Shailene Woodley — who is earning rave reviews for her performance as George Clooney's daughter in The Descendants — took the unusual step (sorry, couldn't help it) of doing a photo-call at a Golden Globes after-party wearing a long black dress and those hideous "barefoot" running shoe contraptions your dad wears on vacation.

This launched the Telegraph into high dudgeon:

Safe to say that Woodley...was probably hoping that her cosy feet would go undetected beneath her ample hem. But the resulting snaps will serve as a harsh lesson early on in a budding career: Every move you make, every fashion mistake, we'll be watching you.

Scold-y! On the one hand, yes: Vibram Five Fingers are not appropriate footwear for a black tie event. Nor, I would argue, are toe shoes (this kind, not the sort used in ballet) appropriate for the supermarket, the airport, the library, the restaurant, or anywhere else that's not a running trail or a gym: nobody wants to see your creepy, articulated toes, hippies. Woodley would have done much better to switch to a comfortable pair of flats (and get her gown hemmed to match, because oy, that thing is dragging). Imagine how cute two little Ferragamo-style grosgrain bows would look poking out from the hem of that dress! Instead, it looks like her toes are shrinking back from the flashbulbs in shame. Woodley probably hoped the long dress would hide her feet, but it's a floor-length gown, not an invisibility cloak. And now everybody knows she's one of those toe-shoe people. Poor thing.

On the other hand? This is hardly scandalous. Woodley looked elegant in the Marchesa dress she wore to the ceremony, and the black dress she changed into for the after-party was similarly gorgeous (but also looks comfy). I'm sure that once she was inside, nobody was looking at her feet. And who among us cannot relate to that feeling of immense relief that accompanies changing into the emergency flats in your purse after a night of contending with gorgeous, but un-walkable, heels? As fashion faux pas go, this is pretty funny. The Telegraph's outraged tone — and its stalker-ish warning, "we'll be watching you" — is completely misplaced. Not to mention sadly indicative of the increasingly high standards of behavior, style, and deportment young actresses are expected to live up to, both in their (relentlessly documented) professional and personal lives. Actors should be allowed to fail on the red carpet. Especially young ones. They should be allowed to wear things that are weird, or unflattering, or that betray a preference for comfort, or show what someone older and more sensible might say is "too much" skin; making mistakes, so long as you learn from them, is a large part of developing your own taste. The alternative — awards show after awards show of generically flattering, stylist-selected blush-colored dresses and Louboutins — is almost too stultifying to contemplate.


Shailene Woodley Swaps Red Carpet Glamour For Sensible Shoes [Telegraph]