Monday, February 25, 2008

Why Oscar red carpet fashion went low key in 2008

This was a year of understated glamour, subtle embellishments and low key dresses at the Oscars. If there were trains, they floated rather than swooshed, colours were muted and breasts were contained. These were dresses for actresses rather than models, and what a refreshing change this made.

Sure, some commentators called this year’s red carpet ‘safe’ and ‘boring’, but we are in danger of forgetting one salient fact: these are professional woman who earn their living from acting rather than fashion, a truth that tends to get forgotten in today’s celebrity saturated culture.

As the fiscal aftermath of the writer’s strike continues to hit home for many in the industry, provocative fashion choices would have been in bad taste, and most of the red carpet attendees seemed to have taken this on board. That is if they walked the red carpet. This was the year when eschewing the crowds seemed cooler than ever, with several presenters, including Penelope Cruz only appearing in front of the cameras for the first time when they arrived on stage.

Several key styling truths seemed to have been ignored. Take Anne Hathaway in one of the only statement dresses on the red carpet, a somewhat over the top scarlet Marchesa creation: her stylist seemed to have forgotten that when putting a celebrity’s look together, it’s vital to shoot her before the event from every angle, including from the ground up. In several shots she looked almost pregnant, with billowy arms and rather too much blousiness going on.

Cameron Diaz needs to buy a hair brush, and engage the services of a make up artist: over the age of thirty acting all breathless and deshabillé at a red carpet event is no longer charming, it just looks kinda slutty. It would also have helped to have had her pale pink Dior frock fitted properly. The rolls of back fat squeezed over the bodice (on a slim woman) were an appalling slip up.