Newspaper article International New York Times

Reviewing the Oscars from Afar

Newspaper article International New York Times

Reviewing the Oscars from Afar

Article excerpt

In Milan, the front row offered some hits and some misses.

On Monday the fashion flock had just woken up to the Oscars of the night before when they had to hie themselves to the Giorgio Armani show, with barely a chance to scan the slide shows to see what they had missed (Cate Blanchett in floral-strewn mint Armani, for one).

"It's not that I don't take a major interest in red carpet dressing, I do, just not at 3 o'clock in the morning," Glenda Bailey, editor in chief at Harper's Bazaar, said from her seat in the front row, adding that she was planning to look at coverage once she had returned to her hotel.

Two places down, the W magazine editor in chief, Stefano Tonchi, appeared to be in agreement. "I have only managed to look at one or two slide shows so far -- but I suppose I both noticed and approved of the pale colors I saw," he said. "It was a nice contrast to the heaviness and excess we often see."

He was referring to the likes of Emily Blunt, who wore a soft- pink embellished Prada gown, and Alicia Vikander, winner of the best supporting actress Oscar, in a lemon-yellow strapless dress with a mullet hem from Louis Vuitton.

Nevertheless, some front-row denizens were ready to issue their verdicts.

Hamish Bowles, international editor at large for American Vogue, said he had been hoping for more bold statements on the red carpet. "I thought plenty of the attendees looking ravishing, but frankly, I was profoundly underwhelmed," he said. "I suppose that is par for the course these days -- no one dares to stand out from the crowd. There's a fearfulness that governs the decisions of these stars and their stylists, in case they are pounced upon by the self-styled pundits. It's really rather sad."

Across the catwalk in the buyers' section, Roopal Patel, fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, was more prepared to give people their due while adding it had not been a stellar selection, despite lashings of old Hollywood glamour. …

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