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Sleuthing style

Bello, Stofsky dress for 'Suspect'

It started with a trenchcoat at the Burberry Brit shop in Santa Monica.

As Maria Bello and costume designer Amy Stofsky prepared for the pilot shoot of NBC’s “Prime Suspect,” the two met for an afternoon of pizza and shopping to develop a distinctive look for the tough NYPD homicide detective Bello plays in the redo of the British drama series.

Bello fell immediately for a dark Burberry raincoat they found at one of their first stops. Because the character of Det. Jane Timoney endures so much conflict for being an aggressive woman in a male-dominated squad, it made sense for her to favor menswear styles and fabrics with a feminine twist, Stofsky says.

“We knew we wanted to come up with something that was a little yin and a little yang,” Stofsky says. “It’s that classic Katharine Hepburn tailored look.”

By the time they got to New York to lense the pilot, Timoney’s sartorial signature was completed with a dark, short-brimmed straw fedora that Bello picked up from a friend.

“Once she put it on she never wanted to take it off again,” says Stofsky, who had to make a beeline to a shop on Bleecker Street to buy up the last six hats they had, for safety’s sake.

Stofsky, whose work in TV and film ranges from “Weeds” and “Las Vegas” to “Mulholland Drive,” credits Bello with giving great thought to her costumes — and for looking great in them.

“She just rocks the clothes,” Stofsky enthuses.

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