Fashion meets politics at the Oscars

Saturday, March 03, 2018 11:46PM
Sandy Kenyon has more on fashion and politics at the Oscars.

HOLLYWOOD, California - The focus on fashion is always intense on Oscar's red carpet, but during this awards season when a fashion statement can be used to make a political point, the decision about what to wear Sunday takes on even greater significance.

The world's longest runway ends on Sunday night after the stars have walked many miles of red carpet over so many months. At The New York Film Critics, I asked comic, Tiffany Hadish, what kind of statement her dress made. She let me know it was one of success, "This is a success dress, baby. I only dress for success. She ready! Success dress!"

At the 'Golden Globes' women wore black to show support for the 'Me Too' movement, but on Oscar's red carpet it will be business as usual, predicts staff reporter, Ashley Cullens, from "The Hollywood Reporter." "We haven't heard of anybody planning on wearing all black, although I'm sure some people will because it's flattering, but it's not going to be a political statement when people wear black this time around."

Like black, bling never goes out of style. Cullens also spoke on the jewelry that will complement the 'Times Up' pins, "The bling is always king. It'll be interesting to see if people wear their 'Times Up' pins and how they balance that with the other jewelry."

This year, the fact so many are telling men 'Time's Up' on harassment of women has affected Oscar style, says designer Christian Siriano, "So I think, um, the age of like, the mesh and the beaded and showing everything you have, I don't know if that really works for what's happening in the world."

Siriano is known for making clothes to fit women of various shapes and sizes. He shared with me in his New York showroom the excitement of seeing his work go from being sketches to being worn by celebrities on the red carpet. "I love sketching because it feels, um, ya know, it's just a quick gesture, I color it in really quick and then I love that, like, a week later it's on the red carpet."

Siriano told me to expect a mix of black and bold, "I think some are gonna want to feel powerful and maybe it's their first Oscars ever and they want to feel bold in a color and something exciting in something other than a black dress."

A star who takes home an Oscar generally gets to keep her dress as a gift, and that's nice custom, part of Oscar tradition, but technically these gowns are borrowed, not bought, so most go back to the fashion houses where they were made.
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