The Oscars: It’s All About Fashion, Not Films

Style keeps stealing the show at the Academy Awards. Here are last night's winners in our favorite categories.

The media this morning is focused on what everyone wore to the Oscars last night — not who won. No one cares anymore, or can even remember.
The Academy Awards used to start when the host was introduced and the first Oscar was presented. Now the show begins 90 minutes beforehand outside the theater, with the red-carpet arrival of the stars.

First out of a limo at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood last night was Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain, wearing copper beaded Armani Privé and Harry Winston jewels. (She was also on the cover of The New York Times Sunday Styles section the morning of the awards show, hailed as fashion’s favorite clothes hanger.)
Over the last decade the Oscars have become more about fashion — who’s wearing what and by whom — than it is about film. Maybe they should just call it The Oscar de la Renta Show.

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Not so long ago, the stars — be they presenters or nominees — dressed themselves. The results could be gaudy, but hardly boring. That’s because their clothes defined their personalities: Think of Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, who were fabulously tacky, or Diane Keaton, who always showed up as Annie Hall. They were what they wore.
You could always count on at least one star to provide the shock factor, like Cher, who in 1986 came looking as if she stepped out of an S&M Kiss video, or Bjork, who in 2001 showed up dressed as a swan, with an egg for her purse.
That would never happen today.
Each movie goddess who walked the red carpet last night looked positively glamorous — if not elegant — in her costly designer threads. There were no egregious fashion mistakes. No worst-dressed lists need be compiled. But not one celebrity looked very distinctive, either. When Charlize Theron — looking drop-dead perfect — was interviewed on the red carpet, she gave a shout-out to her stylist and her hair and makeup team.

Yep, that's all it's about in today's Hollywood: looking hot.

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The time has come to bring the Oscars into the 21st century by replacing most of the current categories with more appropriate ones, like Best Coiffed and Best Put-Together. Here then is a list of more relevant awards — and last night’s winners.
The envelopes please …
Best Red Carpet Twirl Amy Adams, in gray Oscar de la Renta.
Best Red Carpet Strut Charlize Theron, in white Christian Dior.
Best Over-the-Shoulder Pose Zoe Saldana, in white, gray and black Alexis Mabille.
Best Va-Va-Voom Reese Witherspoon, in cobalt Louis Vuitton.
Best Paparazzi Wave Anne Hathaway, in pink Prada.
Best Supporting Bra Naomi Watts, in silver Armani Privé.
Best Wore It Before Helena Bonham Carter, in black- and white-layered Vivienne Westwood.
Best Bargain Helen Hunt, in indigo H&M.
Best Arm Candy Stacy Keibler (escorted by George Clooney).
Best Hair (Female) Charlize Theron (a la Kim Novak in Vertigo).

Best Hair (Male) Bradley Cooper (wavy enough for surfing).
Best Hair Toss Nicole Kidman. 
Best Baldy Jamie Foxx.
Best Bling (Bought or Borrowed) Jennifer Garner.
Best Baby Bump Jenna Dewan-Tatum, escorted by husband Channing Tatum. (Surprisingly little competition this year.)
Best Purse or Handbag Quvenzhané Willis.
Best Lipstick Adele.
Best Bangs Michele Obama.
Best Two-Day Shadow Keith Urban.
Best Two-Week Shadow Bradley Cooper.
Best Botox (Male) William Shatner.
Best Botox (Female) Barbra Streisand.
Best Special Effects John Travolta.
Best Bod Jane Fonda, in yellow Versace — and 75 years old!
Best Foreign Bod Hugh Jackman.
Best Short Subject Dustin Hoffman, presenting alongside Charlize Theron.
Best Loser Face (Actor) Joaquin Phoenix.
Best Loser Face (Actress) Jessica Chastain.
Best Recovery: Jennifer Lawrence (after tripping on the stairs to the stage in her pale pink strapless Dior).
And finally, the last and biggest award of the evening:
The Best George Clooney (Or as Audrey Hepburn said to Cary Grant in Charade, "You know what's wrong with you? Nothing!").


John Stark
By John Stark
John Stark is a veteran writer, editor and journalist who lives in Palm Springs, California. He can be reached at [email protected]

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