Monday, 27 February 2012

The Oscars: Very Serious Business

Warren Beatty famously said, "The Golden Globes are fun.  The Oscars are business."

And we're talking big business.

Everyone in Hollywood from limo companies to hairdressers rub their hands with glee as awards season approaches and closing that season, the Oscars provide the biggest and best money-spinning opportunity of all.  On Oscar day, the best hairdressers can command up to US$5,000 a day (plus tips), security on the night costs in the region of US$3,000 and limo hire will set you back up to US$4,000.  How about the 500 foot red carpet that will be trampled under many a star's Jimmy Choo clad foot en route from limo to the venue formerly known as the Kodak Theatre (I'm sorry but the Hollywood and Highland Centre just doesn't have the same ring)?  Well a carpet hire company will be written a fat US$30,000 cheque for providing the oversized rug and the crew of sixteen who'll be needed to fit it and then pack it away again.

Then there are the parties, large fees will be pocketed by venues, event planners, chefs, bouncers and catering staff.  The cost of hosting these extravagant celebrations is truly obscene.  At the Governor's Ball that followed the ceremny last night US$42,000 of Moet&Chandon washed down 1,300 oysters, 1,450 pounds of lobster and 25 pounds of black truffle (the truffle alone cost US$25,000).  And who served this feast to George Clooney, Brad Pitt and co?  A 950 strong army of waiters clad in four different custom-designed uniforms.

It's clear that several hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on this one night in Hollywood but is it all worth it?

The Oscar stauette itself may only cost around US$500 to produce but those 131/2 inch, little, gold-plated men have a far higher value to everyone from the actors and actresses nominated to the film studios who produced the award winners to the stylists putting together the Oscar night looks and the designers who created the couture that's being paraded down the red carpet.  Market research firm, IBISWorld,  estimates that the winner of the Best Picture award rakes in an extra US$15million after the awards.  Weinstein Cos' The Artist, a black and white, silent movie picked up three statuettes last night including the highly coveted Best Picture award.  Weinstein was all but washed-up just a couple of years ago after a string of poorly performing films and crushing debts.  For him, these wins means not only a guaranteed surge in box-office takings but also a cemented reputation as a producer of independent films.  Well-worth the no doubt multi-million best picture campaign and footing the bill for couture for its stars to wear on the night.

For actors and actresses an Oscar win boosts earning power (sometimes allowing winners to charge double or triple the fees they were charging prior to a win), can provide credibility (Sandra Bullock from fluffy Miss Congeniality notoriety to serious actress overnight) and potentially opens up a whole host of new opportunities.  Jim Broadbent, Whoopi Goldberg and Antony Hopkins each won fourteen film roles within five years of winning their Oscars.

As a designer, getting Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry to wear your dress for the ceremony provides advertising that you just can't put a price on.  With an estimated billion viewers internationally (many of whom, including us, openly admit that they just watch for the dresses) and extensive coverage across the internet, in newspapers and in magazines, the dress, shoes, clutch and jewels that adorn each A-lister on Oscar night will get serious exposure.

So that leads us nicely to the million dollar question.  Who wore what last night to the 84th Academy Awards?  Who looked the business?  And who was looking distinctly Kodak?  As always, the Mice are here with the rundown...

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace
She's Angelina so let's face it she could wear Grace Woodward's BAFTAs outfit and look hot but we just felt that this was all a bit B-, could do better.  The woman has incredible legs but is it just us or does this pose leave her looking a little flamingo?

 Image via: www.nylon.com 


Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood
We loved the back of this glossy, sequinned Westwood number but the front's just a little same, same, seen it all before.  Rose also looks so scarily thin that that's pretty much all we can focus on when we look at her.

 Image via: www.oscar.go.com

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa
The Mice love Marchesa but this monochrome gown is not really doing it for us.  The jewel detailing at the waist is very pretty but seems to add bulk to the very non-bulky Bullock.  The fit also just seems wrong, the skirt's too tight and the top half is too baggy.  Pretty back though.

  Image via: www.oscar.go.com

Stacy Keibler in Marchesa
Now this is more what we're talking about.  This shimmering, gold gown was one of our fav runway pieces at NYFW a couple of weeks ago.  Love the asymmetric off the shoulder sleeve and although the rosette detail at the hip sounds wrong on paper, on the dazzling Keibler it's all so right.

 Image via: www.nylon.com


Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Take away the accessories and this would have been perfect.  We've been disappointed in Michelle this awards season with nothing she's worn really having had the Wow that her mustard Vera Wang of the 2006 Oscars had.  But last night's bright coral, ruffled number was much more MW 2006.  She's so slight that she can carry off the peplum and the ruffling and the colour is beautiful .  We just dislike the clashing pink clutch, the chunky necklace and the bow at her waist.

 Image via: www.nylon.com


 Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen
Gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  We just loved Jessica Chastain in McQueen.  Total full-on, filmstar glamour with beautiful detailing.  We love the burnished gold against her pale skin and russet hair (which is perfectly princess tousled).


 Image via: www.nylon.com


Rooney Mara in Givenchy Couture
In a departure from her recent signature black, Rooney went white last night, apparently a choice that she made just hours before the awards.  Paired with the sharp Girl with a Dragon Tattoo haircut and old Hollywood pin-up make-up this very almost looked stunning but somehow something was just a little off.  We love the delicate, wispy fabric and the full fishtail silhouette but we're not sure about the bodice and particularly the boob eyelids...


 Image via: www.nylon.com

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford
Topping our best dressed charts is Gwyneth in Tom Ford.  The white column sheath is stunningly simple but could be forgetably so if it weren't for the punch of the fabulous cape.  Perfect minimalist elegance.  

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad 
Taylor Swift was one of our Grammys' best dressed in Zuhair Murad and JLo got a touch of the Murad magic last night at the Oscars.  Making the most of her curves and really setting off her caramel skin, we thought the Latina looked lovely.

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Milla Jovovich in Ellie Saab Couture
As one of the first stars to arrive on the red carpet last night, Milla Jovovich set the fashion bar high with this stunning sequinned one-shouldered gown.  The slash of scarlet lipstick gives the look a real old Hollywood feel.

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Viola Davis in Vera Wang
The Help star won widespread accolade for going wigless on the red carpet and she looked fantastic.  Unfortunately the dress was a miss for us.  Had the colour been a bit deeper and the skirt a little less split-personality, it may have been a different story but it all felt a bit Aerial from the Little Mermaid.

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Berenice Bejo in Ellie Saab Couture 
The leading lady from the Artist had the opposite problem to Viola, Berenice's gown was just too washed out especially for her pale complexion.  The beading's very pretty and we're big fans of a puddle train but the colour and the sleeves just leave us cold.

Image via: www.mirror.co.uk 

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli Couture
All the Oscars fashion coverage has drawn the inevitable comparisons between Emma's hot pink, pussy bow look and Nicole Kidman's 2007, red, Balenciaga gown.  We have to agree that the dresses are remarkably similar.  Despite the sense of de ja vu, we love this colour on the flame-haired, milky-skinned Stone we're just not quite sure about the enormous bow under her chin (a vast improvement on the two-toned, eagle-belted, Lanvin oddity that she wore to the Golden Globes though).

 Image via: www.celebuzz.com

Kelly Osbourne in Badgley Mischka
We were pleasantly surprised by Kelly's red carpet choice.  The E favourite was hosting the fashion coverage for the channel with Giuliana Rancic (who also looked good save for a bit of a savage hairstyle).  We thought the black dress with sheer panels and emerald sequin detailing was beautiful and really figure flattering.  Hated the make-up though and we wish she'd ditch the granny hair.

Image via: www.mirror.co.uk 



Kate Mara in Jack Guisso Couture

Rooney's elder sister dazzled in this delicate, beaded, blush gown.  We love the draped single shoulder and the messy side-swept bun.  Mara really showed other pale-skinned girls how to look etheral rather than insipid (listen up Berenice Bejo).

Image via: www.nylon.com

And with that, we officially declare Awards Season closed for another year - sniff sniff, roll on Paris Fashion Week.

4 comments:

  1. I totes agree with everything you said apart from Stacy Keibler, think I'm the only one not a fan! Angelina, watching that stupid posed leg all day long on E! has annoyed the hell out of me, love Jessica, Gwyneth, JLo, Milla, Emma. Also loved Diane Kruger at Vanity Fair. If you're bored tomorrow feel free to comment on the after party outfits! Was Cameron Diaz VB? Zip looks as so...

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    1. DONE! And yup Diaz was in VB. Did think Kruger looked good but thought she'd have looked even better without the lace bandeau.

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  2. My fave was Giuliana in Tony Ward Couture, I'll never understand why Kelly has the authority to be on fashion police though!

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    1. Thought Giuliana looked great but not a big fan of the hair, felt it was just a bit harsh - if it had been a bit softer around her face would have been much better (and less ageing). Agree totally re: Kelly though but then you could question the fashion credentials of any one of the Fashion Police apart from maybe Kotsiopoulos...

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