Fashion’s new stars
Mara, Stone and Chastain make their presence felt on the red carpet.
THERE were many new fashion faces on the red carpet at the 84th annual Academy Awards, but they brought with them a lot of old Hollywood glamour.
Rooney Mara in white Givenchy, Emma Stone in red Giambattista Valli and Jessica Chastain in Alexander Mcqueen were among those making bolder-than-normal choices at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.
“I picked it because I loved it,” said Mara of the Riccardo Tisci custom-made gown made of mixed laces and multilayered chiffon.
Some seasoned style stars stepped up their game, too, including Michelle Williams in burntorange Louis Vuitton, Jennifer Lopez in a crystal-covered Zuhair Murad, Cameron Diaz in Gucci and Penelope Cruz in a smoky-blue Armani Prive.
Angelina Jolie did her simple, sexy thing in black strapless gown with a high slit.
Gwyneth Paltrow went sleek and chic in Tom Ford, and Stacy Keibler was statuesque in gold EVEN the hundreds of photographers, TV cameras and webcams around the Hollywood & Highland Center can’t capture every starry moment of Sunday’s 84th annual Academy Awards.
Celebrities reunite on the red carpet, mingle during commercial breaks and experience impromptu star-crossings in the wings – and we’ve got our eyes and ears trained on those moments.
From arrivals to after-parties, here’s a running account of what you didn’t see on TV: 3.22pm – “Is the house open?”, a casually dressed Billy Crystal asks a backstage security crew a little more than two hours before the Oscar show is to begin. Wearing jeans, a sweater, sneakers and his Oscar credential, Crystal gazes out at an empty theatre as he hits his marks and silently rehearses his monologue. A few minutes later, he’s gone. 3.26pm – Outside the theatre, things are beginning to heat up, thanks in no small part to the arrival of perennial Oscar heartthrob George Clooney. The fan bleachers erupt in a chorus of cheers and whoops as Clooney arrives on the red carpet, bobbing his head in time to chants of “George, George, George.” 4.01pm – Viola Davis asks the bleacher crowd what it thinks of her new cropped copper do. The crowd responds with an enthusiastic cheer. 4.03pm – Clooney, who a few minutes earlier had promised the bleacher crowd he would return, keeps his word. He walks right up to a throng of fans to shake hands and sign autographs. 4.53pm – Inside the theatre, Jessica Chastain has taken her seat – make that her armrest. The Help actress squats on the armrest to chat with Christian Bale and others who are dropping by to say hello. The bonhomie is lame Marchesa. Viola Davis’ emerald-green, corset-style gown by Vera Wang had a little beading on the bustline and a chiffon pleated skirt. She matched her earrings to the jewel tone of the gown, which seemed a popular trend. Melissa Mccarthy also did it, pairing her rose Marina Rinaldi with crystal neckline and waistband with 10carat diamond earrings decorated with pink diamonds by Chopard and a pink tourmaline cocktail ring.
Rose Byrne in shimmery Vivienne Westwood, Kristen Wiig in a delicate champagne J. Mendel and Tina Fey in a regal purple gown by Carolina Herrera also elevated their fashion credibility – and likely their star wattage – with their appearances. Octavia Spencer continued to work with Tadashi Shoji on her awards-show wardrobe, this time in a hand-beaded, draped ivory gown with cap sleeves.
Milla Jovovich, best known as a model, channeled a screen siren in a one-shoulder, white-beaded Elie Saab gown. “I wanted something very clean, structured, like a statement piece without being overpowered,” she said.
What you didn’t see on TV.
Berenice Bejo chose a mint-green, fully embroidered gown by Saab. Her makeup artist Julie Hewett said they purposely created a fresh, unfussy look to complement the dress because it was an unusual colour. “We decided to go very simple and not complete,” said Hewett, a Dior artist. “I kept her skin very fresh: not powdered, very clean, very natural.”
Hewett saw the influence of the 1920s and 1930s on the red carpet and thought it could be a nod to The Artist, for which Bejo was nominated.
“Old Hollywood never goes away, it never goes out of fashion, but The Artist brought it back for a generation that didn’t know about Hollywood at that time,” Hewett said. “It’s how we want our stars to look.” – AP interrupted by an announcement over the theater’s loudspeakers: “Please take your seats. This year’s Academy Awards will begin in 25 minutes.” 5.21pm – “Hey, thanks for dressing up,” a tuxedoed Tom Hanks says as he passes a person wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Turns out the guy is part of the Cirque du Soleil troupe that is performing at the Oscar show. 5.23pm – Sandra Bullock is working the front row, chatting up Clooney, awkwardly smooching Bradley Cooper and getting smacked on the rear by a jovial Meryl Streep. 5.28pm – And the award for the last celebrity to take his or her seat before showtime goes to ... Actually, it’s a tie this year, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie claiming the honour. 5.44pm – Billy Crystal’s long awaited return as Oscar host doesn’t earn a full standing ovation, but perhaps that’s because Michelle Williams, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie and others are too busy jumping out of their seats to schmooze during the show’s first commercial break. 6.10pm – When Octavia Spencer is announced as winner of the supporting