The Oscar’s are as much a celebration of film and acting as they are of red carpet fashion. Months before the award ceremony takes place in Los Angeles, studios and actors will begin wooing the Academy and promoting their work with non-stop fervour for that coveted statue. In the same way, the luxury fashion houses set up camp in the chicest hotels and ateliers, inviting stylists, actresses and the who’s who to see the gowns, jewels, shoes and accessories that can be borrowed for Oscar night for the ultimate product placement moment. For an actor to be photographed in a designer’s gown means guaranteed media frenzy and global publicity for the brand.
First thing this morning this editor had received emails from the house of Yves Saint Laurent (Kate Winslet and Kathryn Bigelow both wore gowns by Stefano Pilati for YSL), complete with images, fabrications and colours of the dresses, shoes and accessories. On E! live, an American tv station that covers red carpet arrivals, the foremost question asked was not “how does it feel to be nominated,” but rather “who are you wearing,” giving fashion houses triumphant coverage with millions of viewers around the world.
Aside from the publicity machine, the fashion on display is fantastic to watch and definitely one of the most glamorous events in the world. So what were the trends this year? One of the highlights, as seen on the runway for spring/summer 2010, were pastel shades, mostly in blues and greys. With pastel colours leading the way, a general air of softness and femininity was apparent, with ruffles, frills and glowing faces galore, over the stark and dark colours of last year, at the height of the economic slump.
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Among the very best dressed was Zoe Saldana in a fresh and fashion conscious purple Givenchy haute couture gown with matching shoes and bag – perhaps unsurprising for a fashion week front row regular.
The Oscars would not be complete without an overload of sequins and embellishments and this year did not disappoint. Sandra Bullock, who won the best actress Oscar for The Blind Side, was stunning in a champagne-coloured Marchesa gown which made her look like the statuette she took home. Cameron Diaz went for a gold paillette explosion in Oscar de la Renta, while Brit actress Carey Mulligan made a bolder choice with her embellished black strapless Prada dress and Fred Leighton jewellery.
According to the BBC, the main fashion faux-pas came courtesy of Melanie Griffith in black sequined Versace as well as Diane Kruger and Sarah Jessica Parker who failed to impress in Chanel. Nicole Richie in Reem Acra looked like a sardine in a can, while Jennifer Lopez and Amanda Seyfried, both in Armani Prive, appeared to have wrapped themselves in shiny quilted blankets before taking the stage.
As usual when it comes to fashion at the Academy Awards, the focus was very much on women. Style-wise, this year’s Oscars were perhaps a little predictable. Strapless, floor-length gowns dominated with only a few daring to be different.
Perhaps when the advertising fashion houses and stylists no longer rule the red carpet, more individuality and personality will shine through.
Image: Sandra Bullock in Marchesa