The Oscar nominations have been revealed which can only mean one thing: the countdown for the year’s biggest red carpet event is on. First and foremost, we’re delighted that Carey Mulligan and Helen Mirren are doing it for the Brits with their Best Actress nominations, but our main concern is whether they’ll be doing us proud in the style stakes, too... And what about the rest of the Hollywood heavy hitters? Obviously we’re expecting another round of fabulous dresses flouncing down the red carpet and striking a pose for a gazillion flashbulbs, but the question is how to get noticed and make an impact? We reckon high fashion is the way to go so we’ve complied a wish list of what we’d like to see come Oscar night. Will our prayers will be answered? Cross your fingers now peeps!
Wish 1: more pizzazz please!
Dear Carey Mulligan. Just so you know, we’re expecting to be blown away on Oscar night - by you. Us Brits are craving an element of daring and we reckon that you’re the perfect candidate to bring it. But no need to panic because we’ve just the thing for your Oscar debut, courtesy of Givenchy’s Couture collection. Described by our style director as a “feather-trimmed fantasy” that looks like a bouquet of giant pom-poms, this risk-taking ball gown is just the ticket for adding spice to the Oscars ritual. Plus, that vivid purple is the colour this awards season and the sequin sprinkled bodice is exceptional. Besides, it’s not often you get to flounce about in billowing organza. So, we really can’t imagine a more fitting piece - especially since you’re hailed as the new Audrey Hepburn, who was Hubert Givenchy’s muse, after all... Look, whatever you decide, you should be aware that we don’t care for the restrained gowns you’ve succumbed to. We want fun, frills and drama from Hollywood’s fresh faces. Thanks in advance.
Wish 2: less predictability please!
Remember the days when we were enchanted by the unique fashion choices of new Parisian actress on the block, Marion Cotillard? She arrived on planet fashion with a bang and beguiled us with fabulous fishtailed frocks and fanciful Chanel dresses complete with floaty wings. Sadly, those quirky days are behind us because as her star rose, so did the gown predictability. Take her recent red carpet outings as examples, if you will. The Golden Globes? A Christian Dior dress. The Critic’s Choice Awards? Erm, a Christian Dior dress. And what about last year’s Oscars, we hear you ask? Yep, another Christian Dior dress. Hmph. Ok so she’s the face of Lady Dior and yeah, it’s great to stay true to the Frenchies, and we do appreciate that the fashion house churns out some real stunners, but couldn’t she mix it up just a notch? We’re not expecting Gaga-eccentricity but may we suggest something a little more...out there? With the fashion world at her feet, we’re sure Marion has oodles of choice come the big night but seeing as it was Jean Paul Gaultier’s experimental design that caught our attention two years ago, we reckon one of his latest Couture creations would go down a storm. We have our eyes on this warrior-like frock, par exemple. The intricately woven structure would ensure she stands out among the rest of the chiffon-draped A-listers and we all know that khaki is the cool colour of the moment... Go on M-Co, we know you have it in you.
Wish 3: more colour please!
When you think of Penelope Cruz, you think glamourous, sultry, sophisticated. You do not think bland, boring and monochromatic, right? So what the blazes has happened to her sartorial steps this award’s season? One word springs to mind: underwhelming. She may be a Spanish senorita and boy, is she beautiful, but going back to black (and back, and back again) is getting a tad repetitive. It’s time to be blown away by a splash of vibrancy because there’s really no excuse for any more dress déjà vu. All she’d need is this romantic Elie Saab Couture gown which we just love. Love the pale pastel tone, the elegant draping, the sexy slit showing a lace underlay… In fact, what’s not to like? Although sunshine yellow is tough to pull off (as Anna Kendrick proved at the Baftas), La Cruz’s bronzed skin and contrasting dark locks would make it a doddle. And so henceforth we’re praying to the gods of style that Pen pulls it out of the bag.
Wish 4: more youthful please!
It’s no secret that we adore Maggie Gyllenhaal’s avant-garde sense of style but at her last Oscar outing in 2007, she looked rather dull with a dose of dowdy, and we feel she deserves better. Yes, the inky-blue hue and asymmetric detail on her Proenza Schoulder gown was quite charming but 2010 is the time to take a fashion risk. The actress, who’s been nominated for her role in Crazy Heart, has often hinted at her sartorial edge but now it’s time to go the whole hog and embrace futuristic fashion. To help her along, we’ve found this enchanting Couture piece by Armani Prive. It has all the elements of a youthful delight - hi tech fabric, sculpted fullness, exposed shoulders - and the space age vibe would really drag Maggie from Frumpsvilles with a big dose of modernism. Basically, we want to be wow-ing, not yawning come Oscar day. Please make it happen, Mags.
Wish 5: more frou frou please!
Ms Kidman, don’t you even THINK about wearing another floor-sweeping black frock. While the rest of the fash pack are glamming it up in breath-taking gowns, surely you don’t want to be the elephant in the room with yet another mature (read boring) choice? Let’s investigate with exhibit A: the playing-it-safe Prada gown she wore to last week’s Grammy awards. And if we cast our minds back to 2008’s Oscar ceremony, we have exhibit B: a near identical dress (above). It’s plain, it’s hemmed awkwardly, it’s making us fall asleep. Now Nicole is many things, but bland is not supposed to be one of them (come on, she played an exotic courtesan in Moulin Rouge for heaven’s sake!). So we suggest she gives John Galliano a dial and bags one of his fantastically frothy Couture designs. Easy. This heavy silk satin gown would perfectly flaunt the star’s feminine wiles, the enormous bustle creates such a curvilicious shape and her pale complexion would perfectly compliment the sumptuous raspberry tone. And we promise to let her off if she leaves the gloves at home. Oh go on Nic, be bold again and bring back some va va voom.
by Jessica Vince