Tag Archives: Academy Awards

And the Oscar Goes To…

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Did you watch the Academy Awards?  I did.  Starting with the red carpet at 7pm because, let’s face it; the main reason to watch the Oscars is to see what everyone is wearing and how they look.  I thought this year was especially attractive.  There weren’t, in my opinion, any real disasters as in years past (Cher, Bjork, Celine Dion – the backwards suit, come to mind).  In fact I thought it was a display of considerable class and restraint.  Simple, yet elegant, nothing to outré.  Of course, quite a few fashionistas were absent.  I didn’t see Nicole Kidman or Renee Zellweger.  I missed J. Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow.  No Johnny Depp, who can usually be counted on to not only look weird, but as if he hasn’t bathed in a week.  Too harsh?

Yes, I thought over all, the celebs were well turned out and if you tuned in you were treated to some very bee-yoooo-teeee-ful looks.  I’m gratified that the younger among our movie stars are showing some taste and sensibility.  It’s encouraging.  Not so true of the older set.  Why is it, when some film stars get to a certain age (or uncertain, as they would no doubt prefer) they forget how to appear in front of a camera?  Or maybe they just don’t care.  Hard to tell.  Why is it some insist on hanging on to a look they should have given up back when Johnny Carson was host?  Plastic surgery can only do so much.  Now I’m not saying that every face lift is a bad lift.  I think one can have work done and still maintain some facial integrity.  But did you see poor Kim Novak?  She used to be so beautiful.  She used to have a face.  Her mouth was pulled so far horizontally she looked like she was created by Jim Henson.  Goldie Hawn (whom I LOVE, btw)?  What is she thinking?  Wear some sleeves.  Cut your hair, girl, and stop trying to look like a twenty year old.  As Rob Reiner told her character in “First Wives Club,” “Another face lift and you’ll be able to blink your lips.” And Liza?  I can’t even go there.

But there were some mature women who looked beautiful, radiant, elegant, and most importantly, age appropriate.  So here are my nominees for Best Achievement in Aging:

Glenn Close – I’ll say right up front that some of the fashion police didn’t like her ensemble.  She wore a black Zac Posen fishtail gown with a little shrug-type jacket.  Eonline.com complained that she should have ditched the jacket, but she knew what she was doing.  She was keeping her upper arms under wraps and I thought she looked great.  Plus, her hair, her make-up, all very natural but stylish, said confidence and sophistication.  Gorgeous, IMHO.

Meryl Streep – I once had the pleasure of waiting on Meryl in the specialty department store where I was a buyer, and by her own admission, she doesn’t have much style sense.  Often she’s appeared at the Oscars looking like she threw on her Aunt Edna’s discarded evening gown and put her hair in a banana clip.  Not so, this time.  First off, her luminescent, porcelain, clearly unaltered face glowed with her hair neatly pulled back.  She wore small earrings and left her glasses at home and she appeared Madonna-like (the religious one) in a simple Lanvin black skirt and cream off-the-shoulder top.  I thought she looked stunning.

June Squibb – This woman, who played Bruce Dern’s nagging and outspoken wife in the nominated film, “Nebraska” is eighty-four years old and she totally rocked the red carpet in an emerald green Tadashi Shoji gown which was one piece but had the look of a dress and fitted jacket.  Again, with long sleeves.  You can bet this woman hasn’t had a thing lifted but with her white hair and red lips she conveyed style and sass.  I should look that good at seventy, never mind eighty.

Bette Midler – I thought she looked fabulous in her short-sleeved Reem Acra, red and white floral gown.  The fit was fantastic and she just wore simple earrings, her hair in its usual semi-retro, blonde curls.  Very unfussy and totally flattering.   She looked like, well, herself!

And finally, Sally Field – She’s been the butt of Oscar jokes since her “You like me” speech at her best actress win for “Norma Rae” but for someone who seemed to need our approval years ago, she stepped out at age sixty-seven with grace and confidence in a beautifully embellished but simple, short-sleeved, black Randi Rahm gown.  If that girl has had work done, you’d never know it.  Gidget grew up gracefully.

In my opinion they’re all winners, and it just goes to show that like Oscar, with some suitable style, you’re golden.

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In Formal

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JZ and I attended a gala a couple of weeks back for one of Boston’s cultural institutions.  Because it was a museum, along with the usual black tie dinner and dancing deal, there was an “open” party for the public where, for thirty bucks and a cash bar, anyone could come and enjoy music and dancing and lovely passed-around desserts, all while strolling through the exhibits in the evening hours.  It was a wonderful event but I must say the most intriguing displays were the outfits.  You cannot believe what passes for formal wear these days.  Or maybe you can.  Anyone who has watched the Academy Awards or, heaven help us, the Grammys, knows that men’s formal wear has become decidedly, well… informal.  Some of the things I saw at the event I attended: wrinkled shirts, no cummerbund or suspenders, brown shoes, buttons instead of studs, bad ties, NO ties.  Okay, okay, this is not the end of sartorial civilization, but there is a reason these events are called FORMAL.

I think a lot of the fashion infractions are committed simply because a lot of young men in particular, don’t know any better.  Dressing up is so rare these days that there are few occasions for a guy to learn what’s stylish and what’s stupid.  It used to be that a man’s first formal outing was the prom.  He’d go downtown with Dad to rent a tuxedo where the owner/tailor would ask about the event and explain all the necessary components.  Not anymore.  Now some part-time, pimply guy, in a tee shirt no less, offers you an outfit right out of Costumes-R-Us, the more outlandish the better so as to one-up the classmates, and hands it off like the basketball in the final seconds of a playoff.  I’ve even seen this with my own eyes at a wedding fitting.  You can bet THIS mother of the groom was saying, “Hold on just a minute.  You can’t be serious!”

So what should I look for, Mom?  First off, if you can possibly afford it, buy a tuxedo.  Even if it’s worn once a year, or even once every five years, you’ll look so much better in your own clothes.  And really, you can find one for not that much do-re-mi considering you’ll only need one.  Pick a classic look and it’ll last for a LONG time.  But if to rent is your bent go for something traditional.  The best dressed man at the Oscars is always George Clooney.  Why?  Because he wears a simple black, shawl or slightly notched collar tuxedo, white shirt and bow tie.  If you’re very trim pleated pants and a double breasted jacket are fine, but unless you plan to star in a Noel Coward play, opt for flat front trousers and a three button, single breasted jacket (only the top two are buttoned).  Pants, which should be worn at the WAIST, should graze the top of the shoe with a slight break in the leg.

Of course you need the accessories!  Choose an all-cotton shirt that will be professionally laundered with light starch.  A pleated front is nice with what they call a “laydown” collar and don’t forget the collar stays!  (Ask the dry cleaner).  Few people can pull off the wing collar and tie so leave that for your local orchestra member.  A proper formal shirt has French cuffs and little notches for studs, so pick up a set.  You can find classy looking ones at any of the department stores and many of the discount outlets like Century 21 and Loehmann’s.  The cummerbund covers the button at the bottom of the shirt.  And by the way, cummerbund pleats are worn facing up, not down, (that was so you could stick your theatre tickets in them!) and it should be snug around your middle.  Go for a black or small patterned tie and if you can tie it yourself, even better.  It’s really not that hard.  Skip the patterned cummerbund and stick with black.  It’s more flattering in the belly area.  If you are buying a tuxedo, don’t bother with vests, pocket squares, long ties, patterned jackets or colored (especially black) shirts.  They go in and out of fashion and never look as stylish as the sales help want you to believe.

Lastly are the shoes.  Traditionally black patent pumps (plain slip-ons with a bow) were worn but let’s get real here.  A simple pair of black patent or polished leather will look great.  Leather soles please.  The better to spin you round the dance floor, my dear.  Don’t forget a white handkerchief and NOT in the pocket of the jacket.  Keep it in your pants pocket for when your date starts weeping at how great you look.

And see you on the dance floor, Handsome!

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Tuxedo:  http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/tommy-hilfiger-suit-separate-tuxedo-shawl-collar-trim-fit?ID=580327&CategoryID=17788#fn=SUIT_STYLE%3DTuxedo%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D15%26ruleId%3D78%26slotId%3D5

Shirts:  http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/john-w-nordstrom-classic-fit-tuxedo-shirt/3179673?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=john_w._nordstrom(r)_classic_fit_tuxedo_shirt:360050&cm_pla=tops:men:dress-shirt&cm_ven=Google_Product_Ads&mr:referralID=86ff9e11-3fdb-11e3-a8bc-001b2166c62d

http://www.amazon.com/Tuxedo-Shirt-By-Neil-Allyn/dp/B000LKETTM/ref=sr_1_8?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1382971494&sr=1-8

Shoes:  http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/florsheim-jet-plain-toe-oxford/3566467?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=1545&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_5_A

http://www.amazon.com/Giorgio-Brutini-Mens-17589-Black/dp/B007XVL10W/ref=sr_1_3?s=shoes&ie=UTF8&qid=1382971607&sr=1-3&keywords=mens+tuxedo+shoes

Studs:  http://www.cuff-daddy.com/tuxedo-cufflinks-studs-onyx-silver-tone.html?gclid=COKz0snnuboCFVOf4Aodb1EAOQ

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/david-donahue-brass-cuff-link-stud-set/3151659?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=White+Brass%2F+Onyx&resultback=272&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_1_A

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