By Deborah Nelson and Melissa Michaels
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 2/25/08 — Alert the fashion police because there were several felonies committed last night at the Oscars. Impersonating red carpet evening wear was what we think is Conan O’Brian lookalike Tilda Swinton’s velvet muumuu, Jan Archibald’s set of burgundy drapes, Cynthia Wade’s Battle star Galactic uniform, Elton John’s spiky wig that looked like a sea urchin, Amy Adam s breast cones stolen from Madonna’s old closet, and Jennifer Hudson’s terrifying attempt to put round curves into a straight dress.
Best actor Daniel Day-Lewis really did wear brown shoes with a tuxedo, but wait, it gets better — his wife Rebecca Miller wore red bows with a black prom gown and Italian tablecloth checked shoes. No wonder Day-Lewis is so mean in “There Will Be Blood.” You’d have veins popping out of your head too.
Here’s the real crime. These people are blowing it even though they get free $20,000 designer gowns personally delivered by Donatella Versace. Giorgio Armani flies in from Italy to make sure every ruffle is fluffed. Valentino would pull a blade on Vera Wang if she got near you and you were a nominee or presenter at the Academy Awards.
Maybe they can blame the stylists.
Choosing the right gown for the red carpet performance, which features a woman’s coloring, figure, hair, jewelry, shoes, and personality, is a production in its own right.
For example, Tilda Swinton’s black velvet Muumuu loses its intended formal elegance on the tall, lanky, super-model body. Black velvet should hug, not bag nor hang. And the color black on the red- haired Amazon woman does her coloring no favors, either! In fact, she should have swapped gowns with Jennifer Hudson, our number one “worst-dressed” pick for Oscar 2008. How stunning she might have looked in that gown.
And how unflattering was the thinly veiled white empire backless dress on Jennifer Hudson presenting her strong passionate, personality, and curvatiousness in the worst possible way! Miss Hudson is too busty to make this design shine; and her strong back, curves, and features would be better enhanced with a thick, strong, dark, and dramatic fabric; such as the black velvet Swinton got lost in; or even the dramatic burgundy gown of Jan Archibald.
And Archibald who won for best make-up, also made our worst-dressed list with her bordello burgundy satin arm valences draped from her arms, which could have doubled as a pair of drapes, in color, texture, and effect! A gown should frame its wearer’s features, shape, and coloring—not make a statement its own.
And what was up Cynthia Wade in her space suit-dress? This shiny, silver, stretchy, slick number looked like she was uniformed to board the Battlestar Galactica off to conquer the universe.
Perhaps there was a horrible wardrobe malfunction in the dressing room. They got each other’s gowns. Imagine the waif-like super model shaped Swinton wearing Hudson’s white empire with its sleek, hanging, feminine details, to underscore her striking red hair and lovely pinkish skin, while displaying her long lanky back. Picture Jennifer Hudson carrying off the larger-than-life royal burgundy draping of Archibald’s gown in all of its dramatic splendor; and envision Archibald’s striking features setting the stage for the sleek silver number worn by Cynthia Wade. For Wade, rather than being overcome by the bordello curtain-gown, we see her delivering the ultimate in formal elegance to the stunning black velvet gown that was actually worn by Swinton.