28 February 2011

Oh, Oscar!

Yes, it's that time of year again -- time for my take on the Oscars! Sadly, we had to cut our Sunday viewing extravaganza (which began at 3:00) short because apparently I have relocated my family to the land of extreme weather. Another round of tornadoes and I am officially over it. I'm even beyond being scared. When it cuts into my Oscar time, I just get annoyed (I know, I know...my priorities get out of line where fashion and cinema are concerned, what can I tell you?). I love the Oscars, though -- they remind me of so many things...my love for a good dress, a childhood dream of being in movies, my grandmother's tattered copy of David O. Selznick's Hollywood, watching the telecast with my family every year...and now just making my husband and sister completely insane with my incessant need to catch every second of the before, the during and the after. It's one of my annual super girly-girl moments so bear with me.

So let's start with three major not-worth-talking-about-really talking points in regards to dear Oscar:
  1. Anne Hathaway and James Franco -- while I appreciated her (unyielding and sometimes childlike) enthusiasm and while I know he has played some brilliant roles, they are not Oscar hosts. That was the absolute worst Oscar telecast in 83 years (ie. ever). Seriously. There's a reason they normally choose seasoned comedic types.
  2. Did J Lo sponsor the Oscars because OMG if I see one more J Lo commercial I'm going to boycott...everyone! She's the new Jessica Simpson.
  3. There comes a point where costume changes are just really annoying. 9? That's overkill people. Please reference point #1.
Maybe #3 isn't totally not worth highlighting -- she did, after all, manage to very seamlessly change her look 9 total times during the show, including hair and jewelry for which she was reportedly paid $750,000 to wear. (Really?) Let's take a gander, shall we?

I'm trying to steer away from acknowledging the designer because I find that when I know whose hands were responsible for something, it can sometimes sway my opinion (for example Zoe Saldana's Givenchy last year -- I still think all that purple ombred puffiness was perfection but apparently I was the only one...on earth). But this gorgeous red could only be Valentino. Archival Valentino at that. And I swoon.

Her first and second looks, respectively, during the telecast. I actually liked the first dress although I thought it was a little too overly adorned and she kept putting her hands all over it which was distracting but it's pretty and she looked great. As for the second, any girl in a tux with a high pony and discoball shoes is ok in my book.

No on the first. It's Vivienne Westwood but no. She looked like a vampiric puritan. However, I love the second and the hair was perfecto!

The liquid blue Armani Prive worked for her coloring but she only had it on for like 4 seconds so I couldn't really come to terms with my emotions. I need at least 6 seconds for that. The Atelier Versace below, which she eventually wore to the Vanity Fair Party, was divine. But her finale dress, the Tom Ford lacey-sequined turtleneck column dress, while Tom Ford, was too severe for her if not too old.
What about the rest of the Red Carpet Wanderers you ask? Oh, there are so many.

Virginia Madsen. It is probably not a good idea to wear anything that can be compared to -- or may look like it was made from -- a swan when one of the films nominated is called Black Swan. Just a friendly suggestion.
Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabbana. I wasn't sure about the color at first because it's a bit garish on the red carpet, but I later decided I love it. Good choice.

Sandra B. in Vera Wang. LOVE this dress -- red was so super popular this year. Normally stylists stay away from red on the red carpet, but that seems to be a fear factor that is disappearing. Bellissima!

So Wikipedia and my husband tell me that this tool box to the left, Rupert Murdoch, owns Fox News and while that annoys the living hell out of me politically, I like his trophy wife's dress.

Reese Witherspoon in Armani Prive. Again with the high pony. Love it, love her. She's an intelligent charismatic every girl's girl. She just looks happy and honestly that is really the best accessory you can have.

Penelope Cruz...honey, I just don't know. On the one hand, specifically your right hand, you have the demigod otherwise known as Javiar Bardem. On the other hand, you just had a baby and I can totally respect the fact that diapers and bottles take over the part of your brain that processes fashion. But, honey, no. It looks a bit like a Phoenix which I can respect figuratively but literally? Uh uh.

Let's do this one as a math equation because, hey, I'm an English major so that should be fun, right? The bangs in relation to the necklace in proportion to the dress plus the bedazzled bodice of the (Dior) dress divided by the pink shoes = No. Not now. Not ever. Especially not Oscar.

Natalie Portman in Rodarte. Pregnant women really are so otherworldly beautiful, it doesn't even really matter what they wear (although that Golden Globes number was seriously questionable).
Michelle Williams in Chanel Couture. The dress has almost a milk glass shimmer to it that I love. She radiates.

Mandy Moore in Monique Lhuillier, both dresses. I love the first one, it really is just simply pretty. But I wasn't nuts about her lip color being so matchy matchy to her hair color but then I'm OCD so what do I know? The blue however really just about did me in. Sesame Street called, they want Snuffalufagus' drag look back.

Mila Kunis in lilac Elie Saab. This girl knows how to dress for her body type and her coloring. She came in a close second for best dressed in my book.

Marisa Tomei is getting a lot of negative feedback on her vintage Charles James navy gown but, as I'm sure you guessed, I love it. If it's vintage, I am suckered in especially if it predates 1959. But that's not the only reason I loved it so. The biggest reason was because she was in love with that dress and appreciated it's historical significance and that made it work. I would have suggested she have it tailored to fit her correctly in the bodice, however. As for her VF look? Quel snooze. She even looks bored.

Melissa Leo would have been better off wearing her VFP dress to the Oscars than the dress she chose which I immediately acclaimed looked like a doily draped over Jiffy Pop Deluxe.

Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein. If you have a stylist, JL, I hope you sent her flowers this morning. Although I'm sure you didn't eat for 72 hours prior to slipping into this frock, she/he did you right here.

Jennifer Hudson in tangerine Versace. What's really amazing is the transformation JH has undergone with the help of Weight Watchers. You can't not applaud that. But I'm uber distracted by her ta-tas. That's just unnatural.

Helena Bonham Carter in Colleen Atwood, ie. the costume designer for Alice in Wonderland. I love you, Helena. Don't ever change, you brilliant, anti-Hollywood, dark horse.

Halle Berry in Marchesa. I am not loving the tulle on the bottom of this dress. In the original design, it was much more...bountiful? I do love my tulle. But she looks like a goddess and, I swear, does she not age? Beautiful.

Hailee Steinfeld, also in Marchesa which she helped to design. She is an adorable confection of bubbly girliness with some serious acting skills.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....oh, I'm sorry, I must have fallen asleep trying to process Gwyneth Paltrow standing in front of Oscar in a gold dress.

It's hard to pull off gold on the RC for the Oscars when the statue everyone is coveting is the same bloody color. I'd dare say it's completely taboo. However, I do love the cut of the second dress but the color, too, is a total snoozefest.

Florence Welch and all her magnetic thunder in Valentino Couture. Again with the not so exciting neutrals. Pale girls need color. But I do love the dress and I love her, just not together.

Cate, wonderful, Cate. In Givenchy. J'adore!

But I have to give it to Camila Alves, best dressed Oscars and Vanity Fair Party. Seriously, I have to admit, before I never really noticed her -- she was a bit too tan, a bit too bikini, and a bit too blond. But, um, wow. She is simply exquisite in both to the point that I am like, where's Matthew McConaughey (and his adorable Texas drawl)? She literally makes him disappear. If anyone else on earth had worn the black appliqued dress on the right, they would have looked ridiculous but her smooth, natural looks and cool, mysterious spirit? Enchanting.

Annette Bening and Warren Beatty's adoration on the Red Carpet for one another won me over. Though the dress does scare me a little bit.

Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott. While I didn't totally understand the jewelry, I adore her in this dress -- it's such a welcome reprieve from some of the more boring frocks she's donned as of late. The color is perfect for her and the cut is amazing. Definitely my third favorite!

The Vanity Fair Party is up next!


24 February 2011

Oscar Squared

So the Oscars are right around the corner and (as many know) I'm very religious about my Oscar watching. I watch them like a kid watching a chimney for Santa on Christmas Eve...(huh, come to think of it maybe, since I'm Jewish, that's exactly where this came from! Eureka!) Anyway, I've been trying to steer this blog away from any celebrity fashion malfunctions, misdemeanors or mistakes but you are going to have to give me a day off for the Oscars. It's just too easy.

Going back over my NY fashion week coverage I realized I'd left out our dear friend, Mr. de la Renta -- and how serendipitious! Now we can focus strictly on the Oscar-favorite Oscar! (I wonder if that's a coincidence?) Undoubtedly, celebrities have and will flock to Oscar de la Renta for the awards night of all awards nights. Not only does he do this particular brand of 'gown' brilliantly, he's really branched out here of late and I think his frocks are going to appeal to more than just the norm Hollywood A-listers.

Here's what I'm predicting will show up on Sunday at the ceremony and post-awards festivities.

These are a bit more edgier Oscar. Can we thank Lady Gaga or just his approach into those years of ones life where you can simply do what you want and not give a damn what the masses think of you? It might be a combo of the two.

His designs tend to border on the too prim for me but I like this shaken up version of his aesthetic.

21 February 2011

What's Up New York!

After a week of unplanned overtime on the job front, I'm finally getting caught up on Fashion Week! Oh, hoorah! So much is going on in London as we speak, I don't even want to look because I know I'll fall madly in love and not give New York a second thought. Sorry, New York, but I continue to feel a clinical and distant appreciation for your production while feeling strongly seduced by what's across the pond. Step it up, America, the future doesn't have to be so bleak.

Theysken's Theory

I love the diversity of this collection and though I wouldn't normally highlight denim, I love the styling of this look. Also, j'adore the velvet military duster and really would like to just live in it for awhile.

The Row
Mary Kate & Ashley finally impressed me with their Row collection -- this is actually wearable and quite interesting instead of depressing and shapeless.

Anna Sui
Inspired by the Ballet Russes exhibit at the V&A. As always, Sui delivers a lot of character but I still think I've reached the max age limit to even consider her work.

Ralph Lauren
Quite possibly the most perfect trifecta of black dresses seen on a runway in ages.

I am also loving Lauren's Asian-inspired touches within a 30's motif.

Naeem Khan
Gorgeous and ornate, in other words standard Naeem Khan.

Monique Lhuillier

Love this collection -- very French, very coquettish. The texture gives it so much life you don't even really notice the minimal color palette.

Marc Jacobs
I get that Marc went with the reinvention tour on this one, reinventing some of his earliest designs in much more structured models, but I..am...just...not...into...this. I know, I know, it's sacrilege especially given my constant outpouring of adoration for his work but, yeah, just not feeling these two above.

These three are more my speed but I'm still concerned.

Isaac Mizrahi

I love that Isaac Mizrahi is...well...so Isaac Mizrahi. He's not afraid to have fun on the runway and does New York need a heavy dose of his chutzpah! These pastel dipped confections mixed with actual baked confections and matching poodles to boot? I love! It's fun and flirty and every girl needs that on occasion.

If that third look was a dress, we'd have ourselves a full cauldron.

L'Wren Scott
L'Wren Scott always nails it, even when she's keeping things simple.

This collection was sent out in several separate global influenced montages, if you will. I appreciate Gwen Stefani's open-minded nature that allows her to draw inspiration from all different cultures and sources around the world but it was a bit over kill. Plus, I can't not look at her line and just see her. If I want to look like Gwen, I could go to the costume store for about 10% of the price. Just sayin'.

Jenny Packham
Love. All Oscar-worthy (which is just a few days away).

Soft glamgoth? Sure!

Carolina Herrera
Sometimes I feel like the motifs at Herrera get a little overworked but, at the same time, I am always a sucker for her dresses -- as are 100 movie stars so I'm sure we will see plenty of this on Sunday.

Diane von Furstenberg
I wasn't crazy about this collection; it felt a little overdone to me as well. But I love these first two looks -- especially the second which seems uber-eccentric for DVF. The third dress, while not my cup of tea, is a popular trend in evening wear these days, don't ask me why -- Linda Evans called, she wants her look back.

Derek Lam
Soft, billowy, romantic but still edgy. Love that guy.

Donna Karan

Donna Karan got some negative feedback on this show -- too stark some said, lady-like has been done 100 times other said, Grace Kellyisms are played still others said. I'm sure this will come as no shock to you given my penchant for vintage and all things classic Hollywood, but I love it. No, I wouldn't necessarily put all the pieces together because I'd feel like I was a pie away from the Women's Club, but a relaxed version of these could be oh so chic.

Dennis Basso
Makes me long for the Aran Islands and cool Irish breezes.

Creatures of the Wind
I think the copy on this collection that quoted the designers as saying the show was about sailors' wives and what they called the "romanticism of waiting for a husband they don't know for sure is coming back" really played into the seduction. I want them all now.

Christian Cota
I love the contrast; it's really appealing.

Chado Ralph Rucci
My favorite thing about this show was the architecture of the pieces -- obviously why he is known as the only American couturier.

Chris Benz

I am wildly in love with the Chris Benz collection inspired by the architecture, spirit and all too believable and enchanting ghost stories of Savannah, Georgia. Just lovely.

Carlos Miele
Once again, I do not like fur unless it's in faux formation but I am completely in love with these velvet pants and the harem-esque skirt. They are all divine.

Badgley Mischka
This is the most "breakout of our comfortable mold" I've seen the boys in awhile! I love these cocktail dresses, such a refreshing change from their ultra-formal, ultra-girly floor sweeping frocks of years gone by. These are much more fun, more powerful and scads sexier without relinquishing the level of class their garments are known for.

Betsey Johnson
Another American designer who knows how to have fun, this show really looked like it was a blast! She showed two different lines, a lot of throwback to classic Betsy, and a parade of Betsey look-alikes including men and women in fringe-banged blond wigs -- all on Valentine's Day, hence the rose parade in the middle shot. The second line was the official introduction of her new lower priced Pink Patch Line. You can't not love her, her spirit is simply contagious.

Bibhu Mohapatra
An interesting and creative blend of contemporary lines with really vintage-influenced pieces. I like that. A hard chord to strike, I think this is quite balanced.

Bill Blass
Another one I adore -- and I'm so glad to see the breath of life sweeping back through this line. Bill Blass is a legend and it's exciting to see a show of this caliber in his name again. I am loving the very Catherine Deneuve circa 1970's feel of it all.

Barbara Tfank
To say that something is lacking when watching a show online vs. watching it live must be a staggering understatement because for the most part, Barbara Tfank's show got good reviews. To me, from where I sit late at night, the house full of snoring boys, I thought it was just too mall/mother of the bride/bad prom dressy for me. But I did love what she did with leather -- especially in these two looks.

Alice & Olivia
Adore. Adore. Adore. And want it all.

A Detacher
There is something so subtle about these looks that they becoming terribly entrancing. I just love the simplicity but the strength of each piece. Of course it doesn't hurt that the line was described as "active wear for reading" which I've been waiting for my whole life.

3.1 Phillip Lim
Not my favorite 3.1 Phillip Lim show ever presented but he's still a favorite.

London is next -- stay tuned!