Ally's hemlines really inching up

Just when you thought Ally McBeal's skirts couldn't get any shorter, they have.

They're an inch shorter than last year, according to the show's costume designer, Rachael Stanley. "It's basically become such a big issue about her skirts story-wise and publicity-wise and she looks so great in them, we figured 'Why not?' "

In fact, a story line on the Oct. 19 show (Mondays, 9 p.m. ET/PT) will deal with the length of McBeal's skirts and their appropriateness in court.

But Stanley says this season's hemlines won't stay that abbreviated. "We'll be going back and forth from little 14-inch lengths all the way down to the bottom of the kneecap and everywhere in between." It'll depend on "what we feel looks best with a particular jacket or sweater."

Stanley dismisses rumors that Calista Flockhart, who plays the title character on the Fox show, has an eating disorder. "I see her every single day and it's utter nonsense. She's a small size (2) . . . and her size has not changed."

Thin actresses can get a bad rap, says Tori Spelling, who also has been plagued by "she's anorexic" stories.

"I'm glad the heat's off me; I was getting it so long," the Beverly Hills, 90210 actress said at a Thursday tribute to dad Aaron Spelling, thrown by his alma mater, Southern Methodist University.

"People see women in Hollywood and they figure if they have a decent figure and are relatively thin, they either have an eating disorder, they diet like crazy or they're workout fanatics," added Spelling, who says she's naturally slim.

"Before she was Ally McBeal, she was just as thin, and they never said anything."

By Arlene Vigoda, USA TODAY