After a Fashion

Our Style Avatar goes to Hollywood (well, via his TV set!) and reports, Oscar style!

THE DRESS REPORT Well, everyone looked very nice at the Oscars -- it seemed to be a knockout year for hair. Joan Allen gets my vote for the best all-over look: so perfectly done, regal in her Michael Kors gown and oozing glamour out of every pore. And her hair was fabulous, even though Hillary Swank tried the same hair and failed miserably. In fact, Hillary looked pretty bad all across the board -- her nude-colored Versace wasn't very flattering … and where, may I ask, did that bustline come from? Marcia Gay Harden looked incredibly beautiful in her Randolph Duke gown, with perfect starlet hair. Julia Roberts was suitably gorgeous for the occasion; her vintage Valentino was a very nice move, even if the dress was only vintage 1994 or so. But her hair was lovely, with its elaborate wrapped piecing in back. I do not think her performance in Erin Brockovich was the finest work of the year … just the best of her career, but that's not what the awards are for. Ellen Burstyn, on the other hand, was dressed to win, and probably should have. Such glamorous jewelry, dress, and hair: what a star, and a great actress. Catherine Zeta-Jones was every inch the glamorous lady: so soignee and sophisticated in her Versace. Juliette Binoche was a knockout in her Gaultier flapper dress and pearls. Ashley Judd also wore a flapper look -- by Armani. Her jewelry was incredible. Angelina Jolie looked like she had slept in her Dolce & Gabbana white linen suit: the same one Madonna wore to the Snatch premiere. Jennifer Lopez was luminous and luxe in her Chanel ballgown. Though it was hard to look at anything except her nipples, if you did happen to look up, she had on way too much self-tanner, and these peculiar inch-long pale brown eyelashes. She looked beautiful, anyway. Sigourney Weaver always pushes the fashion envelope … and usually just misses, I think. The edgy styles she chooses don't always work; her Galliano gown had some bias problems and caused unflattering drag lines from her bust to her hips, and whatever was going on below the knees was an unfortunate distraction. Kate Hudson was cute, looking like the spitting image of her mother 30 years ago. But the unfortunate Stella McCartney mantle, designed to look like a Victorian lampshade (and did), overwhelmed the dress, and looked like a costume from Almost Famous. Renee Zellweger -- excuse me, what are they trying to pull on us? She is the luckiest woman in Hollywood -- to have all that publicity, and so little to back it up. The minimally talented Renee is simply not that pretty -- and to be on the cover of Vogue, no less!

And Björk. I guess we have to talk about Björk. You know, I don't get Björk, even though many respectable people I know swear by her. That whiny, thin voice does nothing for me, and she seems like a novelty along the lines of Minnie Ripperton. And then that dress she wore to the Oscars -- that poultry-inspired confection that her "friend" made. Friends don't let friends wear poultry. Period. Remember, girls, when your "friend" says they want to make your dress for a special occasion, make sure your "friend" is Valentino or Galliano. I can appreciate the desire to present something out of the realm of the ordinary, but if you're going to dress really weird, make sure your outfit is perfectly done, with no room for derision. (Remember poor Eryka Badu and her green dress trimmed with raffia? For a woman who can be fabulous, she looked like a green mattress with its stuffing coming out.) This is also where Björk failed. Her hair was bad -- lank and stringy -- and I couldn't help but look at the swan's head wrapped around her neck, and kept thinking, "That thing is made of papîer maché, and not very well, either." Then she had all that nude-colored soufflé fabric studded with rhinestones: It needed to fit her body better, especially on the legs, in which it made her look like she was retaining gallons of water in her ankles. And that cheesy tulle skirt … I'm sure someone worked very hard on this outfit, and they should continue to work very, very hard. It was a textbook example of the dress wearing the person, instead of the other way around. Okay. I feel better now. Steve Martin looked great and emceed the show very nicely for a first-timer. He was hysterical when he said, "By the way, be sure to stay tuned for the whole show, because at the end of the night we are going to vote somebody out of show business." Let's vote Renee Zellweger!

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Oscars, Academy Awards, Hollywood, fashion, style, Joan Allen, Michael Kors, Hillary Swank, Versace, Marcia Gay Hardin, Randolph Duke, Julia Roberts, Valentino, Erin Brockovich, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Juliette Binoche, Gaultier, Ashley Judd, Armani

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