet celebrity late last year courtesy of a private video tape showing her having sex with her one-time boyfriend Rick Salomon.

The reality television programme The Simple Life, in which Hilton and friend Nicole Ritchie swapped their lavish life for a rural farm in Arkansas, completed the transformation.

“Grab the blinders, here comes Paris. From cyber disgrace to red carpet chills — she’s the vapid Venus of Beverly Hills!” quipped Blackwell.

Second place on the closely-followed annual list went to Madonna and Britney Spears, who Blackwell dubbed the “Kissin Cousins of Couture Crimes” after their much publicised smooch on a music awards show last year.

Country singer Shania Twain, in third place, was christened “Calamity Twain” for her “buckled bombs and country-fried kitsch” while in fourth place actress Diane Keaton’s red carpet comeback, thanks to the comedy Something’s Gotta Give, was derided as “dowdy, dumpy and frumpy”.

Blackwell, a one-time designer of gowns for Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell and Dorothy Lamour, conceded in a statement that despite the many fashion fiascoes of 2003 “unlike years past, coming up with 10 Titans of Fashion Terror was much harder than usual.”

Many of his perennial victims — Cher, Barbra Streisand and various members of the British royal family — failed to make it to the list.

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