Back in the '80s, one of the most easily recognized status symbols was the soft woven leather of the Italian Bottega Veneta bag. But times and fashion change. The wovens were discontinued, and the label lost some of its cache to other names such as Prada and Gucci.

But now the name has been acquired by Gucci, and the fashion conglomerate has big plans to relaunch the brand and the familiar soft-sided bags. Shoes and small leather goods also will be part of the line. To relive those days, watch for them in upscale specialty stores.


She's "not a girl and not yet a woman" but Britney Spears is definitely a Fun Fearless Female. Cosmopolitan magazine chose the 20-year-old singer to top its annual list of awe-inspiring women. Spears appears on Cosmo's February cover.

"Britney Spears exemplifies that a woman can be sexy, smart and powerful all at once," says editor in chief Kate White. "The accomplishments of Britney on the music scene, as well as the successes of this year's other Fun Fearless Females make us proud to honor these women as representatives of what Cosmopolitan stands for." Other honorees include actresses Christina Ricci, Alicia Silverstone and Jill Hennessy, newscaster Ashleigh Banfield, singers Beyonce Knowles and Nelly Furtado, model Niki Taylor, and Malika Oufkir, who wrote the memoir "Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail."



If you've seen the film "The Royal Tenenbaums," you may have thought something about the burned out tennis star character looked familiar.

You have good reason. Luke Wilson, the actor who plays the brother in love with his adopted sister in a very dysfunctional family, tells In Style magazine that his film look was modeled after tennis player Bjorn Borg, down to the ever-present headband.

The short shorts were a bit much, he says. "... The closest you could get to being naked, for tennis."

Wilson, 30, grew up in Dallas, Texas, the youngest of three brothers. He says he was so accustomed to hand-me-down faded clothes that it became his personal style.


The peasant blouse is one of the hottest looks bouncing around the spring fashion slate. It started with designer Tom Ford and has been reinterpreted by everyone including Express and Banana Republic.

But mothers-to-be can be just as trendy. An eyelet off-the-shoulder rendition is offered by Pea in the Pod, a maternity chain of 42 boutiques. You can order online at www.apeainthepod or by calling 1-877-273-2763 (apeapod).

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Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.