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TINSELTOWN SPYWITNESS.

Byline: Elizabeth Snead, Joel Stratte-McClure and Jenny Peters

THE EL WORD: Talk about a turnaround. From sexy supermom to tabloid fodder for her much-publicized same-sex relationship, ``Sex and the City'' star Cynthia Nixon has had her share of attention lately, but none like on Monday night.

Nixon celebrated her astonishing transformation into plain, bucktoothed Eleanor Roosevelt in the new HBO film ``Warm Springs'' by looking ravishing at the film's premiere in a black-and-white Derek Lam dress and diamond-crusted Fred Leighton bangle. Joined by ``Sex'' gal pal Kristin Davis, also in black and white (Prada and Dries Van Noten), the two giggled while revealing that their coordinated ensembles were (surprise!) planned, that Davis had ``checked with her to see what she was going to wear, so we'd go together perfectly.'' But no, those two are not dating!

It was easier for ``Warm Springs'' star Kenneth Branagh to chose his clothes (a simple dark suit and blue shirt), as he came to the party alone and under his own steam, no mean feat considering that he looked like he was a real invalid while playing polio-stricken Franklin Roosevelt in the compelling film. The magic of movies withered away his lower legs on screen, but the British actor looked hardy and fit as he reminded us that Roosevelt was a hero of the world, not just America.

``He saved us in the war, he's the reason we have a country to live in,'' Branagh explained, shouting above the din of the posh after-party tent set up across from the Egyptian Theater. Joining the ``Warm Springs'' stars were co-stars Tim Blake Nelson, David Paymer and hottie Andrew Davoli, along with Jason Alexander, Bryce Dallas Howard and Ricky Jay.

The film airs at 8 p.m. April 30.

STARS SAVE BIG!: Spotted shopping up a storm at the Billion Dollar Babes fourth annual sample sale/VIP party at the Palladium: Julie Delpy, Samantha Mathis, Sarah Wynter and Phoebe Price.

Why? Because twice a year, BDB offers invite-only members 80 percent off on samples, seconds and overruns from totally hot lines like Burning Torch, Henry Duarte, Miss Sixty, Michelle Mason, Paper, Denim & Cloth, Petro Zillia, Grey Ant, True Meaning, Coco Kliks, Serfontaine, Shay Todd and Wendy Hill.

And it's not just clothes. BDB offers up purses, swimwear, belts, shoes and jewelry. L.A. skin-care gurus Dr. Norman Leaf and Rand Rusher set up a booth for the Leaf and Rusher line. Gals were grabbing the new Derma-Roller (seen on ``Dr. Phil''), a tiny micro-pointed rolling pin that enhances skin's absorption of vitamins, enzymes and lipids.

New BDB designer lines: Sass and Bide and Capital Tailors. British designer Jenny Packham's evening dresses, sold at Harrods in London for thousands of dollars, flew off the racks for $175! Bet Packham's famous fans Elizabeth Hurley, Nicole Kidman, Natascha McElhone, Mena Suvari, Renee Zellweger and Heidi Klum are sorry they couldn't make it. Wanna join the fashion fray? Go to billiondollarbabes.com.

CAPTION(S):

3 photos

Photo:

(1) NIXON, DAVIS: Pals in black and white.

(2) BRANAGH: A-OK after playing FDR.

Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

(3) WYNTER: Ticket to designer treasures.

Getty Images
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 8, 2005
Words:523
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