So we're back after a late night staying up for that tired annual awards show: The Oscars. (We know the show ended just after 11:40 our time, but we stayed up late bitching to our bicoastal friends about lame montages, good/bad dresses, and, like everyone else apparently, Diablo Cody).
Seriously, if it weren't our job to stay up until the wee hours tracking who was wearing what, how they wore it, and how brands made their way onto the stage or in the commercial slots, we would have wrapped this up by 9:00 pm EST and sailed off to bed on a few DVR'ed episodes of "Paula's Home Cooking."
But, for better or worse, we stayed up, enduring less-than-pithy commentary by John Stewart, and some heartbreaking losses ("Surf's Up" losing out to "Ratatouille" for Best Animated Feature and "There Will Be Blood" losing out to "No Country For Old Men" for Best Picture). And it's a good thing we did, because the marketing, as far as we're concerned was the star of this year's drag-along show. But let's kick it off chronologically, with some of the more notable carpet dress-vertisements. (Note: All pictures per WWD. "Fierce Factor"s, our own judgment of how well the star wore her particular dress, set against how likely the placement is to boost the brand, are awarded on a 1.0-5.0 scale.)
Name: Amy Adams
Dress: Proenza Schouler
Fierce Factor: 4.0
Our Take: Aesthetically, this is the perfect pairing. Adams' red hair and ivory white skin work wonders against the emerald gown. The edgy, classic appeal evokes a more colorful version of John Singer Sargent's "Madame X" or the femme fatale of H. Anglada- Camarasa's "Retrato de Sonia Klamery." Unfortunately, points off for that eye-gouging performance, though the girl did have to pimp her movie. Also, she's not that high-profile.
Name: Penélope Cruz
Film: No noms this year, most recent was "Volver"
Fierce Factor: 4.5
Our Take: Even so-so dresses look amazing on Penélope Cruz. Not only does the girl have extracurriculars to add to her hotness (Cruz speaks four languages! Name one of her American contempos that can claim that), but she can pull off designs that would look perhaps silly on a lesser body. Straight up: she's a stunner every time with no bad publicity to drag her down. With her small frame and captivating gaze really pronouncing this dress, Karl gets the most out of a rather ho-hum haute couture look.
Name: Cameron Diaz
Film: No noms this year, er, like every other year. Most recently, "Shrek The Third"
Dress: Dior by John Galliano
Fierce Factor: 3.0
Our Take: We will never understand why Diaz always gets Mr. Galliano's best. Don't get us wrong, the girl has a great frame, an established bold-faced name, and she photographs well. That, in and of itself, is worth the plug. But c'mon! Certainly the upper crust clientele doesn't want to share threads with Hollywood's leading empress of the Ditzy Dame shtick, right? And we're not going to hate on the pleats, like E! did. But, at the end of the day, it's a rather dull dress, on a very dull girl.
Name: Marion Cotillard
Film: "La Vie En Rose," WON: Best Actress
Dress: Jean Paul Gaultier
Fierce Factor: 5.0
Our Take: Perfect storm here, folks! Not was this fish-scale detailed mermaid dress equal parts daring and stunning for the red carpet debut, but its wearer walked away with the Best Actress award. And did so with one of the most genuine speeches we've seen in some time from the Oscars! As an added bonus for Mr. Gaultier, she's been the talk of the papers this morning, with pictures abounding. What she'll also likely add to that nice stew is that her figure looks like a real woman (admittedly, a thin woman) and she fills out the dress in a wonderfully tasteful way. This is as good as it gets!
Name: Nicole Kidman
Film: "The Golden Compass"
Fierce Factor: 2.5
Our Take: What goes up must also come down, and the real low point (ok, with some obvious exceptions that we'll note later, we're lookin' at YOU, Diablo) came with this unfortunate placement on Nicole Kidman. Even preggers, she has the kind of body (read: alien model-esque) that could really show off some of Nicolas Ghesquiere's more ambitious designs, easily clinching the press coverage for the next day. Instead, she walked the carpet as a pretty, pregnant girl in a pretty boring black dress. And that diamond necklace just looked like a sad, glittery trapeze.
In summation, these were just a few of those that stood out to us last night. But we would be remiss if we didn't mention that, while Keri Russell looked great (as we imagine all women do) in the Nina Ricci gown, we were stunned that the label couldn't get more of an A-lister to work a look, especially following that stunning little yellow dress that worked so well on Reese Witherspoon last year! Also, all of our friends were screaming (screaming!) about Diablo Cody, and not in a good way. The dress was terrible, no wonder the maker has not appeared in any credits we've seen, and she looked like so many tired Betty Page-hipster-wannabes that we see most nights at Beauty Bar. (But we'd like to submit, for the record, that we liked "Juno".) Also, Tilda Swinton didn't do much for that Lanvin dress and that really makes us sad, because we love both of those names! We'll have to chalk that up, like the Kidman debacle mentioned above, to a stylist just making a poor choice, one for which the brand will suffer, or at best, not get any brownie points for.
But hey, we're not bitching in a vacuum people. Drop us a line and let us know what you think, either here, or in the comments below!