Nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced yesterday, meaning the Oscars are coming, meaning we are about to be pummelled with an onslaught of red-carpet images featuring lots of same-looking women in same-looking expensive dresses with same-looking hairdos.
In a heroic attempt to save us all, I have written this open letter to the Academy:
Dear members of the Academy,
Red Carpet Oscar fashion is boring, generally speaking. I don’t know why this is. You’d think that with all the top designers in the world trying to get their dresses on people that there would be an endless parade of fashion mastery and innovation, each outfit more unique, fantastic, and well-executed than the last.
Bust mostly, it’s a lot of this:
I’m so tired of skinny chicks in shiny dresses with updos and stiff posture and stiffer smiles. I mean ok — as a seamstress I can appreciate these dresses, they are classic and well made from gorgeous materials. But there’s nothing new about them. They are so goddamn safe they might as well be made of reflective tape.
There are, of course little breaks from the monotonous parade — I don’t even need to post pictures of Sharon Stone in a Vera Wang ball skirt with her husband’s white oxford shirt, or Bjork in the swan dress, because anyone with a television or internet connection can call the images to memory. Thank God for the few actors every year who choose outfits based on their own sense of aesthetics and not what they think will least offend the lowest common denominator of American sensibilites.
But since they are so few, here are 5 things you can do to make the Red Carpet at the Oscar’s less boring this year:
5. Make everyone dress according to a theme
Gabourey Sidibe might be upset that she already wasted this theme-perfect outfit on the Golden Globes though…
4. Make someone wear this dress by Alexander McQueen:
I’m not saying this dress from the line’s spring 2011 collection is what I would wear if I were going to the Oscars. I’m just saying someone should wear it. Because it is the opposite of boring.
3. Let Helena Bonham Carter style everyone.
Helena Bonham Carter is always on the worst-dressed list for the Oscars and other red-carpet events. In fact, that is how I even know who she is. I can’t tell you a single movie she’s been in but I can think of a few outfits of hers I’ve seen on worst-dressed lists. Like these:
The last pic is from this year’s Golden Globes, and landed on the UK Metro’s worst dressed list. And they put this outfit from the same event on their best dressed list:
I would wear the joyful, fun Vivienne Westwood Helena is wearing every day for a year straight before I’d wear the dowdy, unflattering Versace Angelina is wearing even once. (Who ever thought “dowdy” and “Versace” would go together in the same sentence?)
Not all best/worst dressed lists are judgy sensationalist personality contests based more on who it’s cool to like and hate than actual fashion choices and design details — but most are. And I know “dowdy unflattering” sounds pretty judgy — because it is. Count me in the judgy ranks. But please make note, I judge clothes, not people. If Angie likes that dress, there’s no reason she shouldn’t wear it.
And I LOVE Helena for not giving a shit what anybody thinks and continuing to do it her way. Love it or hate it, people are at least engaged in whatever she’s wearing — and engaged is not bored.
2. Make everyone get down the red carpet doing something other than walking.
I just want to see Helen Mirren barrel-roll from the curb into the auditorium.
And you know you want to see that too.
1. Have Kanye West do the Red Carpet Interviews.
When you combine impeccable vanguard fashion sense with a tendency to talk out of turn and say things that offend people you get: The perfect fashion host!! Seriously, Academy, consider it. Let’s hear it for the ASSHOLES!!!!
Can’t you just imagine Kanye asking people how many Africans died for their Diamonds? Or snatching Ryan Seacrest’s mike out his hand on G.P.? And then afterwords he’d probably do something like compliment Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson on staying together so long in Hollywood, because he’s a romantic sweetheart like that.
Ok. I did my best. Academy, if the Red Carpet for the 83rd Oscars is as boring as ever, you have only yourselves to blame.