Oscar Night Retrospective

Since I felt so personally robbed by the lack of imagination (and color) at this year's Oscars, I resolved to go back in time and revisit some of my favorite award-winning looks.

Here are my Top 10:
1. Michelle Williams tops the list with her elegant marigold-hued Vera Wang in 2006. It's ruffled neckline, knotted waistline and flowing train harkens back to the golden age of cinema.

2. Reese Witherspoon killed it in her violet, multi-tiered Nina Ricci in 2007. I remember being able to only truly appreciate it's full glory when photos came out the next day. On TV it looked almost black for some reason.

3. Gwyneth Paltrow was a vision in Zac Posen's salmon fishtail gown in 2007. The whole look is polished, modern and feminine from her straight long hair to her diamond chandeliers and cuffs. I love the delicate pleating thoughout as well as the unexpected neckline.

4. Hillary Swank brings old glamor back to the Oscars, literally, in her Guy Laroche in 2005. The up-do and minimalistic earrings kept it clean, classy and uncomplicated. She left critics up in arms over her bravado to wear, gasp, sleeves.

5. Kiera Knightly manages to look sophisticated without losing her gamine charm in her garnet toned Vera Wang in 2006. The simple, yet statement-making accessories only compliment the look. Her hair, however, leaves something to be desired.

6. Amy Adams channels Rita Haworth in her emerald Proenza Schouler in 2008. The side-swept, loose curls and the Art Deco-esque bag only adds to the green-on-redhead one-two punch.

7. Although the pink Ralph Lauren Gwyneth Paltrow wore when she accepted her Best Actress award in 1999 is not the most exciting, I think we can agree that it has secured it's place in our collection consciousness, making it nearly as unforgettable as her teary acceptance speech.

8. Not even the Lanvin goddess gown can take full credit for the vision that was Natalie Portman at the 2005 Oscars. The complete look: the smoky make-up, plunging neckline and the diamond headband completed, if not stole the show.

9. I like to reminisce back to a time when Renee Zellweger was first lauded as a great actress and not for the annoying, squinty-eyed pouter we have come to know. This beautiful canary, 50s-era vintage number by Jean Desses was a stand out at the 2002 Oscars and secured her spot as a sartorial force to be reckoned with.

There is a tie for number 10, for multiple reasons, least being the obvious that they are almost the same dress. I will explain more at the end.

10.1: I remember hearing critics complain about Nicole Kidman's peacock-toned complete with plume Gucci in 2006, but it forever remains one of my favorites. Maybe it's my predilection towards peacock feathers? Anyways I think she nailed it. Simple clutch, check. Romantic, unfussy hair, check. Beautiful show-stopping dress? Check.

10.2: I absolutely love everything about this whole look Charlize Theron has going on with her peacock blue Dior gown, simple jewelry and hair in 2005. This was also not a favorite with the critics but I can still hear a million blondes hitting the bottle (of dye, that is) after seeing how hot Hollywood's golden girl looked with her raven-tinted bob.

Admission: So the last two are technically not Oscar gowns. OK, they aren't at all, they were worn to the Golden Globes, but in my memory they were worn for Oscar. And for that I will concede and put them at the end of my list since they shouldn't be there at all. If they were, though they would definitely be higher up on the list (number 2 and number 5, respectively). Meaning Renee would get the bump; but I'm OK with that, it almost hurt to have her here anyway...

Follow my blog with bloglovin´

Best Dressed: The Oscar's 2009

Admittedly, I missed the 81st Oscar's red carpet due to the fact that I thought I'd be better off without television this year. I did however, catch an hour or so of the actual broadcast and took in every female presenter (not to mention the front-row set during the obligatory, response-catching audience pans) to see who and what she was wearing.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Marion Cotillard - Dior Haute Couture

Sarah Jessica Parker - Christian Dior (though this look is becoming a signature for her)

Angelina Jolie (if only for the Lorraine Schwartz emerald teardrop earrings)

Anne Hathaway - Armani Privé

Evan Rachel Wood - Lightening up in Eli Saab Haute Couture

Tilda Swinton - Lanvin (at least she doesn't disappoint our expectations for something avante guarde and a little kooky)

As for the rest, the gowns are getting as predictable as the award winners. Aside from the red-carpet reds and a few Pepto pinks, the color of the night was predominantly black or white. Give us color! Where are the jewel tones?

While most actresses played it safe in these recessionary times (come on people the dresses are on lone, live a little!), some actresses even went so far as to wear what could be confused for the same dress worn in award season's past. Ahem, Jennifer Aniston and Penelope Cruz you know who you are...

All in all the dresses were good, not bad but not great eitherthe only thing close to a Bjork moment was Sofia Loren's Limoncello disaster. But she's in her 70s and still looks hot so I, as everyone else except maybe Joan Rivers, will look the other way. Oh and one more little note to Beyoncé: it's the Oscar's, I think it's time to stop letting your mother dress you.

All negativity aside, my favorite dress of the night was Marisa Tomei's Atelier Versace gown. The intricate orgamigasmic pleating finally gave us something to take in and not once-over. The asymmetrical top was "on point" for the moment. For me, when the camera panned from top to train, it did inspire a moment of awe. So, thank you Miss Tomei for saving us from sartorial boredom.


NY Fashion Week Fall 2009

New York Fashion Week fall 2009 coverage coming soon... Please pardon the delay I'm still recovering.


I Heart Looklet

For those of us that still daydream of playing dress up with our Barbie dolls there is a new online outlet that promises to suck up more of your day than Facebook. During my ritual fashion blog trolling I came across Fashion Squad, a blog written by model-stylist Carolina Engman who was one of the stylists consulted in the making of Looklet. Looklet is a new website that let's you be the virtual stylist pulling from an archive of actually existent fashion pieces and styling them on a model.

Starting with a blank canvas (e.g. an image of a model in her skivvies) you can scan the closet in categories such as dresses, skirts, tops, shoes, accessories, etc or by designer which runs through the high-low spectrum from high street, mass-fash brands like Top Shop, H&M and Zara all the way to luxe designer labels like Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent and Commes des Garcons. It is the ultimate game of mix and match where you get to be the fashion editor.

I was initially surprised by the bold-faced brands that have provided their products to be used on this site, but I think we are baring witness to a new level of marketing for fashion brands. It's another way for designers to propagate their brand to the masses by a making it more accessible and thus more coveted.

Looklet is extremely user-friendly, and is as simple as picking a piece you want to use, clicking and it plops itself on the model. I expected the software to be clumsy and limiting but to my surprise there were so many different options to the ways to style the clothes other than simply matching outfits together. The program gives increased variety in the way a look turns out by allowing you to tuck shirts in, leave them buttoned or unbuttoned and layer pieces over each other. You can even chose different ways for the scarves to be worn. Are you feeling more Grace Kelly or or maybe a little MK?

This website is still in the developing stages and not yet open to the public, but Fashion Squad provided a passcode for her readers to login and check out the current product and provide feedback. I figure, since this information is already in the public domain, I will share it here as well.

Login to the website using the invitation code: LOOKLET-3644220725

The site as is runs pretty smoothly, my only requests are that they add an option to layer pieces within the same category (what?! you can't wear two necklaces or a necklace and a bracelet?) and that they immediately increase the footwear options. How are there no black shoes? Major oversight in my book.

I definitely plan to keep checking back on the website to see the new clothing and accessories I can play with (many, many more are promised before the official launch of the site). For now, I thought I'd personalize the images used for this post and share some of the outfits I created below (as well as the look in the above image, which is a snapshot of the actual site design).