Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tiger Style: The Oscars

The Oscars are the only night of the year when people who know nothing about fashion avidly tune in and critique couture-clad celebrites with evil cackles and completely unsupported opinions...or just watch Joan Rivers or Ryan Seacrest do it for them . And it's a shame because although fashion is normally one of the most telling representations of a person's character, on Oscar night, fashion reveals basically nothing about the person who is wearing it. In the age of stylists, what Anne Hathaway wears is more a reflection of what is least likely to get her placed on the worst-dressed lists, than who she actually is (or who she wants to be). Thus, despite its commercial significance, the red carpet has become an exceedingly boring place for fashion, splattered with "pretty" things that show little, if any, innovation.

That being said, there were some interesting pieces at the Oscars this year; I especially liked Marisa Tomei's grey Versace Atelier gown. With a deceptively simple shape, the dress enhanced her delicate features by contrasting them against the dramatic sweep of her train. Of course, she didn't take it as far as Bjork did in 2001 with her Marjan Pejoski swan dress, but her gown was still reminiscent of a swan, in a way that managed to be simultaneosly tasteful and unusual.

Marion Cotillard's haute couture Dior dress was another daring choice that paid off in the end; though composed almost entirely of taffeta and sequins, the somber colors saved it from being too fairy-tale princess...a direction that far too many actresses always end up following.