The Screen Actors Guild Awards celebrated their 21st year Sunday night and fittingly rang in adulthood with an air of serious sophistication and much less ribaldry than at the older, more established Golden Globes. This is to be expected for a number of reasons not least of which is the free-flowing open bar attached to the Globes. For another thing, who really cares what tickles the Hollywood Foreign Press’s fancy; the SAG awards are voted on by members of the Guild and are thought to be an early indicator of who will win Oscar gold. The SAG awards have no host(s) to bog things down, therefore no jokes or musical numbers, and are confined to a two-hour telecast of non-stop award giving making timing and efficiency tantamount to any kind of grandstanding or chicanery. In other words, the stars have to get down to the business at hand and act like adults instead of kids on spring break. How refreshing!
|Naomi Watts is Unflappable|
Echoing that theme, the red carpet fashions seemed more grown up, elegant and elevated as well. This was evident during the E! Live From The Red Carpet pre-show, featuring the “B” team of Maria Menounos, Ross Matthews and Kelly Osbourne rather than the Globes Ryan Seacrest, and Guiliana Rancic with Ross and Kelly; a much different animal. While Ms. Menounos did ask the perfunctory “What are you wearing?” (rather than the Joan Rivers “Who are you wearing?”) she tended to dispense with that quickly enough and move onto questions that engaged the actor regarding their craft/role/or background rather than just trying to be cute, funny and foolish as Ms. Rancic seems wont to do.
Occasionally, Ms. Menounos would suggest the star take a “walk” in the Mani cam and interestingly two stars refused to do it (Julianne Moore and Jennifer Aniston took a pass and it’s unclear whether they didn’t like their manicures or if they were told not to flash their bejeweled fingers and wrists by those who insure the baubles). Sofia Vergara showed off her line for Kay Jewelers with a bracelet and rings on one hand, even briefly walking the “love hand” with her diamond engagement sparkler/blinder for a quick flash. (See here)
The awards show itself provided few surprises, those favored to win, did so, however there were some fashion surprises. Several stars who wore ill fitting or lackluster gowns at the Globes, definitely dialed up the glam last night.
MOST IMPROVED included Felicity Jones in a pale peach Balenciaga which was great on her however I wish the color had been slightly more vibrant as she looked a bit washed out; Keira Knightly in a gorgeous shade of deep violet Erdem eyelet tiers disguising her pregnancy and Claire Danes in dark army green Marc Jacobs. Although I thought the wrap-around halter neck on Ms. Danes dress was too thick and fussy and wish she had left off the military surplus belt which created a poochy tummy as well as cluttered up her back, I still preferred it to the shapeless Valentino at the Globes.
CHAMELEONS or those who took on a very different look at the SAGS than at the Globes include Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt who looked sweet at the Globes and downright sexy at the SAGS. She was styled by none other than new addition to Fashion Police Brad Goreski and wore a classic black strapless fishtail gown reminiscent of Charlize Theron’s Oscar dress last year. Froggatt had her hair down in a Veronica Lake side swept style as opposed to up in milkmaid braids pinned to her head at the Globes, enhancing her sophisticated look. Kudos to Jen Aniston who, although she’s worn the low plunging neckline slip dress before, at least gave her favored black a break in a gold medallion patterned knit Vintage Galliano accessorized with the gold body chain that she recently wore with a red pant suit. Naomi Watts, who nearly took a spill while on stage with the cast of “Birdman” as she tripped over Emma Stone’s sheer train, looked stunning in a much quieter and simple deep plum colored off-the-shoulder gown with shoulder sweeping hair. This was in marked contrast to her yellow strapless gown with hair in an updo and large diamond snake choker at the Globes, but still quite effective.
BEST DRESSED goes to another Valli girl (I loved Lupita in Valli at the Globes) Julianna Margulies who killed it in bright cobalt blue Giambattista Valli. Simple but stunning dress, hair, minimal accessories, the only thing I was unsure of was her black sandal which grounded the look. I might have liked to see a silver or gold metallic sandal instead but I think she may have been matching a black encrusted bracelet that she was wearing. (Side note: I once sat next to Ms. Margulies at the hair salon and she looked nothing like this! LOL). Runner up was Julianne Moore who stuck with Givenchy but this time in emerald green with sparkling green drop crystals. The simple tank silhouette worked well with the heavy embellishment and she even had a green fur wrap of some kind draped on the back of her chair. (I won’t make any Oscar the Grouch comparisons)! She did point out her amethyst earrings; the green with purple accents seems to be a popular combo these days.
RISK TAKERS include Emma Stone in a Dior Couture tuxedo mini/sheer skirt with train combo, Julia Roberts in a Givenchy (she’s featured in their ads in a similar turnout) tuxedo jumpsuit and Lupita Nyong’o who seems to be into prints this season in a Elie Saab long sleeved, v-necked black striped, abstract floral design. It’s interesting to note that wearing long sleeves and being covered up on those under a certain age is now considered “risk taking” on the red carpet. In the male category of risk taker were Matthew McConaughey in a shiny blue tuxedo jacket and Adrien Brody in a very shiny sharkskin gray tuxedo suit. Though these somewhat unorthodox looks could have easily gone “prom” on lesser mortals, McConaughey and Brody managed to take it to more dignified shores.
WORST DRESSED is another Dior Couture wearer and risk taker Rosamund Pike in a voluminous appliqued mullet trapeze dress which made her look still pregnant. If we hadn’t seen her at the Globes in a form fitting (although also ill advised) white Grecian style dress two weeks ago, one would assume she hadn’t lost the baby weight or was again very pregnant so I’m SMH. Laverne Cox looked as though she had raided J-Lo’s closet, made a few hasty alterations to her caped Globes gown and decided to take it for a spin at the SAG Awards.
|Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong’o and Patricia Arquette|
MOST ‘SPEC-TACULAR’ EYEWEAR is a category with only four entrants. Was it Patricia Arquette’s purple specs, Lupita Nyong’o’s thick black frames, Carrie Fisher’s rectangular red glasses with dark tinted lenses or Rashida Jones’ oversized flesh toned frames? Hard to say but as one of the “vision-challenged” I loved that they rocked the eyewear/formal wear look with a nod to making a visually adult, yet colorful statement.
Post script addendum: When I turned on the TV early this morning for the blizzard update (oh, to be in LA with the high temps they are experiencing) I noticed that at least three of the newscasters wore bright cobalt tops or dresses. While I’m aware that this is a newswoman friendly color I’ve gotta ask…is this just a coincidence or something more?