Joan Allen: Dial "S" for Style

Joan Allen, 51, a modern Hitchcock blonde, plays it cool in a spellbinding tale of suspense, mystery, and fashion.
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It’s a shame Alfred Hitchcock never got a chance to cast Joan Allen. The five-foot-ten actress perfectly matches the director’s preferred screen heroine: graceful, serenely blonde, devastatingly composed and lethally attractive. Posing for a photographer in gowns Hitch would surely have approved of, Allen tilts her head back slightly and adjusts her elegant arm. "I’ve been watching America’s Next Top Model," she says with a laugh, breaking the mood on the set. "I know what I’m doing." Story continues…

There’s more to Donna Karan Collection‘s indigo stretch cotton jacket ($2,295) than meets the eye, like that clever halter-illusion neckline. Allen adds intrigue with unexpected accessories — Giuseppe Zanotti red silk D’Orsay pumps ($651) and Tiffany & Co. starburst diamond earrings. Donna Karan Collection raw silk pencil skirt ($895).

Suspense builds as decolletage drops. J. Mendel‘s structured gray satin sheath ($2,800) plunges low but keeps its classy shape with a defined waist and extended cap sleeves. Allen suspects that wearing a Judith Ripka diamond and gold bracelet and Di Modolo diamond teardrop earrings will lead to a dangerous obsession, but que sera sera.

Dramatic white accessories — a Bottega Veneta lizard belt ($990) and Jimmy Choo T-straps ($745) play key cameos, supporting the star in her Bottega Veneta silk crepe shirtdress ($2,300). H.Stern vintage diamond flower earrings. Stephen Dweck cognac stone and diamond cuff.

The lady vanquishes in Luisa Beccaria‘s floaty silk chiffon dress ($2,400) accented by Van Cleef & Arpels diamond flower brooch. That Deborah Lippman Collection nail polish in dark sexy Round Midnight and Gucci‘s diamond pave ring are pure sabotage.

Allen has deja all over again in Donna Karan Collection, this time in a sexy stretch silk wrap shirt ($2,495) and raw silk pencil skirt ($895). Is this shaping up to be a thrilling plot, or is it vertigo we feel from the double strand of Gabrielle Sanchez South Sea pearls and Cartier‘s irresistible diamond ring?

Shadow of a doubt: Allen confesses to a terrifying moment of indecision — "Should I take the Baume & Mercier watch in gold or silver?" — but the Oscar de la Renta demure stretch cotton suit ($2,690) makes the heist easy. Cole Haan woven leather clutch ($295). Nicole Farhi leather belt ($265). Tiffany & Co. gold bracelet and earrings.

The thief is caught wearing a Reem Acra chiffon gown ($4,725) in a notoriously beautiful shade of violet. The giveaway? Her Cassis pearl and diamond bracelet, Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co. green tourmaline cocktail ring, and Gabrielle Sanchez pearl earrings sparkling in the moonlight. Casadei sandals ($450). The jig is up.

Originally published in MORE magazine, March 2008.

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