The Politics And Pride Of Getting A Celebrity Dressed For The Oscars

The Academy Awards are over a month away, but that isn’t stopping some of the biggest stars in the business from getting a head start on planning what they’re going to wear. And according to stylists who have been getting stars ready to walk the red carpet for years, some celebrities really do need a month to find the perfect dress.

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As we speak, the biggest names at this year’s Oscars have people on the phone with the biggest names in fashion, negotiating exclusive deals with Givenchy and Prada and Dior Couture. Women’s Wear Daily reports that while some stylists get a house to commit to their clients early in the game (hence all the planning) others find ways to get certain fashion houses to offer entire lines to one actress, and no one else.

“There are a lot of exclusives, so the list of go-to designers is becoming smaller and smaller,” said George Kotsiopoulos, who dresses Freida Pinto and is co-host of the E network’s “Fashion Police.” “Even if you are a huge star and you call Versace or Valentino, they may tell you they already have an exclusive, so that already rules out those collections. It is getting a lot more difficult.”

And the difficulty only increases when you consider how many legitimate style stars will be walking the carpet this year, including the much watched Michelle Williams and Jessica Chastain. Rooney Mara will likely have the pick of the litter for her attention-getting performance in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, to say nothing of the exciting and almost intellectual way she’s been dressing at movie premieres and parties so far. Just this week, New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn wrote that Mara could probably lock down a look from either Givenchy (which she’s worn) or Chanel (which would be a major change).

After seeing Givenchy, I thought she would look great in one of the soft sheer blouses (shown with a white undershirt) and a long fringe-beaded skirt, or maybe a silver skirt held up by a metal chain strap. But, then, when I saw the Chanel show this morning, I thought Ms. Mara would look amazing in some of the short blue-beaded dresses with halter necklines. Anyhow, she’ll have the pick of dresses for the Oscars.

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Emphasis ours. Still, the best comment on the matter probably comes from stylist Jessica Paster, who dresses Emily Blunt and Dakota Fanning. She told WWD that she wants “to see some of the designers be more open-minded and not be so very vapid,” by which she means loaning dresses to women who aren’t just the youngest, hottest, newest thing on the red carpet. And with that sentiment, we agree. How cool would it be to see Cecily Tyson or Helen Mirren step to the front of the dress line? They and women like them certainly deserve that.

[WWD, The New York Times]

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