- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2007


One dress is not enough for Oscar producer Laura Ziskin. Even 30 of the most iconic dresses ever worn on Oscar’s red carpet are not enough. Miss Ziskin wants more.

Not to wear, but to share.

She’s transforming the annual Oscar fashion show, which typically forecasts what styles might grace the red carpet on the big night, into a retrospective of memorable outfits from the past five decades of Academy Awards galas.

“A Celebration of Oscar Fashion” will feature dozens of groundbreaking gowns for a private audience of press, stylists and stars on Jan. 30, but Miss Ziskin and the show’s curator, Vogue editor at large Andre Leon Talley, still hope to collect a few more pieces.

On their wish list? Ellen Barkin’s Versace dress from 1993, a Halston gown worn in 1990 by Glenn Close, the dress Julie Andrews wore in 1965 (which was featured in last year’s Oscar poster) and “anything from Natalie Wood.”

“Mia Farrow has a disco-era outfit that is great,” Miss Ziskin says. “Any of the ones that have been auctioned [to collectors] are signature dresses that we’d like to add.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asks that anyone in possession of a classic Oscar gown send an e-mail to publicityoscars.org.

One outfit that won’t be in the fashion-show mix is Bjork’s infamous swan gown (and coordinating egg purse) from the 2001 Academy Awards.

“They wouldn’t give it to us,” Miss Ziskin says.

Still, she and Mr. Talley plan to show many memorable looks, including two dresses from Sophia Loren, Diane Keaton’s trademark white pantsuit, Sharon Stone’s newsworthy Gap T-shirt and Valentino skirt combo and Barbra Streisand’s unforgettable transparent bell-bottomed jumpsuit from 1968, when she tied Katharine Hepburn for the best-actress Oscar.

“There’s no way anybody could have worn that other than Barbra Streisand,” Mr. Talley says. “It was that moment in fashion.”

Miss Ziskin was inspired to look backward instead of forward with the annual runway show to celebrate fashion’s role in the Academy Awards. “It’s such an integral part” of the Oscars, she says. “It’s the biggest fashion night of the year anywhere in the world.”

Fashion is another way fans connect to their favorite stars, says Kevin James, historian for Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

“People want to see the glamour aspect of it. We want that dress-up time,” he says. “This is a way for all of us to be able to dress formally while we’re still wearing our sweats and sitting on the lounge chair in front of the TV.”

The Oscars are as much about fashion as they are about movies, Mr. Talley says.

“It’s a big celebration of fashion and style,” he says. “The next day, everyone talks about who won and who wore what.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide