I used to sit through the entire Academy Awards, from the red-carpet arrivals through the last acceptance speech. Then one year I thought, Who am I kidding? I only care about the clothes. Now, I skip the awards show itself and head straight for the press and the post-show fashion wrap-ups.
There are usually a few outstanding vintage gowns on the red carpet. This year, Ann Hathaway’s ruby-colored Valentino got a lot of attention, but since it was from 2002, I’m not sure it really qualifies as vintage. She called it “archival.” Whatever it’s called, it’s gorgeous. Marisa Tomei wore true vintage, showing up in 1950’s Charles James couture. She’s gotten some criticism for it, but I love the sweetheart neckline and boning on the bodice.
In past years, one of my favorite vintage gowns was Penelope Cruz’s 1950’s Balmain at the 2009 Oscars. Some people complained that it looked like a wedding dress, but I say, who cares? Why wouldn’t you wear that dress if you had somewhere to wear it? Another past favorite was Reese Witherspoon’s vintage Dior dress at the 2006 Oscars. And her dress wasn’t the only winner. She accepted the Best Actress award that year for her role as June Carter in Walk the Line.