Marilyn Kirschner: Monday Morning Quarterback
What is the world coming to? What can we count on when even one’s astrological sign (the one you’ve become associated with for decades), has literally changed overnight? Well, thankfully, there are some things that will never change: our ongoing fascination with the Red Carpet and that age old question: “Who will wear what”? It’s almost as though “Who will win what?” is secondary.
But let’s face it, the phrase, Red Carpet Fashion is an oxymoron and I have come to expect nothing more than a parade of highly predicable, formulaic, ‘paint by numbers’ choices, (some which oft times seem to be completely disconnected from the wearer), thanks to the stylists, since let’s face it, in rare cases only, is it the star herself who has conceived of, picked out, or paid for her outfit from head-to-toe.
And considering that these highly paid celebs have the wherewithal, the access, and of course, the means, to insure they have the best of the best, it makes the end result of so much time and effort seem to be even more of a letdown. It also boggles the mind how so few stars truly get it right (Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman quickly come to mind). Or wrong (which would at least be refreshing and interesting). But isn’t it all so subjective anyway?
While I do think Julia Roberts looked gorgeous years ago, when she picked up her Oscar for Best Actress wearing that chic vintage black and white Valentino gown, I actually think she outdid herself at last year’s Golden Globes, clad in a long sleeved v neck short black chemise dress, simple high heeled pumps, accessorized by an eye-catching vintage long chunky gold pendant necklace (the dress and necklace were purchased at a vintage store in Manhattan and if I remember correctly, I believe the dress was YSL and she paid about $1000 for it. But that is completely beside the point because there is always too much emphasis placed on wearing well known labels instead of concentrating on just plain fabulous frocks). It completely suited her style, it exuded an unfussy, modern glamour, it played to her strengths (showing off her gorgeous gams), and she picked it out and paid for it herself. Interestingly, several self appointed ‘experts’ criticized her for looking “underdressed”, more suited to going out to dinner than to an awards ceremony. Ah, what do they know? In any case, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s not brain surgery, if you know what I mean.
Still, isn’t it fun to be a Monday morning quarterback, second guess, and sit in judgment? By the way, you can say that was literally the case last evening, since the New York Jets were playing against the New England Patriots just as the Red Carpet arrivals were getting underway, and I, for one, kept turning the station back and forth as I’m certain was the case in many other households.
So, who got it right? While I’ll admit I’ve preferred Natalie Portman’s past Red Carpet choices, she nonetheless glowed and looked beautiful in her pale and strapless flower appliquéd Viktor & Rolf, and it ‘worked’ considering her pregnancy; the red one shouldered Lanvin chosen by Julianne Moore may not have been the most flattering dress of all time, but it was certainly a bold fashion choice in terms of color and silhouette and was hardly a safe choice; Claire Danes’ salmon colored Calvin Klein Collection halter dress suited her perfectly and looked modern and chic; Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angelina Jolie looked every inch the movie stars they are in their green gowns (by Monique Lhuillier and Versace Atelier respectively) as did Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive (fyi: I especially liked the long sleeves and covered up elegance of both the Lhuillier and Armani); 14 year old Hailee Steinfeld looked drop dead gorgeous and very grown up (but thankfully, not too much so) in an ivory Prabal Gurung; Olivia Wilde’s strapless and glittery Marchesa gown was quite an entrance maker, capitalizing on the ‘of the moment’ ballet theme going on these days, with a tulle skirt so full it almost took up the entire stage; and you can always count on Tilda Swinton to take risks and go her own way an- instead of chosing a typical boring gown, she opted for the chicest thing in the world – a perfectly crisp white cotton shirt and long vanilla skirt, courtesy Jil Sander. By the way, Fashion ‘It Girl’ Alexa Chung, who was actually at work last evening, interviewing stars on the red carpet for NBC, looked glamorous and youthful, in her covered up, long sleeved red chiffon gown (designer unknown).
|Helena Bonham Carter|
Disappointments (there were too many prom dresses, out of control cascading ruffles, etc. to mention) include Heidi Klum in a droopy printed Marc Jacobs from spring 2011 (proving that runway does not always translate onto the red carpet), Sandra Bullock in a rather unflattering and frumpy Jenny Packham, Nicole Kidman in pale long Prada (sorry- she could have done so much better!!!), J.Lo in a white Zuhair Murad which looked a tad too much like a wedding dress (actually, it was more like ‘Mother of the Bride’ for my taste), Halle Berry in black Nina Ricci (she is so gorgeous it ‘hurts’ and doesn’t need to wear something that so closely resembles underwear), Christina Aguilera in Zuhair Murad mermaid black lace, and Tina Fey who almost never gets it right and didn’t this time in her ill chosen L’Wren Scott. And truly a class by herself is Helena Bonham Carter, wearing a Vivienne Westwood dress accessorized with purposely mismatched pumps and her signature birds nest, piled up hair. Yikes. Well, you have to hand it to her: at least she didn’t look like anyone else!
– Marilyn Kirschner
(Photo Credits: Courtesy Golden Globes except for Tilda Swinton: Style.com)