Living

OSCAR SEES RED

Call it an unintentional homage to “There Will Be Blood” — only with flowy hair and sparkly jewelry.

Red united many of the best-dressed actresses at Sunday's 80th Annual Academy Awards.

Standout stars like Anne Hathaway, Katherine Heigl, Ruby Dee and Helen Mirren all flaunted variations of the hue — a dramatic shade strangely consistent with the serious plots inherent in many of this year's nominated films.

"The red colors were really, really in this year," said JuliAnna Vonderharr, manager of Marie's April Showers, a Columbus retailer that sells formal apparel.

And with red's prevalence at the Oscars, interest in the color — which often requires extra confidence from its wearer — should increase, Vonderharr predicted.

Recently, the mainstream fashion world has expanded its acceptance of former fashion taboos like that of a redhead in a red gown, Vonderharr said.

"Red is just beautiful. It's very classic," she explained.

From scarlet to crimson, its shades added some memorability to an awards show with fashions that lacked the statement-worthy appeal of Oscars past.

Sure, some best-dressed candidates — like Jennifer Garner in a black taffeta Oscar de la Renta gown and Renee Zellweger in a sparkling silver Carolina Herrera gown — successfully made more of an impression with less boldness.

But many actresses — say, Cameron Diaz in her tightly fitted, pale-colored Dior dress — ended up being forgettable in many experts' minds.

"I felt like a lot of people played it safe this year. I wanted more risk with color," said Thedda Stevenson, manager of Believe Boutique in Columbus.

That lack of risk drew even more attention to the actresses in dresses with prints. Most notably, opinions of Diablo Cody — the "Juno" screenwriter who showed up in a long, jungle-print dress — were surprisingly divided.

"I just thought it was tacky," Stevenson said of the dress, a sleeveless number that displayed a pinup girl tatoo on her arm.

Vonderharr, meanwhile, was more accepting of the dress, calling it a reflection of the former stripper's often controversial personality.

"That was awesome," she said. "Look at who she is and what she does — that was perfect."

Also spicing up the awards show's fashion monotony was Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard, who took a risk in wearing a long, white Jean Paul Gaultier dress covered in what looked like mermaid scales.

Less dramatic risks were shown through the many actresses with dresses accentuated by feathers.

Sure, the idea of mermaid-like scales might translate a little differently locally, but experts agree that the key to practically applying awards show fashion trends is to be adventurous, but not lose sight of your own comfort level.

"Take a risk," Stevenson advised.

And don't be afraid to go red, Vonderharr added.

"I like red and I think that if you have the confidence to wear it, you should," she said.

  Comments