4 In Style

My personal notes on last night’s Oscar show

The first words out of the first winner of the night, Robert Stromberg for Art Direction, were, “Why didn’t I lose those twenty pounds?” It garnered laughs and spoke to those of us regular folks in the TV watching audience. I remember getting on the scale one particular day, seeing a number that was higher than I’d seen before and thinking flippantly, “Well, at least I’m not going to be on Oprah this week.” And by the end of the week, The Oprah Winfrey Show was calling me about being on the show. When we filmed my appearance two weeks later, there were many more things to think about than my weight but I can say I know the feeling, Robert!

The second guy who got up to accept the second award – Wally Pfister for Cinematography – had his glasses perched on top of his head the whole journey to the podium. I’m thinking, “Why are they there? Please pull them off before you reach the stage. Or maybe he needs them to read his list of supporters who helped him get this award.” But when he got to the podium, he didn’t pull the glasses down, he just spoke and walked away—with the glasses still on top of his head, like he had just been welding a car part and had taken a break to accept this award. Note to nominees: if accepting an award, take glasses off head. Distracting.

Want to know what to wear if you have a long neck? A dress with a really tall collar like Melissa Leo had on when she accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress. That collar went on forever, as did her neck, as did her general hysterics at winning.

Helen Mirren wore a gown in this year’s most powerful, dreamy, scrumptious color – gray – and looked glorious as ever! She’s in the Lifetime Achievement category of Oscar fashion moments—always looking great.

Reese Witherspoon proves that black and white always looks right. I had a flashback to Julia Robert’s gown, the year she won for playing Erin Brockovich. Remember that black and white vintage Valentino gown? I think it’s in the Hall of Oscar Fashion Fame. Fab!

Nicole Kidman wore a spring trend—the choker! Hers wasn’t costume jewelry, I’m sure, but I bet there will be a lot of inexpensive versions out in the market place in the next five minutes!

Scarlett Johansson. Russ, sitting next to me, said it first –  “What’s up with the hair?” She’s been consistently wearing her hair in the heavy-on-product way that makes me reach for that term—bedhead – while scratching my own head. Why that choice, Scarlett?

Next shoulda, woulda, coulda statement: Luke Metheny, winner for Live Action Short Film got up and his first words were, “I should have gotten a haircut.” He was so charming, funny and sweet that I suspect most people gave him a pass on the out-of-control hair by the end of his acceptance speech – in which he thanked his mom … for providing catering services.

Oprah Winfrey presented the award for Best Documentary. Her makeup was sensational. Her hair was sensational. She was wearing a gown in that favorite color again – gray – and while I was redesigning it in my head, Russ was giving the reason why: “They should have toned down the boobs,” he said. Which actually was where my brain was only instead of toning down the boobs, in my mind I was exaggerating the shoulder line of the dress – making it bigger and wider – which would have toned down the boobs! The winner for best documentary, Charles Ferguson, wanted it on record: “Let the record show, I’m not wearing jeans.” Because you thought an award’s show that billions will view was the place to wear jeans?

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law brought some life to the Oscar party when they showed up to present. But I wanted to do two things: straighten Jude’s bow tie and button another button on Robert Downey Juniors jacket. He had the top button buttoned but then you saw his white shirt peeking out and it made the jacket look either too tight (like those twenty pounds the first guy talked about) or just ill-fitting. There are three buttons on most men’s jackets. The top two could have been buttoned and he’d have avoided a disheveled look.

Jennifer Hudson has lost eighty pounds thanks to Weight Watchers. Great job! And she’s been looking fabulous in everything … except for that red dress! She looked like an imposter of herself. I’ve seen images of her since her weight loss so that part wasn’t shocking to me, but that dress was a miss. You have to get the boobs right and hers were taped up into that dress but it added to how uncomfortable she looked in her body. I’d understand that her body is new to her but her handlers could have made a better choice, one that was more in keeping with her personality.

I was personally moved by the quote they put on the screen after the sequence on the movie people who have passed on this year. Lena Horne said, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” I had just reached the couch to watch the Oscars after having spent the weekend with my breast cancer support group – we all met while going through treatment together about seven years ago and we were enjoying this weekend away at Sea Ranch. That quote of Lena’s was on my bulletin board while I was going through treatment. What it meant to me at the time was that the load of going through cancer treatment wouldn’t break me down if I carried it right – and those ladies in my support group helped me do that. Thanks, Gorgeous Ones!

In my notes, Annette Bening, a presenter and a nominee gets the best-dressed award for old school movie star glamour. She was in an Oscar worthy gown, so glistening, so great! Kathryn Bigelow, the winning director from last year, gets my award for new school gown. She wore a long red gown with long-sleeves, kind of architectural with shoulder slit peepholes. It was very modern but not goofy. The person who was in the what-school-would-that-be-anyway category was past winner, Cate Blanchett. Odd dress!

Sandra Bullock redeemed herself after her odd Golden Globe hair and getup in January. She’s back to looking like the movie star Sandra in her gorgeous red gown with hair pulled back.

And the person I was expecting to give us the outfit most likely to be talked about on Monday—Helena Bonham Carter—was actually quite toned down for her.

So, what were your favorites? Who was closest to wearing a dress you could see yourself in?

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Mandy Moore’s tulle gown with sparkles and in same blush mode, Hailee Steinfeld’s “age-appropriate” tea-length Marchesa designed with Hailee’s input were both youthful poetry. Gwyneth Paltrow’s metallic Calvin Klein dress and Sandra Bullock’s red Vera Wang gown beautifully showcased their individuality. Wish more over-50 Divas were featured, Helen Mirren’s Vivienne Westwood gown color was smokin’ yet missed seeing actors such as Julliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas and Meryl Streep to tune-in on juicy tomato fashions. Red was my favorite, most wearable trend and Selena Gomez sported a lovely Dolce & Gabbana red gown that even I could wear.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Not technically Oscar night fashion since this statuette dress appeared the next day on Oprah’s Oscar tribute show. Katy Perry was a firework in a gorgeous, deep gold metallic dress that was very red carpet worthy.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Kate Blanchett was actually my favorite, followed by Amy Adams, with her rich jeweled toned dress that looked fab with her red hair. Gwyneth Paltrow is such as Calvin Klein icon for me and she looked charming and at ease in his dress.

  • Reply
    March 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Halle Berry – perfection.

    Haillee Steinfeld – gives me hope for the future. 🙂

    Natalie Portman – great color against her hair & skin.

  • Leave a Reply