Sunday, February 20, 2011

And the Losers Were...

While the award winners are at the core of next week's Academy Awards celebration, the red carpet fashions always run a close second. Much will be written, photographed, critiqued (and knocked off the day after) about Hollywood's version of fashion week. One thing continues to puzzle me -- with all the loaned jewelry, couture dresses and stylists available, why are there so many disasters and missteps? To paraphrase Sanford Blatch in an old Sex and the City episode, "it's fashion roadkill."

Here is a walk down memory lane to some of the most controversial appearances on the red carpet. And it begs the question, what were they thinking?

Barbara Streisand wore this "at first glance it's conservative but on second look it's see-through" number when she accepted her 1969 Best Actress award for Funny Girl. As it often happens in these cases, the outfit gets as much coverage as the win! Arnold Scassi was the designer.

Cher is a perennial favorite on the worst dressed list and perhaps she likes it that way. One thing is for sure -- she will always be covered in the press. According to the LA Times, Cher wore this Bob Mackie number in protest of the Oscar dress code. Her ostrich-feather headdress reportedly weighed 50 pounds.

John Galliano of Dior designed this backwards tuxedo suit for Celine Dion in 1999. Sadly this was not interesting from the front or the back but certainly drew attention.

Christian Lacroix concocted this gown for Uma Thurman and it does nothing for her whatsoever. It appears to be a combination toga/shirtdress/mess.

Lara Flynn Boyle was skewered by the fashion critics for her pre-Black Swan ballerina ensemble.

Kim Basinger wore this homemade frock at the 1990's show. The white satin gown had cryptic lettering down the arm of the sleeve that was no doubt influenced by Prince (who was her boyfriend at the time).

Gena Davis often lands on worst dressed lists and 1992 could not have been a worst time to be singled out as she was nominated for Best Actress for Thelma and Loiuse.

Angelina Jolie took her cues from the Addams Family's Morticia in 2000 and went total Goth in this Versace gown. She took home the Oscar for Girl, Interrupted.

In terms of sheer originality, I actually rather liked this dress worn by Lizzie Gardner that was made of gold American Express Cards.  Gardner is a costume designer and won for her work in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1990. Amex used the photo in their ads with the tagline "You Only Need One in Your Wallet."

And last but not least, singer Bjork in yet another ballerina got bad look. At least the bird wasn't real. Enough said.

More to report next week as we hear the phrases "You look amazing" and "Who are you wearing"ad nauseum!


  1. I actually love all these looks. So much more exciting than whoever lands on the best dressed.

    Fingers crossed Helena Bonham Carter arrives in an outift equal to her golden globes attire!

  2. I thought Lizzie Gardner's dress worked for that particular occassion. Otherwise, my preference, for men as well as women, is for Classic Hollywood style for the Oscar red carpet, giving it the respect it deserves.

  3. I thought the Amex card dress was very clever! Sometimes I wonder if these stylists secretly hate the women they are dressing:)

  4. Cathy, thank you for this walk down the "red carpet" of memory lane!

  5. I remember almost all of them! Horrible! Can't wait to see what's coming Sunday night!

  6. This is Hollywood and the fashion industry's Super Bowl Sunday! Always the best weekend of the year and will be interesting to see who wears what.