The Look: Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman's commanding turn as a woman terrorized into wily resolve by a wacko on the high seas gave last year's thriller Dead Calm its psychological kick and resonance.

That film went under-seen, but Kidman herself is about to go high profile as the female lead opposite Tom Cruise in the upcoming racing saga Days of Thunder, which teams Cruise with his Top Gun cohorts, producers Simson and Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott, and gives Kidman a Robert Towne script to work from. While the Lea Thompsons of the film world read as teens well into their late 20s, the very tall, very thin and very young Kidman (20) projects enough complexity and sophistication to play women, not girls--as here, where she dons a Louise Brooks wig, puts on a silent screen persona in the manner of Lya de Putti, and invokes that classic German expressionist cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

This page: Crushed velvet rayon/silk shirt and jacket by Norma Kamali at Shauna Stein, Beverly Center, jacket, $378; skirt, $755; leather ankle boot by Stephane Kelian, $355 at Shauna Stein; black lace bodysuit by Nobody by Elisabetta Rogiani, $95 at Bullocks. Insert: Velvet/satin mushroom platter hat, by Eric Javits, $125 at Madeleine Gallay and Faux. Opposite page: Crushed acetate vest worn as a dress, by Rated R, $185 at Traffic Studio, Beverly Center; sterling silver pin, $90, also at Traffic Studio; black leather shoes by Maud Frizon, $200 at Shauna Stein, Beverly Center; stockings by Mary Quant, $12 at Nana Trading Co. Satin and crystal "Legs Diamond" hat by Eric Javits, $130 at Faux and Madeleine Gallay; crystal chandelier earrings by Connie Parente Accessories, $65. Opening Spread: Red Velvet coat, $730 at Traffic Studio, Beverly Center. Insert: Fleecewool suit by Ann Demeulemeester at Roppongi. Jacket, $745; pants, $365; black kidskin loves, $40 at Saks Fifth Avenue. All locations in Los Angeles.

Styling by Jeffrey Gardner/Visages Hair and Makeup by Jacmine Manders/Celestine Cloutier.