Academy Awards 101

Ready, set, yawn.

The highly anticipated and widely panned 88th academy awards begins in about an hour.

But really, who even cares? it's been a giant fashion snore-fest for the past several years, with one or two standouts - simply because they're the only choices that aren't red ball gowns, metallic columns or Marchesa. 

My ambivalent predictions are as follows: 

I predict hideous high-low hems,  many rogue legs and metallic/nude columns. There will be and overwhelming stink of pageant gowns, Versace and the color blue. I will spent the next 6 hours biting my nails and clinging to a sliver of hope that someone will wear chartreuse or Elsa Schiparelli.

Try this at home kids. Every time you see a strapless ball gown - drink.

Sternum Watch 2014 con't - Met Gala

As usual, with unwashed hair and garbed in tattered denim, an American Apparel hoody and with no authority whatsoever I have the audacity to vomit out my picks and pans at this years Met Gala. The theme was something vague and everyone stuck to it expertly.

The Met Gala is a who’s who of  who’s wearing what.  From underwhelming, to inappropriate and back again the night was highly entertaining, even when viewed from across the continent and 12 hours after it took place.

The Trends: Sternums, slits, sheer skirts, side boob and exposed midriffs.  

The Worst:  

Rosamund Pike – horrific. That is all.  Sandra Lee (who?) wore a cross between Kim Basinger’s 1990 Oscar atrocity and a little girl’s dream come true.  The winner of my Terrible Choice Award was Lena Dunham. Seeing Giambattista Valli look god-awful was a first for me. Dunham looked dreadful in a dress that was so wholly unflattering, that when she took her shoes off it almost looked better.

The Misguided:

In a dress that belonged on a (albeit stylish) flight attendant in the mid 60’s , Michelle Williams looked meek and ineffectual as usual.  More than the dress I think it’s that feeble tight-lipped grin of hers that says, “You have to like me because I’m average – I’m just like you.” She could be stark naked and I’d still be yawning.

While we’re on the subject of total boredom, lets discuss the most overrated couple of 2014. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West smacked of averageness, wearing similar expressions reading as “we’re going through the motions” Kim had a not at all surprising strapless, slit-up-to-there navy dress designed by Who Cares while Kanye, looked adequate.  In my highly unprofessional opinion, I think it’s over between them. I think Kanye will be lucky if he makes it to the alter before he goes the way of Chris Humphries. Really, was it worth having a baby with a publicity stunt? That goes for both of you.

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. We get it. You’re twins.  Wearing gorgeous gowns that would have looked better on anyone but them, their complimentary choices looked like they were 12 cats away from living in a derelict Georgian mansion. I imagine this is the type of outfit they’d live out their days in mourning should the other one die first. 

The Best:

In clashing pink separates, Emma Stone although harnessing three of the evening’s trends (mid riff , side boob and slit) looked effortlessly lovely. Her hair was only so so, but far better than the other unfortunate women who erred on the side of “bed head”. I’m talking to you Chloe Sevigny.

Lastly, besides being exceedingly thin, Kate Bosworth looked superb. Wearing a salmon slip dress with delicate and strategic slices across her rib cage, the ensemble embodied everything that’s good about simplicity.  Stella McCartney did it again. And then again on Cara Delavigne and then one more time on Rihanna.

Honorable mention:

Nice to see Andre Leon Tally in clothes that fit and not a parachute.

The end.

related article: Sternum watch 2014

Sternum Watch 2014

Just like Christmas, the Oscars involve a lot of hype, huge let-downs and loads of shiny stuff. Within the first 30 seconds the 86th Academy Awards were off to a significantly better start than the past two years. Ellen DeGeneres was a regular WC Fields in comparison to previous years hosts. Besides, Who doesn't love Ellen? 

The programming was slow, the musical numbers except for one were snores and the montages were only so-so. Ellen's pizza bit was moderately humorous, but she should have stuck to half the material. The a-list selfie that quite literally crashed Twitter was genius. And by genius I mean the genius of Samsung's marketing team. Ellen however pulled it off flawlessly. Even stoic Angelina Jolie hammed it up for the camera. Kevin Spacey out photo-bombed everyone. Whether he's referencing John Stamos and "Full House of Cards" or paying for pizza, the man is dignity, style and comedy personified.  

Kevin Spacey is just so damn debonair and I think I'm safe in saying he was the evening’s best-dressed man (honorable mention: Christophe Waltz). Having said that, Jordan Catalano is however a beautiful looking human. So beautiful in fact, that he bears a striking resemblance to a un-collagened Courtney Cox (circa 1990-ish). I think Jared Leto got a lot of attention last night simply because everyone was thrilled to see that he wasn’t wearing a man-bun.

photo 3.JPG

Laughing in the face of tradition, The Style Star of Oscar was Pharrell Williams. Whether in short pants standing next to his lengthy wife, in ruby sneakers or wearing his now signature paper bag hat, the ageless musician remains eternally cool. His song was hands down the best. Too bad Randy Newman won again for Disney. Wait . . . . what?

I apparently missed the subtlety of  Pharell’s sparkly trainers and a corseted Whoopie Goldberg hobbling on stage in crimson, jewel-encrusted platforms. Turns out it was the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. It wasn't until Pink appeared in front of a tornado wearing a red sequinned gown that I clued into the fact. The theme was rather weak in comparison to last years Bond nod. All of a sudden Liza Minnelli’s presence made a lot more sense. “Good job Sir.”

Really, the less said about the musical performances the better. Apart from Happy and maybe the Moon Song (which was at least well sung) the performances were average at best. And the tributes by Bette Midler and Pink were downright awful.

Speaking of music. I’ve never been a fan of U2 and maybe now even less so. They kick of the Predictions and Predictability section of my Oscar re-cap. Under the heading “enough already” sit; yawn inducing strapless gowns, Jack Nicholson chewing gum and U2. If Samuel L Jackson can leave his Kangol hat at home, Bono can dispense with the tinted glasses and The Edge can expose his scalp.

Predictions and Predictability

  1. Ear cuffs - Emma Watson and Lupita Nyong’o - honestly I thought there would be more. Tune in to the 87th Academy Awards.
  2. Cape - Kate Hudson and Camilla Alvez - Once again, I thought there would be more. See above.
  3. Color Blocking - No one. I was dead wrong on this.
  4. Carryovers from 2013 - I was 98% right.
  • Sternum - Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts (the demure age-appropriate version) Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson, Pink, Julie Delpy and Karen O.
  • Exposed leg - Rocsi Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Kerry Washington, Nancy O’Dell
  • Emerald earrings - June Squibb, but she was the only one. 

General Observations -The Good the Bad and the God Awful.

Anna Kendrick picked up where Zoe Saldana left off last year. Throwing all kinds of trends on at once: exposed leg, exposed midriff -ish, exposed back, sheer detailing, confused neckline. Separately these trends may have has a fighting chance.

There were MANY instances of Bordering on Bridal : Kristen Bell, Giuliana Rancic, and Tara Lipinski* to name a handful - There’s a way to do white at the Oscars and they should’ve asked Portia De Rossi what that way was. She was wearing an intricate Moorish inspired cut-out gown by Saint Laurent. Just lovely. Maybe the loveliest of the evening.

varying degrees of successful nude dresses. From left to right and from meh to heck yes!

varying degrees of successful nude dresses. From left to right and from meh to heck yes!

Overall there was a significant amount of nude and/or sheer enhanced by sparkly bits. Notably: Cate Blanchette, Not notably: Angelina Jolie (poor choice for one with broad shoulders + huge rack) As usual the red carpet proved that there was no shortage of unimaginative strapless gowns ie: Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Viola Davis and jennifer Lawrence - who incidentally wore a backwards necklace again and “endearingly” tripped over something for the second year in a row. I’m buying this dorky girl next door act less and less.

Lupita Nyong’o managed to be every bit as charming as 2013's Jennifer Lawrence and still managed to come off as genuine. Her acceptance speech was delightful - best of the night. And Benedict Cumberbatch agreed by way of bawling his eyes out in the audience.

In Memorium

I love old movies, mainly musicals and mainly from the 50’s and 60’s. There were A LOT of deaths this year. I prepared myself for the worst - Peter O’Toole, Shirley Temple AND Esther Williams. COME ON! Childhood favorites. Zilch. Not a tear. I don’t know if it was the montage or what? Some would say it was my cold little black heart, but the fact remains: I felt nothing when Lawrence of Arabia flashed across the screen. I suppose the producers felt the same nothing and called Bette Midler in at the 11th hour to warble through Wind Beneath my Wings. You have got to be kidding me?  It was bloody awful and not-so shockingly, still not a tear in sight. A group of us were sitting quietly watching in disbelief. I wondered out loud, “Why is she flapping her arms?” Boyfriend answered: “Because people died Zenija.”

kim novak - before and way after - why do women do this?

kim novak - before and way after - why do women do this?

What was far sadder than the death montage was Kim Novak - whom I recognized immediately. But I didn’t know where from? There was something distinctly familiar about her (cheekbones, eyebrows)? Obviously there was an enormous amount of plastic surgery that wasn’t helping to jog my memory. But I narrowed it down to a 1960’s star and was on the right track when Twitter helpfully spilled the beans. There’s A LOT I want to say about this. But I’ll leave it at a melancholy sigh.

Until next year. 

*side note: how is Tara Lipinski a fashion critic? What did I miss, besides the wedding? 

Related articles/clips:

Predictions & predictability?

My hunches re: what's going to saunter, stumble and slither down the red-carpet at tonights Academy Awards.

  1. multiple earrings and/or opulent ear-embellished jewellery 
  2. capes - or cape-ish things
  3. color blocking 
  4. recurrence of last years trends c/o "the bandwagon" 
  • sternum circa 2013
  • leg circa 2012
  • emerald drop earrings circa 2011

Related Articles:


Blobs vs. Heels

As with Crocs, (gagging*) Tevas and the like serve a purpose. That purpose is to be hidden in nature and used on slippery rocky terrain. I maintain that these visually loathsome footwear choices are unnecessary in urban settings. Case in point - last weekend: Walking uphill, I overtook two women (roughly my age) wearing generic rubbery tready blobby things on their feet while I was wearing heels and a pacemaker. And there you have it.

The Defence rests.

Not Tevas.

Not Tevas.