All year I have been waiting for a good red carpet to shake me out of my sweatshirt and “lounge pants” statement ensemble, and this Sunday, it seems the Oscars will present some semblance of fulfillment for this desperate yearning. Even if it’s like six people and my dreaded son Giuliana Rancic mewling over performances she clearly has not seen, I will take basically anything I can get. Spring is encroaching in New York and the other day I saw people actually wearing obviously designer clothes on the street, which means, for me at least, that it’s time to get back into the human outfit game, or at least attempt to put on some pants with a button. For inspo, and in anticipation of Jezebel’s Oscars red carpet coverage this Sunday, I have taken a peek back at some unexpected looks from Oscars past. Plus, stars are getting more into vintage couture for these types of events, so maybe we’ll get a chance to see how the nominees recycle. Every day is Earth day, my friends.
It’s really something you’ve got to ease into, so if this were the year to hit the carpet in your best approximation of jammies, a la Angelica Huston, Faye Dunaway, and Joan Rivers, it’s this one.
In 2005, Sylvia Miles, Arlene Dahl (with husband Marc Rosen), and Dame Joan Collins hit up an Oscars simulcast party in New York wearing sumptuous velvets and fur (and a fascinator! With shades!) that makes me wonder why we gave up heady textures at all. Please, when I am old enough to become a dame, swathe me in the finest polycotton velour and nothing else. Give me PATTERNS that invoke GOTHIC CHINTZ.
Well well well, here’s how Ms. Oscar showed up before the party in 2002, dressed in full hazmat but also cosplaying a very conceptual Santa Muerte. Steven Soderbergh, who is producing this year’s Oscars for the first time, told the Hollywood Reporter that masks are “going to play a very important part” in the ceremony this year; it would be lovely if they just kept them dressed in these sheets of plastic which, from afar, seem like haunted veils.
Say My Name
With early aughties nostalgia in full effect, these stunners could very well end up making a champion’s return this year or, at least, at September’s Met Gala. Bai Ling, in 2004, looks like the starting crackle of a July 4 fireworks gala, and Kimora Lee Simmons, also in 2004, is wearing the chiffon jawn she was born to flex in. In Y2K, at the beginning of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s ascendance, they thought it would be cute to dress as J.Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow. Not a huge fan of these two but this kind of irreverence is deeply missing from today’s carpets! At the very least, the Academy needs to invite more drag queens.
Do It to It
But it’s just like, if we’re going to start having fun again, it’s time to bring back the anything-goes attitude to the carpet. Melanie Griffith was not shy about flossing her cast in 2005, you know? Anne Jeffreys was like girl, you’re going to LOOK at this organza rose and you’re going to LIKE IT. And Meryl Streep and Grace Gummer, in 2000, were truly pioneering family-matching and also pattern-mixing. Let us pray that the 2021 Oscars get a little loose with it, for once. If there were ever a time, it’s freaking now.