In 2020 LA was ahead of the Oscars. Tom Ford’s star-studded runway show drew Jeff Bezos, Miley Cyrus, and Lil Nas X, fashion brand and magazine events that sprawled over days and nights with champagne and loot, and the effects of so much primping even seeped down to the packed, solid dry bar locations of the country City.
What a difference does a pandemic year make.
Nevertheless, the mostly digital award season ends on a high level Oscars Sunday with the return to a living red carpet at Union Station in LA, albeit on a much smaller scale, and a new, more cinematic show format with a theme that could change every year, like the Met Gala does. according to co-producer Steven Soderbergh. (This year’s slogan is “Bring Your Movie Love”.)
“Red carpet fashion, in my view, is still a moment of escape and dreaming, which is probably more relevant today than ever before. I say this from the perspective of a very pragmatic designer and entrepreneur, ”said Giorgio Armani, who more than any other designer was responsible for the rise of fashion on the Oscars red carpet and in 1992 put on Jodie Foster again.
“I understand a momentary lack of interest after things go virtual, but it’s going to be important again, and in fact it is already,” he said, noting how Cate Blanchett and other stars have led the charges for sustainability by wearing his clothes again on red carpets.
“Now that there are more vaccinations and we know the numbers are lower, we want glamor, excitement and joy. That’s what the Oscars are about, ”said Hollywood stylist Jessica Paster, who is attracting the nomination for Best Supporting Actress Maria Bakalova from“ Borat Subsequent Moviefilm ”.
Nominees like Bakalova and her pluses will be the only people living on the red carpet, where there will only be a handful of media outlets and no publicists, who will be reduced to dozens of people who normally number in the thousands. What will they wear
At the virtual Golden Globes in February, the director of “Nomadland”, Chloé Zhao, kept her refreshingly real based on the example of her extraordinary film and accepted her award from a distance without wearing make-up and an army green T-shirt.
But Oscar attendees are encouraged to bring the shine up.
Chloé Zhao receives the award for best director at the virtual Golden Globes 2021.
“We strive for a fusion of inspiration and ambition, which in actual terms means that formal is totally cool when you want to go, but it’s really not casual,” the dress code was explained in a widespread email from the producers Show.
Will all of this attract viewers is a question where awards ratings are already hitting all-time lows, and this year’s nominated films, led by Mank, a particularly esoteric and little-respected bunch, especially when compared to current box office giant “Godzilla vs. Kong. “
Even so, the Oscars red carpet is still the holy grail for fashion designers and brands.
“It’s been a terrible year, I’ve had so many conversations with stylists who say, ‘If it doesn’t happen, don’t worry, no one will see it anyway,” Oscar de la Renta designer Fernando Garcia explained why The Red One Carpet is still important to him. “I don’t care. It’s more about connecting with someone who wants to support your vision as a designer. Celebrities connect people who are not celebrities with brands. That’s why I fell in love with fashion, so that I can always be inspired by it. “
Come from its 40th anniversary collection and Broadway preshow, Michael Kors also has high hopes for this year’s red carpet.
“There can never be enough awards for me.… I’m a cultural junkie,” he said, adding, “But we never show our cards. When Julia Roberts won the Oscar and wore vintage Valentino, she wore a Michael Kors dress the day before and was thrilled. When Gwyneth Paltrow won the Oscar and wore Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors fitted her into a Celine the day before and was thrilled. So I learned – until I see the body arrive, you never know. “
Smaller fashion brands are also still in the game, competing against luxury houses and jewelers, some of whom are paying $ 150,000 or more for a celebrity placement and have the funds to spend on custom designs. “It’s the worst year yet with fewer opportunities and when the pressure on designers who couldn’t sell and PRs who don’t have the same budget increases,” said a publicist, who asked for anonymity.
Another reason the 2021 Oscars are still worth it is Instagram.
With no physical red carpets going on this awards season, stylists filled the fashion void with behind-the-scenes, behind-the-scenes photo shoots for social media that were Polish at an editorial level and made a significant impact.
“Because there weren’t any traditional red carpets, talent and stylists had to direct photo shoots, and in the end you got this great content that was more thoughtful and a little more productive. These assets were incredibly valuable to brands, ”said IHPR founder Jen Lowitz, who represents jewelry brands Forevermark, Fernando Jorge and Ana Khouri in her LA showroom.
Behind the scenes of Regina King in the Haute Couture by Schiaparelli for the virtual Emmys 2020.
Forevermark was directed this season by Regina King, director of One Night in Miami, after years of working with her. She wore a dramatic blue, high-slit Schiaparelli gown in a shoot designed for her stylists Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald for the Emmys in September 2020. In February, she wore jewelry from the brand for the Golden Globes.
As fun as it was producing creative content for the home, even Hollywood picture-makers who are used to being behind the scenes miss the thrill of the red carpet. Not to mention the awards season when emerging talent like Bakalova rely on future roles and fashion opportunities.
“This is her first American film, she shot nine in Europe. She is 24 years old if this had been a normal year. When she stepped on the red carpet of the globes in Armani, everyone would have known who she was, ”said Paster. “Now it burns rather slowly.”
Maria Bakalova in Prada at the Virtual Critics Choice Awards.
That other platform for fashion peacocks, Oscars after parties, won’t exist this year.
Not only have studios and talent agencies canceled their annual events, Vanity Fair also dropped its Oscar night bash on the A-list for an online interactive series that benefits COVID-19 relief that happened last week. This means that the Elton John AIDS Foundation remains the last Oscar night event – but it is still digital.
There are still a few places to see and see IRL during Oscars Week in LA as it recovered from the global hotspot for COVID-19 in December to one of the lowest fall rates in the country.
German facial doctor Barbara Sturm is hosting a four-day Anti-Inflammatory Oscars Retreat (the name is right for the time) and face masks at their spaceship-like West Hollywood Spa, which was filled with hundreds of fragrant pink roses for selfies and fresh juices on Wednesday.
“I’ve been coming here since 2003 and how I started promoting the brand was during the Oscars popups,” said Sturm. “Rosie [Huntington-Whiteley] and others posted on their Instagram, and it was the first time they performed beauty treatments on social media. That was when my brand got a big boost because people could see what we were doing. “
In the midst of a global expansion, Sturm opened the LA location on Almont Drive in November and had to close it again two weeks later due to a new blockage. “Now that we’re fully open again, it’s organic to invite everyone – and we’re fully booked,” she said. Visitors to her spa (one treatment room has a hidden VIP entrance from the alley) can try her signature SturmGlow facial or super anti-aging facial, as well as the eyebrow sculpting by Hollywood Arch Queen Anastasia.
Dr. Barbara Sturm, left, organizes the “Anti-Inflammatory Oscars Retreat” in LA.
Courtesy Chris Singer
Meanwhile, Dior Skincare’s Joanna Czech has opened a store at the Peninsula Hotel using Carey Mulligan, Maya Rudolph and others for treatments using the brand’s new eye serum.
The LA restaurant scene is also heating up again.
At Jeff Klein’s Sunset Tower, the outdoor pool deck is the new place for Hollywood regulars to hang out with aspiring TikTokers, if not the entire cast of nominated films who dined together in previous award seasons.
“I think the industry ran all of Zoom’s Oscar campaigns because the cast could sit in their panties at home,” said the former Condé Nast editor, who became Sunset Tower Maître d’Gabe Double, and admitted for having seen her share of guests sweating – the ones that say off-white.
While the restaurant was closed on Sunday evenings during the pandemic year, it will open Oscar night and book tables for several nominees. “They can wear what they want,” said Doppel, “and everyone who wins eats for free.”