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Dressed up for VJ's big night

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THERE'S no red carpet at this year's MTV Video Music Awards - the Miami event is using a white carpet.

Which poses a problem for VJ Susie Castillo, who will be braving the paparazzi at the VMAs for the first time.

"I know that I don't want to wear white, because I don't want to blend in with the [white] carpet," Castillo says. "Then I'd be just a floating head I guess.

"I'm definitely going for color. I like blues, which is fun for Miami and reminds me of water and the beach."

Three days before Sunday's event, MTV stylist Mariel Haenn called fashion showrooms frantically to snag some sexy spring dresses for the former Miss USA pageant queen-turned VJ so she could shine for the stars.

"The VJs get to be celebs for the day," Castillo says. "It should be fun, you know?"

Miami-style bare-skin dresses are hard to come by right now, because most fashion houses are carrying only fall clothes (long gowns, tweed suits, boots, heavy coats).

"It's difficult because right now everything they carry is fall and I have to get their spring samples if they still have them," Haenn says.

Luckily, designers such as Tracey Reese, Milly and Nicole Miller came to the rescue, as well as celeb shoe staples Stuart Weitzman and Giuseppe Zanotti.

"She wants to look not overly sexy, but casually sexy," says Haenn. "Not like she's trying too hard."


No.1 The look: A hot pink Cynthia Steffe baby-doll dress with M&JSavitt bangles

Her take: "It's so comfortable and I love the color. It's bright and summery and fun. It has just enough embellishments on it that it doesn't make it too dressy. And this awesome back makes it so sexy."

No. 2 The look: Ashaka Givens backless lavender dancer dress with H. Stern blue gem cross necklace, an M&J Savitt gold necklace and Guiseppe Zanotti 4-inch heels

Her take: "I danced in 4-inch heels for the Miss USA competition," she says. "So to me walking in them is easy."

No. 3 The look: Vivienne Tam silk backless dress with silver Stuart Weitzman heels and a chunky ring from H. Stern

Her take: "I love the embroidery on the neckline of this dress."

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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