So last Sunday’s was probably the worst Oscar telecast I have ever seen. And yes, I know this is supposed to be a fashion column — but I really need to get this off my chest; I was so frustrated Sunday night.
I knew trouble was a-brewing when I saw the nominees for Best Actor and Actress lined up on the stage like a collection of venerated baseball cards. And everything slid downhill from there. The usually hilarious Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin fumbled through joke after joke about Meryl Streep and “Avatar.” And at the end, Tom Hanks just ripped into the envelope without warning and was like, yeah, “The Hurt Locker,” taking all the suspense out of the big reveal.
Anyway, what’s actually pertinent to this column: the red carpet. Cameron Diaz looked shiny and delightful. Sandra Bullock looked disgusting. (Actually, she looked fine but I can’t extricate myself from the horror of her win.) Mo’Nique sported a bizarre flower that chewed up half her head. The theme of the night seemed to be fantasy prom dress, with stars like Miley Cyrus, Amanda Seyfried and J. Lo sporting floofy pastel-colored gowns that poofed out whenever they walked. Zoe Saldana was probably my favorite of the bunch, donning a spectacular Givenchy number with a glittery silver bodice and a purple ombre train that resembled a tree of loofahs, in a high-fashion kind of way.
At any rate, what occurred to me during the telecast is how unfair it is that stars have the opportunity to get all gussied up on a daily basis, while we civilians have to make do in our sweats and jeans as we exhaustively plod across the Diag. I have a $100 prom dress hanging in my closet back home and there is literally no occasion for me to wear it again. I know what you’re going to say: “It’s weird to wear a fancy dress when it’s 40 degrees out and snowing,” but OK, fashion in itself is just weird. We wear pieces of dead cow skin draped across our shoulders. Come on now.
Below lies a list of idiosyncrasies when it comes to wearing and buying clothes. Or rather, things that bother me about fashion today:
Playsuits: Playsuits are a mixture of onesies, overalls, saggy diapers and everything else wrong with the ’90s. Since “Gossip Girl” took the nation by storm, street fashion has gone all-out Serena van der Woodsen. This concept benefits no one. Sure, if you’re a wispy model with matchstick-thin legs, anything will look good on you, but the rest of us aren’t so lucky. The reason toddlers wear playsuits is so that they have easier access to the bathroom. Somehow, I don’t think we need that expediency.
The inside of Abercrombie & Fitch: Isn’t this store supposed to replicate a California beach house? Are all beach houses overly pungent perfumeries with tweeny music pounding in the pitch-black background? I have never bought a single thing from Abercrombie & Fitch and the sole reason is that I’m too afraid to penetrate its smoky interior to try on anything. I understand the concept of making your store smell good, but mixed marketing is just confusing. Are you pretending to be a beach, a brothel or a nightclub? It’s a wonder to me how this store did so well financially.
Why vintage clothes are 10 times more expensive than secondhand: First of all I’d like to preface this thought with a confession that I rarely do any secondhand shopping. And I don’t really understand the concept of “vintage.” Walking into The Getup or Star Vintage feels about the same to me as a trip to the Salvation Army, save the awesome Marilyn Monroe posters and retro lights looped around the walls. I know that so-called specialists hunt through mounds of garbage to come out with this really neat stuff, but seriously, you’re going to charge me more for this 20-year-old sweater than a new one? I like a unique find as much as the next girl does, but I’m not willing to shell out double the cash for something I could find in my mom’s closet.
Artfully ripped jeans: I actually don’t mind the way they look, but the longevity of this look is, like, two days. I know from personal experience that if I have a tiny hole in my jeans, the next week I have completely decimated them. So you plunk down $50 for a pair of designer ripped jeans, parade them around campus for a few nights and then boom: you go from boho to hobo in a matter of days. And now I see Lindsay Lohan running around clubs sporting ripped leggings. This is just too much.
So with the conventions of fashion being as weird as they are, you should instead be asking this question: Why don’t we run around in prom dresses on a daily basis? I say we spearhead a campaign for this: it should be Oscar Day everyday. Imagine strutting down the Diag in a long, foxy red number with a slit running down the side. “Who are you wearing?” the bucketers call out to you. You look over your shoulder with a distant smile and a cool wave of your hand, beautiful and untouchable.
Sounds magnificent, doesn’t it? And yet, vaguely doable.
Note, also, that this campaign will involve retracting Sandra Bullock’s Best Actress Oscar. I am literally counting down the seconds until a representative from the Academy goes on the air and is like, guys, we made a mistake, turns out the Academy was blindsided (pun) and thought they were voting for the Razzies (which she in fact did win). Let’s give the Oscar to Carey Mulligan instead. Or better yet, Kathryn Bigelow. She obviously needs another one, right?