Here it is, a week since the red carpet was rolled out for the Oscars, and it seems the most discussed topics concerning this event, online and in print, are “The Worst and Best Dressed” of the night. Never mind the fact that the winner of this year’s Best Picture was a silent film (which I had predicted) and the other to sweep house that night was a cgi family film (for those of you unfamiliar with the Oscars, it’s not typical for such films to leave with their hands full.) Of course, the fashion bashing that follows is only expected, especially in egotistical American media. But it seems our expectations have heightened beyond whether or not an actress is decked out with all the bells and whistles that we’ve anticipate. After reading a recent post on Refinery29.com, a fashion blog I’m guilty of frequenting on a weekly (ok, daily) basis, shared their two cents, or what they would call “Our Beef with Red-Carpet Fashion.” But rather than stating their thoughts on the “best and worst dressed of the night,” like every other website (fashion, news, wellness, you name it,) they question “Whatever happened to Personal Style on the Red Carpet.” They stated their “beef” as:
Every year, we tune into the scars a full hour (or three) ahead of the curtain, just to watch what we think is the actual show: the red carpet arrivals. And every year, we hope for another Cher moment: that over-the-top, dripping-with-personality showcase of everything the actress (or actor) is all about when they’re not donning another persona — an opportunity to show the world their point of view when there’s no script to speak through. However, it’s been a long time since an Oscar red carpet look really bowled us over and left us with an ear-to-ear grin. We’re talking about the kind of sartorial choice that’s genuine and awesome and statement-making, whether it’s presented as a publicity stunt or not (yes, even egg vessels get our vote).
The complaint here seems to be that the majority of our actors aren’t exposing enough of who they are through what they wear. It seems unnecessary enough that we bash actors taste in fashion on a daily basis, but we have to complain that they’re outfits are not “dripping-with-personality” enough for us? What exactly would be defined as“personal style ?” It’s surely a topic I could dedicate a series of posts to, so I’ll keep it focused. When actors are just people, what makes us feel empowered to judge how they dress? And if “personal style” is personal, who are we to say who they are?
Like I said “personal style” has taken on a whole new meaning in the past decade, for reasons I love and reasons I hate. A reason I love - you can pretty much wear what you want (within reason) add clashing colors or print or just simply a plain and monochromatic choices are all welcomed. Reasons I hate - the idea that “who I am” or expressing my “point of view” to the world is summed up by my current ensemble. That is bizarre. No not like Haper’s Bazaar, but like Barnum and Bailey bizarre. How can we determine that much from an individual, through their layers of clothes? Granted, I adore the art of fashion, the simplicity and complexity of it all, but should it be so complex as to conveying to the world who an individual truly is? I’ll tackle that question another time.
Back to the actors who had to endure the Red Carpet of 2012: why do we hold such high standards for their choice of dress for this one night? According to Refinery29, With the best stylists, designers, and resources in the entire fashion world at their fingertips, the celebs on the red carpet should never resemble a parade of prom queens. But they should have more “personal style”? Honestly, if I were in the shoes of any nominee that night, sure, I’d be concerned with looking my best, sure, you bet I’d be checking out any Tom Ford or Louis Vuitton piece I could get my hands on, but I think I’d have a few other important things in mind than feeling my highest priority of the night was my need to “express myself” through a dress. They’re actors, for crying out loud. Oscar nominated actors. I don’t really think we should be the ones telling them how to express themselves, when they’re walking that red carpet because of how well they’ve expressed themselves.
Instead of being so critical of how these actors are dressed, why doesn’t everyone dress the way they feel they’re most “themselves” and let these actors be who they are. They’ve made it to the red carpet, after all. I don’t think they’re in need or looking for anyone’s sartorialist advice.