Oscar fashion: Better safe than sorry

Ho-hum

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The 85TH Academy Awards yielded a bumper crop of predictable styles: minimal makeup and jewelry, flattering black and white, red and a few cool pastels.

It was a sea of strapless, tastefully full-on beaded ensembles, slim sheaths or voluminous ball gowns with trains that ended in wardrobe malfunctions like the Dior bridal gown worn by Jennifer Lawrence.

Codependent

To be queen of the scene, a star has a codependent—the stylist who wields the greatest power when it comes to big galas like the Oscars, Golden Globes and the SAG. The stylists, however, played it too safe this year; the mantra seemed to be—better to be safe than sorry and end up in the Worst Dressed List the next day.

So the fashion parade last Monday night was simplified to a working template: Keep it smart and streamlined, no conspicuous dangling earrings and statement necklaces that could steal attention away from the bare makeup and upswept hair. Big, wavy hair a la Veronica Lake or smart and short, like Charlize Theron’s crew cut, was the winning formula.

Sneakers with Valentino

As far as accessories went, big diamond bracelets from Harry Winston, satin clutches and evening envelope bags with big cocktail rings, and comfortable evening slingbacks were the mainstays. I loved that Sally Field wore sneakers under her Valentino.

Gone are the days of astonishing red-carpet entrances, when actresses had a say or input like when Julia Roberts wore vintage Valentino, now an iconic gown. Sandra Bullock, it must be said, chooses well every year. Or, look at Jennifer Aniston, who will never wear her hair up.

Stylists today appear to be a nervous lot, staying in the frontlines by dressing up celebs in cookie-cutter operation. Saving face and not rocking the boat, in effect. So, it is like evoking the glamour of Old Hollywood but ending up looking like a bad photocopy—banal, boring and unseductive.

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