The 77th Academy Awards: Fish‘tails’ (and other stories)

What was black, blue, and ‘fishy’all over? There were no great surprises (for me anyway) during last night’s 77th Academy Awards telecast. New host, Chris Rock, known for his quick tongue, acerbic wit, and impromptu jabs, did not get himself thrown off the stage with anything he said (though unfortunately, he was not really too funny either); all those who took home the little gold man (in the major categories certainly) were the ones who had been favored all along; AND in terms of fashion, as I had predicted, many of Hollywood’s (and New York’s) most style conscious stars avoided predictable florals, patterns, brights and pastels, and went dark (echoing fashion’s newfound somber mood) in their embrace of black, blue, (and combinations thereof).

The other notable thread throughout the evening was the sighting of all those torso fitting fishtail hemmed dresses (which gave the wearers the look of a mermaid), and where breathing and walking seemed to be optional — if not completely impossible (like Renee Zellweger in her Herrera red satin strapless gown — she practically could not walk up on stage to give out her award), and Kim Porter (P. Diddy’s gal pal) in Zac Posen’s cadet blue strapless mermaid gown. It should be noted that Zac Posen (P. Diddy’s business partner) is one designer known for his love of torso fitting dramatic dresses.

Joining the blackout were Beyonce Knowles in a black velvet strapless gown with dramatic train in the back, accessorized with huge diamond chandelier earrings; Drew Barrymore; Julia Roberts; Annette Bening; Scarlett Johansson in black satin corseted Roland Mouret (another star who was seemingly unable to breathe); and the always chic Vanessa Paradis (Johnny Depp’s girlfriend) in Chanel’s black chiffon gown with long black chiffon scarf around her neck.

Stars who mixed black and blue (AND fishtail hems) were Salma Hayek in Prada’s fishtail hemmed navy satin v neck gown with black bead trim, and Virginia Madsen in Versace Couture dark blue satin fishtail gown with black tulle overlay. But for me, the star who really shined (without all the bling or the boobs), was ‘BILLION Dollar Baby’ Hilary Swank in her Guy Laroche very covered up long sleeved draped jersey long navy dress with the surprise of a dangerously low cut out back. With her hair pulled back in a chic bun, small earrings, she was a class act.

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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