Last weekend, there was an annual ritual. A parade of stars walked out on a red carpet in Beverley Hills, California, and the cameras flashed and whizzed and whirred.
A couple of years ago, I started a tradition, just for fun. I compiled a photo album on Facebook of these gorgeous, famous people in their designer gowns. One by one. Flirting, floating, posing. And the idea somehow caught on. Now, FB friends remind me that a special event is coming up, so I can be ready with my right-clicks to set up the album. They are already asking when the next session will be. That would be the Oscars on February 24, by the way…
Recently, it was the Golden Globes. As usual, my friends (male and female, near and far) kicked in with their comments and discussions. Some of them came back for a second look. They expect me (the total non-fashion expert) to comment on each one, too. The other night, I was so busy updating my album I hardly had time to see who actually won awards (I hear Mr. Affleck did well).
The commentary was delicious. My fellow fashion police (some wannabes, like me; some actually serious) dissected each gown. Sometimes we were coldly dismissive (“bleh…Another of those washed-out ones” for Maria Menounos). Indeed, we were, at times, clinically brutal (“Remind me to take a picture of my curtains. They look almost the same” for Jackie Weaver‘s green gown). To me, Nicole Kidman’s black dress made her look like a skyscraper. “This dress could use one less rose bush,” said a Jamaican Facebooker on the topic of Lucy Liu’s Carolina Herrera dress, which had the effect of a flowery porcelain figurine.
Like any critic worth his/her salt, we were reluctant to give “tens” to any gowns. There is no such thing as perfection.
The serious commentators would go into quite a bit of technical detail: “I would have loved if this was just a straight skirt at the bottom, no flaps, no slits. It would have been sexy-classy, not slide to the side upscale geisha-hookery,” was one comment on Katharine McPhee‘s little black number (still a bit snarky, though). “Up-sweep and eye makeup fitting for this elegant splash of coral!” was the thumbs-up verdict on Jennifer Lawrence’s Dior Haute Couture. I am afraid I am not expert at all. In fact, dresses that I really liked (Marion Cotillard’s and Jessica Chastain’s, for example) were given the thumbs down by many of my c0-conspirators. Sniff.
There were many off-hand remarks: “Matronly” was not a compliment. One dress was likened to “shower curtains.” An English friend commented casually on another, “Could do with a bra on.” Several gowns would have looked good in a bridal catalog, we decided. And we all got fed up with the “nude” color.
Kerry Washington‘s gown came in the latter, disappointing category. We had hoped for better… As for poor Helena Bonham Carter, we tried to be nice, but… The comments got off to a bad start with: “Did she have sex in the bathroom before taking this pic?” With her customary disheveled hairdo, she did indeed look as if she had been dragged through a hedge backwards (one of my grandmother’s expressions). Oops… There I go again!
There was heated debate – perhaps not surprisingly – over two established sex-kittens, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez. The comments came in thick and fast – many of them thinly-veiled expressions of bitchiness. And of course, we weren’t just commenting on the frocks, here – but on the persona (personae?) of the ladies concerned.
Although, in general, my male critics were much kinder than the female ones, even one of the men noted on Ms. Berry’s dramatic, slightly chaotic Atelier Versace dress: “I had to tweet and ask if she had her left breast removed…” J-Lo (37 comments to date) went for a nude/lacy figure-hugging number by Zuhair Murad. After a flood of side-swiping remarks, a Jamaican (female) friend conceded: ”The men of the world need the JLos and Kim Kardashians, so I must not be too hard on her.”
Poor dear men of the world. They do need their eye-candy, don’t they? But conversely, the ladies seemed less than enthusiastic about the male stars who were also, of course, parading. None of them appeared hot, it seems. In fact, we even accused the utterly glamorous George Clooney of looking “old”! Not good. And we discussed whether the afore-mentioned Ben was adjusting his underwear, in one photo…
Of course, this is all sheer escapism. Utter trivia. We know this is not the real world. At least, not real to us mere mortals. And we all know the world out there is harsh, cruel. The Onion makes this point in the link below. While we are delighting in a Versace gown, children in Syria are cowering in fear as bombs fall, and screaming with pain in hospitals.
But allow us a little escape, won’t you? Won’t you? It’s called entertainment.
The Six Best Dresses at the Golden Globes: The Onion
Something like 0.0086 percent of the world is famous: The Atlantic
The Highs and The Lows From Last Night Golden Globes (stylebyladyg.com)
- 70th Golden Globes: Best & Worst Dressed (thefashionmedley.com)
I just did a quick survey, and this was the verdict of the Facebook Fashionistas for the Golden Globes:
FAVE RAVES (probably 9 out of 10; like I said, we don’t give out “tens”):
Julianne Hough in Monique Lhuillier;
Ariel Winter in Valentino;
Megan Fox in Dolce & Gabbana;
Naomi Watts in Zac Posen;
Sally Field in Alberta Ferretti;
Heidi Klum in Alexandre Vauthier;
Taylor Swift in Donna Karan.
ABSOLUTELY GHASTLY (these were pretty unanimous):
Louise Roe in Femmes d’Armes;
Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen;
Jacki Weaver in Pamella Roland;
Joe Champa in “a set of curtains”;
TV personalities Giuliana Rancic (“an anorexic apparition from hair to carpet”) and Shaun Robinson (“my Dominican friend would call this a blood sausage since he would not be able to find any kind of waistline”).
If you would like to join in the fun, just visit my Facebook page on February 24 as the red carpet is rolled out for the Oscars! A good time will be had by all!