Posts tagged ‘academy awards’

March 18, 2011

Tom Kolovos picks Oscar’s best and worst dressed on “NBC5 News Today”

Click here for video

(start about 55 seconds in)

Related posts: The Best (and Worst) Dressed List: The 2011 Academy Awards

The Best Dressed List: The Men of the 2011 Academy Awards

Carpet Diem: Lessons from the red carpet

March 1, 2011

Carpet Diem: Lessons from the red carpet for building your own wardrobe

On Wednesday, March 2nd, I will be  following in the auspicious footsteps of such luminaries as Rosalyn Carter, Cokie Robers, Ogden Nash, Michael Frayn, Barbara Bush, Diane von Furstenburg and style icon Nan Kemper, giving a talk at The Women’s Athletic Club entitled “Carpet Diem: Lessons from the red carpet for building your own wardrobe.”

Here are some lessons illustrated by examples from the recent Academy Awards.

The dress should dictate every other detail.

You can start with an absolutely stunning dress like this L’Wren Scott beaded column but if you don’t understand how to accessorize a minimalist dress with a high neckline or how to wear your hair with such a dress so that you maximize its impact, you wind up with this Amy Adams mistake .

Don’t add a necklace on top of a high neckline of a dazzling colored beaded gown. The color and the beading do all the work for you.

The dress creates a long lean line, so her hair should emphasize that–not fight with the neckline and jewelry. Lose the necklace. Wear the hair up in a sleek updo. Add some emerald studs. Done!

What always matters is not how much something costs but the impact it has!

This Channel Haute Couture gown is basically a t shirt dress. It’s exquisitely made but without bold lips and some sort of stunning accessories, it gets completely overlooked on Michelle Williams. My suggestion:  a coral or red lip, yellow diamond studs, a yellow diamond ring and a slightly golden/metallic clutch.

There comes an age when messy hair is not an option. Fifty is well past that age.

There comes an age when trying to look like a princess comes off as looking like Miss Havisham.

You may not be wearing the most original dress, but if the color suits you beautifully and the cut is classic, you will always belong on the red carpet.

The wrong shoes can ruin any outfit. (Even an ugly one.)

If it is your event, your spouse has the responsibility to bring up bring the level of their game. Couples should always look as if they are attending the same event. Always. Not negotiable. It should be in your prenup.

Yes, Mrs Jackman, I’m talking about you.

Who says dressing your age means you can’t look spectacular?

Susan Bridges makes it look effortless.

February 25, 2011

Design: Jimmie Martin

Maybe it is the impending Academy Awards that has me seeing “Black Swan,” “The Social Network,” and “The King’s Speech” references in places where they don’t necessarily belong, let alone in furniture design.

But something about the furniture of the English duo Jimmie Martin, usually referred to as “rock and roll” in style, feels cinematic to me, at the very least evoking the graphic design of movie posters. But this year, especially when scrawling figured so prominently in both “Black Swan” and “The Social Network,” and when perfection and communication were dominant themes, their work  seems ripe for reflection.

.Since 2004, Jimmie Martin has provided an eclectic showcase of one-of pieces of furniture combining the decadent and quirky with the nostalgic and urban. All pieces are individually finished off to either the customer’s personal taste, or to the ideas of the founders, Jimmie and Martin.

One of a kind and custom pieces available through Kara Mann Showroom in Chicago.

February 25, 2008

Oscars 2008: The Best and Worst Dressed List

The big news for spring in a store near you is going to be COLOR. And just in case you were inclined to miss the point, the women at this year’s Oscars won’t let you forget. They brought out every color of the Crayola box, which was refreshing to see. What wasn’t so refreshing, was that the designers and the stars seemed to forget that the color of the fabric alone does not make for a beautiful dress. You still need good design. We saw many awkward interpretations of dresses but very few beautifully designed and flattering dresses.

Slideshow: Oscars Red Carpet

Did none of the Hollywood stylists see the Versace couture show? It was a master class in dressmaking, or more appropriately, gown making, and quite frankly none of the dresses last nite were of that superb caliber.Do yourself a favor and go to and see for yourself what you should have seen last nite.

Okay, enough complaining. Here’s the good news:

1. Katherine Heigl. She wore the red dress the best. It had just enough detail to make her shine with out overpowering her — note to Anne Hathaway and Heidi Klum.
2. Jessica Alba. OH, momma!.
3. Hilary Swank. Yes it was black, but it was the best black dress — by far.
4. Cameron Diaz. She spent all of last year on my worst dressed list. What an improvement!
5. Keisha Whitaker. WHO? That would be Forest Whitaker’s wife, who put the major stars to shame (as  she did last year as well)

1. George Clooney. In a category all his own. Guys, pay attention.
2. Josh Brolin
3. Patrick Dempsey

There were sooo many to choose from, it made my head spin.

1. Marion Cotillard. Given that she wore a stunning Nina Ricci gown to the SAG awards, I was expecting great things from her.
This hyper designed Gaultier mermaid body stocking wasn’t it. She looked silly. Compare her to Cameron Diaz, and the point is easily made.
2. Tilda Swinton. Morticia Adams was having a garage sale? Apparently so.
3. Nicole Kidman. I thought it was her husband who had the substance abuse problem not her stylist.
4. Ellen Paige. “Sweetie, you’re young and pretty, so why are you dressing for the biggest nite of your life as if you were a middle aged doctor’s wife at Lutheran General Hospital’s gala in Park Ridge?”
5. Cate Blanchett. BCBG was having a sale at its factory outlet? Apparently so.

1. Javier Bardem. “Sweetie, you’re young………”
2. Ryan Seacrest. And you thought Johnny Cash was dead……
3. Johnny Depp. Doctors in Park Ridge are now apparently very fashionable…..

February 26, 2007


1. Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow
Absolutely fabulous. Faultless. Stunning. Who would have guessed that Reese and Gwyneth would be head and shoulders above the rest? Last year, Reese looked much too prim, proper and “ladylike” in a second-rate vintage Dior gown, but this year she came out in one of Olivier Theyskens debut dresses for Nina Ricci looking ferociously sexy and undeniably classy at the same time. Don’t try this at home! Gwyneth has lately been a fashion victim, so who could have guessed that she would suddenly make a 180-degree turn and show up in this beautiful Zac Pozen gown looking both completely modern and evoking Veronica Lake at the same time. If you want to confirm that both of them were spot on, compare them to Nicole Kidman who just didn’t get the gown, the makeup or the hair right.( That gown needed an updo, not her overlong distracting hair. The bow was distracting enough.)

Slideshow: Red Carpet Photos

The real fashion news of the night can be summed up this way. Two young designers, Theyskens and Pozen, upstaged the more high profile red carpet warhorses, especially Armani, Valentino, and Wang, all of whom fared poorly this year.

3. Jada Pinkett Smith
The color of this Carolina Hererra gown is beautifully suited to her skintone and the shape is remarkably constructed without being overwhelming (memo to Penelope Cruz). Keisha Whitaker looked beautiful in a similarly colored gown.

4. Beyonce
In the red dress on stage (in that instant classic production number), not the mint Armani pageant gown she arrived in. What a difference a dress makes!

5. Rinko Kikuchi
This dress made up for the preposterous Chanel disaster she wore to the Golden Globes.

6. Penelope Cruz
I’m conflicted about this choice, because she looks undeniably striking but there are also many styling mistakes to point out. First of all, the color of the Versace dress makes her glow but the poufy overworked lower half of the dress is too much. Her makeup is flawless but her hairstyle, while technically brilliant, is completely unsuited to the shape of her face. It makes her look elflike, her eyebrows look odd and her ears look enormous. But she looks undeniably striking…….go figure!

Why do some men look perfect in a tuxedo while others don’t? There are really two rules one needs to follow. First, it should fit you (almost like a second skin). Secondly, the width of your tie, collar and lapel should be perfectly proportional.
1. George Clooney
2. Peter Sarsgaard
3. Greg Kinnear
4. Jerry Sienfeld
5. Mark Wahlberg

….and now for the WORST
I chose these women from a long list of poorly dressed celebrities and singled them out because, while they have the pick of any dress and any designer in the world, they still got it wrong.

1. Cameron Diaz
Plain and simple, the dress is ugly.

2. Jennifer Hudson
The biggest disappointment of the night. The shape of the Oscar de la Renta gown was flattering as was the color. But there were better dresses out there. For one, the Vera Wang gown worn (awkwardly) by Jodi Foster would have looked much better on Jennifer. The real problem (aside from the python bolero), and it was a glaring problem, was the unflattering hair, makeup and jewelry. She looked like a tired bridesmaid at a Ramada ballroom.

3. Meryl Streep
She looked great at the Golden Globes but showed up in a Prada Holloween costume. What the devil?

4. Cate Blanchett
Proof positive that just because a dress is Armani couture does not mean it is flattering on any figure. A column dress should not taper at the bottom. Design 101.

5. Jennifer Lopez
Why would you wear a dress that makes your breasts look as if they are hanging in a used condom? A very unflattering bustline on a dress whose upper half makes no design sense whatsoever. The gown was by Marchesa but Mark Wahlberg’s wife had on the company’s best effort. On the bright side, her hair and makeup was gorgeous.

6. Ann Hathaway and Kirsten Dunst

If you’re going to improvise or riff on a tuxedo, you better have impecable taste and look twice in the mirror. These guys failed on both counts.
1. Quincy Jones
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman
3. Robert Downey Jr.
4. Eddie Murphy
5. Gael Garcia Bernal

Tom Kolovos for