Debate over whether the sweeping production changes during Sunday’s Oscar telecast were good or bad will rage on throughout the week. For some the shift towards a less formal show with a quick raucous pace was a breath of fresh air. While traditionalists will view the change in tone as something approaching sacrilege. Still others bemused by Hugh Jackman’s singing ability (and apparent lack of shame) will take the show as a great big slice of kitsch laden apple pie. With extra cheese.
For all the sweeping production changes the fashion landscape remained safe and traditional. While the names on the labels may have been a tad more intriguing than usual the feel was very much the same. Rodarte, Lanvin and vintage Balmain made special appearances but Oscar old hats like Armani and Dior reigned supreme. The glamour of the golden age was resurrected via column gowns and WASP waists. Couture was present but in watered down modified versions for those looking to avoid the ire of E!’s snippy fashion critics.
While innovation may have been lacking there were moments of serene loveliness. From Anne Hathaway’s pitch perfect Armani Prive (one has to hand it to Giorgio) to Kate Winslet’s romantically modern YSL – complete with Suvi for CK hair. The night’s two shots of bright (non-fire engine red) color via Natalie Portman’s demure Rodarte and Freida Pinto’s intricate Galliano were much appreciated. Even smaller victories like Amy Adams’ multicolored jeweled necklace stood out amidst a sea of the usual.