Oscar night is when the film industry brings out the big guns and dictates not only what movies we'll be queueing up on Netflix but also what trends will survive 2010. Or at least until the next fashion week, whichever comes first. So what should we expect on the night of Hollywood's prom?
Grammy night was kind of a disaster in the fashion realm. The SAG Awards, well, they sagged. When did red carpet clothes get so boring? If stars weren't playing it safe in the same ol' strapless gown, they were attempting to upstage Lady Gaga. Fashion fail! Below are four trends we expect to see at the Kodak Theatre in just one short month.
3-D formal wear...
...has been a big hit lately. At last weekend's Grammys, both Beyonce and Rihanna sported dresses as fun to touch as they were to look at. We can't help but wonder how any girl could sit comfortably through all those long-winded acceptance speeches while wearing a feathered turtleneck or sea urchin style puff sleeves. They sure do make fashion fun though. And when done in subdued white and champagne, they don't scream for attention like another three-dimensional outfit worn that night.
Who can we expect in clothes better fit for a touch-and-feel children's book? Drew Barrymore and other starlets whose talent for being shocking overshadows their talent onscreen. Ladies who love to push the envelope have really embraced the recent revival of origami-inspired pieces, and I don't think this will slow down in 2010.
Sheer layers and peek-a-boo dresses...
...are a Hollywood favorite. When even icon Sophia Loren (left) gets in on the action, you know a trend has reached critical mass. Celebrities love the look of cut-outs, mesh layers, and slits cut up to there because they show off perfect bodies without being (too terribly) tacky. The obvious exception would be Britney Spears' disastrous attempt at the layered look at last Sunday's Grammy Awards, but we'll give Brit Brit one get-out-of-fashion-jail free card since she's otherwise been so well-behaved lately.
Pink's Grammy ensemble took the trend to its NSFW limit in a sheer body suit with sparkly rhinestones hiding her lady bits. We're hoping no one attempts a similar look at the oh-so-fancy Oscar parties. With a long skirt and sleeves Ciara managed to make thigh-high cut-outs demure.
Who will show up to the Oscars flashing a little extra skin? Blake Lively is a good guess, as she always dons as little fabric as possible. Also Mariah Carey and the Jennifers (Garner, Lopez) with figures to flaunt.
Red of every shade...
...always seems like a risky choice because it can either clash with the carpet or match too well, creating a "Where's Waldo?" effect, but when done right, nothing seems to evoke that Hollywood glitz better than vermilion can. Eva Longoria aced it at the Golden Globes in a bright, true red, while Zoe Saldana made ruffles and pleats a little less "cute" with the deep wine shade below. Taking the hue into slightly dangerous territory, Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss rocked a cocktail dress in bright tomato. While it looks great on her, most women would be overpowered by that orange-y tone. Still it's nice to see Sterling Cooper's "Peggy" rock something sexy once in a while.
Come Oscar night who will sport her sexiest scarlet? I can see Sophia Loren (above) in this pretty shade or Sandra Bullock, who will be attending the ceremony as a first-time nominee. (That's sort of surprising, given the length of her career, but less so when Miss Congeniality II comes to mind.)
...that take a more literal view of the trend have gathered steam since Lady Gaga came on the scene in late 2008. Celebrities love the inherent sparkle and shine of a silver or gold gown, and no matter how soft the fabric, they always seem tough somehow, like you wouldn't want to mess with the girl in the pewter dress. (Exhibit A: the always flawless Jennifer Garner, below) Not everyone can pull it off, and sometimes the cut makes all the difference. (Witness Jennifer Lopez's fashion at left.)
While her performance costume at the Grammy Awards is a little too casual for this black-tie event, Fergie's futuristic bodysuit, replete with silver visor - shoulder pads, and what appeared to be a chastity belt - showed that the trend in its most outrageous incarnations can be just as camera-friendly. Hopefully at least one lady will opt for such shock value on Oscar night.
For festivities at and after the Academy Awards, we predict that Kate Winslet - always a fan of strong yet subdued tones - will be sporting silver or gold, as well as nominees Meryl Streep and Penelope Cruz (because even if the odds are stacked against you, it can't hurt to dress like Oscar himself).