Tag Archives: Valentino

2016 Oscars Red Carpet

At the 88th Academy Awards, Chris Rock diffused the diversity controversy that hung over the Dolby Theater with his raw yet dexterous brand of comedy, acknowledging a need for change within Hollywood while keeping the show on track. It’s been so long since an Oscar host was actually entertaining, I had forgotten these things used to sometimes  be funny.  Not everything was comedic gold, I still can’t figure out the point of the Girl Scout bit.  Girl Scout cookies sell themselves because they are delicious and somewhat deceptively named.  Thin Mints for example give you the false impression you can swallow sleeves of cookies whole like a boa constrictor without worrying about your waistline while Tagalongs and Do-si-dos practically sound like you’re getting some kind of calorie-cancelling exercise simply by eating them.

Amusingly, the plan to omit thank yous from the acceptance speeches and scroll pre-prepared lists of names instead didn’t pan out amongst those who take direction for a living.  Not exactly a shocker.  If I ever won an Academy Award, guidelines and music wouldn’t get me off the stage, it would probably take some kind of zoo-tranquilizer dart and even then, I wouldn’t go without a fight.

But the Oscars are so much more than a platform for social change or awarding  the best in film, they’re about attractive people wearing fabulous designer clothing.  Watching the Oscars is all about focusing on the most superficial aspects of people who are part of the most shallow industry on Earth.  It’s all about the fashion.

This year was a little more interesting than the past few years.  The best and worst weren’t quite so cut and dry with many  critics divided over who led  the pack and whose fashion failed.

These are my picks:

The Best

Cate Blanchett was ethereal perfection in seafoam Armani Prive.  In the wrong hands, this  dress could look like a glue gun disaster, but with Tiffany & Co. cascading diamond earrings, sea creature bracelet and beachy bob, Cate had that just-stepped-out-of-the-waves-like-this goddess quality.  This dress made both best and worst dressed lists.  On anyone but Cate Blanchett, I would have categorized it as the latter.  On her, it was both regal and whimsical.


Another red carpet masterpiece in motion was Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein.  The actress chose emerald to honor her Irish heritage, however the swirling sequins of the skirt were evocative of the sky’s nocturnal undulations in Dutch post-Impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night.  While the brightest “star” in van Gogh’s painting is actually Venus, Saoirse Ronan’s luminous beauty made her one of the brightest stars on the Oscar red carpet.


The black Chanel dress Julianne Moore wore was a departure from the jewel tones she normally gravitates towards, making it a noteworthy selection.  Recently, a similar version made its way down the Chanel runway on Kendall Jenner.  Julianne opted for meticulously crafted effortless glamour, wearing her hair down instead of in angry Princess Leia buns with Black Swan eye makeup shown at the Chanel Haute Couture show.


Once again Charlize Theron’s red carpet appearance reminded us that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never be Charlize Theron.  Charlize may have terrible taste in men, but her fashion sense is impeccable.  Draped in Christian Dior Couture and Harry Winston diamonds, Charlize continued her reign as the Red Carpet’s best dressed.


Honorable Mention

Mindy Kaling’s Elizabeth Kennedy dress was a little too tight, causing it to pucker, but between its black and royal blue color scheme and cape-like tie in the  back, it reminded me of the superhero costume worn by Batman’s former sidekick, Nightwing, thus making the dress subjectively awesome.


Leather and Lace

Two of the trends on the red carpet were the sartorial version of the Stevie Nicks/Don Henley duet, Leather and Lace.

Jennifer Lawrence’s black tiered Dior gown was one of the lace trend’s best examples,  a modern take on the black lace and ruffles favored by Stevie Nicks who paved the way for goth girls who want to keep their hair blonde.


Rooney Mara also wore lace.  The cut-out sheer dress  by Givenchy Haute Couture was a cometh hither combination of demure and provocative, however the sci-fi hair and white platform sandals detracted from the dress.


Versace-clad Kerry Washington looked like she was wearing Xena’s prom dress: ass-kicking leather on top, glamorous femininity on the bottom.


Margot Robbie glittered like a gold dust woman in a long-sleeve gold leather embellished Tom Ford gown.  In 85 degree heat.  I’m really not sure how she wasn’t glistening buckets.


The Worst

This year’s Oscars refuted my long-held belief that Kate Winslet would look gorgeous even in a garbage bag.  Making a rare sartorial misstep, Kate’s Ralph Lauren gown was evocative of a Hefty Cinch Sak.  Draw me like one of your tall kitchen bags.


Another fashion disappointment was Olivia Wilde who, like Kate Winslet, usually nails the red carpet.  I wanted to like Olivia Wilde’s Valentino dress, but ultimately I couldn’t shake the fact that it looked like Mature Bride’s take on Leeloo’s bandage outfit.


I can’t even take Amy Poehler’s Andrew Gn dress seriously, she looks like she’s being eaten alive by Audrey Jr. flesh-eating embroidery.  A stylist supposedly did this to her on purpose, why I do not know, but humanity may need to call on Lucy Liu’s badassery.


This year Marchesa happened to Heidi Klum.  The dress looked like a failed practice assignment using canopy curtains and shoddy magic at Fairy Godmother Conjuring School.  The dress Cinderella’s rodent friends made her looked better than this Marchesa dress even after it was destroyed.  Not only is this a lock for this year’s Worst Dressed award, it’s epically hideous, likely to show up on Most Tragic Oscar Fashion lists for years to come.



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Thrifty Duchess or Shifty Duchess?

I’ve been ignoring the news story of Kate Middleton shopping at Bicester Village designer outlet centre in Oxfordshire on Sunday thinking maybe the puff piece would go away but now pretty much every major news outlet has covered it, gushing about how thrifty Seven Kitchens Kate is and how she’s like the best Mum ever because she bought George some Lacoste pyjamas.  Because as everyone knows, if there isn’t a tiny green crocodile on your child’s sleepwear, swamp monsters will Elm Street him as soon as he drifts off.

In addition to hitting Lacoste, Kate also shopped at Gucci, Reiss, Bonpoint, Temperley London, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, and Ralph Lauren.  Interesting.  If Kate had only turned up at that event honoring the Ralph Lauren Breast Cancer Center back in May, maybe she wouldn’t have to rummage through the Ralph Lauren sale rack trying to find a shirt in her size that didn’t have an ink stain or wasn’t missing a button.

According to the Sun which quoted a Sales Assistant: “Kate came in on Sunday on her own, just like anyone else, and browsed the sales racks.”

Obviously on her own meant with her usual protection officers and presumably her Bootyguard.

According to E!: “She was trying to keep very low key in just jeans and a jumper [sweater],” the witness said.  “Not many people noticed her as she was avoiding contact with them. No pictures were taken that I’m aware of. She was focused on shopping.”

Kate had her purchases couriered to Kensington Palace.  Fascinating she went through the fuss of a delivery for the pyjamas and bath mat she purchased.  Unless of course she wanted to make sure the sales reps knew she was the real Kate Middleton or make it seem like she and Wills were spending oodles of time at their Kensington Palace apartment which was recently renovated at taxpayer expense and not at Anmer Hall, even though that’s where they are reportedly spending most of August.

Oxfordshire is about an hour and fifteen minutes outside of London and in the opposite direction of Anmer Hall.  Who could possibly be near Oxfordshire, living approximately 26.4 miles south of the outlet center?  Oh, that’s right, her parents.

So did Kate ditch her two princes for retail therapy and to go home to see the parental units?  That can’t be.  Kate is such a doting mother, it’s why she can’t perform her duties, only she can watch the royal magical baby being cared for by the full-time supernanny.  Unless of course she’s going on a luxury vacation or relaxing at a resort or attending a society wedding, then her presence isn’t required.

According to reports, Kate frequents Bicester Village designer outlet centre.  There could be another reason she chooses to shop at the outlet centre that has nothing to do with discounts.  Kate is rumored to resent the Kate Effect.  Back in March, Kate and another woman showed up wearing the same Missoni coat to the wedding of Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett, reportedly that bothered her, as does seeing women wearing clothing she owns even if she’s not wearing those particular items at the time.  In order to keep CopyKates from CopyKating, it’s being suggested that Kate is now holding onto items she has purchased until they are no longer available to the masses.  At outlet centres, a lot of the merchandise is the remaining stock of whatever is leftover from the previous season, the surplus gets shipped to the outlet stores and sold at discounted prices.  Therefore, purchases Kate makes at the outlet stores can’t really be CopyKated unless the designer decides to manufacture more in the future if the fabric is still available.

So basically Kate Middleton was just granted Style Icon status by Vanity Fair and she’s out buying clothes that are discounted because no one else wanted them and she appears to not want anyone else following her fashion lead.  And even though she resents having her picture taken all the time with camera phones, there doesn’t appear to be a single photo taken of her at the outlet stores where apparently she goes all the time but this is the first we’re hearing of it, now that she has to move to Anmer Hall for privacy reasons.  I don’t know… this whole thing seems more shifty than thrifty.


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Oscars Slumber Party

The Oscars this year were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, who is the comedic equivalent of a hug, she delivers the warm fuzzies without any inappropriate touching.  Apparently after Seth MacFarlane’s Ode to Boobies, the Oscars wanted to play it more safe and asked Ellen to babysit this year’s most star-studded slumber party.

Liza Minnelli just showed up in her satin jammies.  She must have nodded off in the limo on the way over because someone put a Smurf blue streak in her hair.  I’m assuming it had to be a classic slumber party prank done while Liza was catching some zzzzzz’s, since there’s no pharmacological combination of which I am aware that would make the Smurf Streak seem like an okay idea.


Liza didn’t just wander in by mistake, she was invited because she’s Judy Garland’s daughter and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences wanted to acknowledge the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.  I’m not sure why they took a nostalgic detour and got Pink to sing “Over the Rainbow”, after all they could have just slipped a special 75th Anniversary DVD into the gift bags if they wanted to remind Hollywood what great movies look like, but maybe it was the only way to get Ellen in a dress.


The slumber party theme was continued during a bit in which Ellen ordered twenty pizzas for the A-listers up front.  Real pizza from a real pizza delivery guy named Edgar Martirosyan from Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria.  I’m assuming during commercial breaks, everyone braided each other’s hair and told ghost stories.


Despite being the responsible adult for the evening, a few winners still appeared to have gotten into the liquor cabinet during Ellen’s watch.  Darlene Love sang the award show awkward while accepting the Best Documentary Oscar and Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech should have come with a map because he took the long way when thanking himself for the person he’ll never be.

Fashion for film’s biggest award show was safe, just like the jokes.  Pastels and muted metallics were predicted and the red carpet was a sea of hushed tones.  Very few stand-outs but no one was so bad it got them grounded.

I think Charlize Theron is required by law to show up to all major award shows so fashion bloggers will have someone to crown Best Dressed.  Sometimes black on a red carpet can be risky because the detailing on a black dress doesn’t read well when photographed but of course no fabric on Charlize would ever dare be anything less than spectacular.  Dazzling in Dior.


Fortunately there was Lupita Nyong’o to take a little pressure off of Charlize, arriving in a frothy blue Prada gown that only she could wear so exquisitely, it was a moment of fashion nirvana.

lupitanyong'oJennifer Lawrence fell again for Oscar Fashion, this time while exiting the limo.  This Dior red peplum dress looks gorgeous on her and her best accessory is her sense of humor.


Anne Hathaway went with the same silhouette as last year’s pink Angry Nipple Dress and still missed the mark with this Gucci futuristic breastplate.  How angry can nipples get that they need to be covered in armor?

AnneHathawayPenelope Cruz is so beautiful, everyone has always said she could just tie a bed sheet around her waist and look fabulous.  Well, we were wrong.  Sorry, Penelope, our bad.


This year’s red carpet attempted to evoke old Hollywood glamour, but it left some starlets just looking old.

Fashionistas fawned all over Kate Hudson’s Versace dress but to me it looked a little too Dynasty and not in a good way.


Sally Hawkins was the victim of a Valentino dress trying to suffocate her.  She is too covered up even by Victorian era standards, I’m assuming this frock came with a matching chastity belt.


Julie Delpy looked like a sugar glider in her Jenny Packham gown.

JulieDelpyAnd as much as it pains me to say this, Angelina Jolie looked a bit matronly in Elie Saab. Sob.


This was like the Casual Friday of Oscars.  I believe the hosting tone was intended to make the audience feel like we were all just hanging out with Ellen and Hollywood’s most recognized faces enjoying the evening.  Really, actors are just people with jobs others happen to find interesting, so maybe if society could understand those whose airbrushed images adorn the covers of magazines are just flesh and blood like everyone else, our culture would be less celebrity-obssessed.

But the Oscars aren’t just about actors, it’s a celebration of filmmaking.  Films are a collaborative effort that transport an audience to a crafted realm.  When executed properly, films can be transformative experiences that inspire us, move us, enlighten us, or simply provide a temporary escape from our own problems.  Unlike other forms of artistic expression which are often solo endeavors, film requires the talents of a multitude of skilled artists, from pre-production all the way through the end of post-production, all of whom must unite in creative vision for a singular purpose: to tell a story.  The telling of that story requires a lot of sacrifice by everyone involved, they are made for the love of filmmaking.

This year’s Oscars recognized more than just individual contributions to the collaborative efforts of film, the industry  collectively cried out against the tragic loss of a crew member, 27-year-old assistant camera operator Sarah Jones who was struck by a train on February 20th while on the set of a Gregg Allman biopic called Midnight Rider.  While it’s unclear at this time if the production team knew they only had permission to film on the privately owned land and not on the train tracks themselves, the film industry became united by grief that a crew member’s life had been lost because of unsafe set conditions.  There was an online petition, Slates for Sarah, to include Sarah Jones in the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscars and crews from around the world sent in pictures of slates with RIP Sarah Jones.  While it seemed the more than 55,000 signatures collected weren’t enough to meet the controversial criteria for inclusion, right before the commercial break, a bar ran across the bottom of the screen with her picture.


That chyron is what I will remember from this year’s Oscars.  When I woke up Monday morning, I thought of Sarah whom I’ve never met and how, with that outpouring of love and support from the industry to which she was so passionately dedicated, she could be at peace.  Slates for Sarah sends the message that despite its grandeur, the value of a human life far surpasses the entire history of cinema.  Maybe Ellen’s relaxed approach to Oscar hosting was just what the world needed to see.  Brad Pitt, one of the world’s biggest celebrities handing out plates is a reminder to all of us that no matter who we are, we are all human and should be helping each other out.

Maybe next year, we should try pushing the human angle even further and the Oscars could be held at Meryl Streep’s house.  Everyone nominated should show up in their flannel jammies, Charlize Theron would still obviously look stunning, Cate Blanchett could bring the Rice Krispy Treats, Matthew McConaughey probably has a great recipe for brownies, after some of Sandra Bullock’s margaritas, everyone could start dishing on their horrible set experiences with Julia Roberts, forgetting she’s in the room.  Maybe George Clooney could challenge Jennifer Lawrence to a game of Twister and everyone would pretend not to notice Liza was still wearing her satin Smurf pajamas.  Anyone who attempted to sing would automatically have to go into the closet to play Seven Minutes in Heaven with Gary Busey and everyone would have to drink a shot every time Helen Mirren said, “That’s so fetch”.  Think about it, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  There’s not a single dance number that could begin to compete with the visual of Jack Nicholson in footed pajamas.


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