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Oscars 2002 Monday, 25 March, 2002, 17:29 GMT
Oscar's night of fashion blunders
Gwyneth Paltrow
Paltrow: Must be crying now
By Former Cosmopolitan and Woman's Journal Editor Marcelle d'Argy Smith

Some of the most beautiful, famous, young and sexy women in the world have weeks to get ready for the Oscars.

You want to know who looked really gorgeous? The men.

They have the most famous fashion and jewellery designers from Milan, Paris, New York and Hollywood at their disposal. At their feet. Grovelling, begging, pleading to offer their services.

We'll help you look sensational. Anything you want Julia, Gwyneth, Nicole, Kate, Cameron - take it. And if you don't like anything in our catwalk collection we'll run you up something else.

Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz: Just about got away with her outfit
We'll see that people simply gasp at you, the glittering star, as you walk down that red carpet - or you shimmer on stage to present or collect an award.

"The dress" they'll say: "Look how incredible she looks in that dress."

Your image will be flashed around the globe. Remember Liz Hurley in "that dress" and what it did for her career - and that was only London for God's sake.


This is LA. The Oscars may be about Hollywood politics, schmaltz and money - but sometimes the right person wins.

For female stars, however, it is also about being jaw-droppingly glamorous in front of the entire film industry at the ceremony - and a further two billion people supposedly glued to their TV sets.

Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly: A mysterious choice of beige

So how come so many women stars got it so wrong? I mean - all that time, money, effort and help - and they didn't look as good as women in the audience at an Oprah show.

This morning Gwyneth Paltrow is probably sobbing with embarrassment.

She wore a long black dress with a ruched see-through bodice that showed flat breasts - and the entire top half of her body ruched down to her non-existent waist.

And the Heidi plaits on the top of her head? How did she leave home like that? Doesn't she have a best friend?

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman: Could have done better

Cameron Diaz (drag hair through hedge and then apply gel) went for a Betsy Johnson type cream dress with huge floral blobs and a slash to the waist neck.

No one else could wear it. On her, the woman with the sexiest smile and face in the industry, it looked like fashion. And this could be the New Hair.


Nicole Kidman looked frozenly pretty in long pale pink. The hair was long and softly waved, but it was frankly too dated. You looked, you shrugged - even though she's beautiful.

Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren
Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren: Dignified
Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, a skinny woman, wore a long strapless dress in shrieking beige, the ruched top of which seemed to be riding down her even skinnier chest as she made her way on stage. Why she wore a long matching pale dung coloured scarf was a mystery.

Yes, Kate Winslet did look good in a flame-coloured tight fitting strapless dress with a shoulder strap of scarlet roses.

Julia Roberts looked too thin and boring in long black with long sleeves and gaps at the back and under the arms.

Now she may not be young, but I have seen Barbra Streisand look pretty damned good. However, these days she's buying retail. She's buying curtains retail.

Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand: Curtain display
Last night, Streisand appeared in a burgundy velvet draped wrap that swathed her whole body - although a leg stuck out so there was a slit in the wrap/tent/curtain somewhere.

Maybe it was a prop from Funny Girl. And the hair was lifeless and flat, and you think maybe she's so busy being happily married she doesn't care. Maybe she's fallen out with Donna Karan. Because if that was DK, sell your share.


Sharon Stone looked slim, divinely pretty with slightly longer hair (much better) and a stunning black long-sleeved dress cut low at the back.

Halle Berry looked dreamy. Dark, elfin, sizzlingly beautiful.

Halle Berry
Halle Berry: A rare success
The best-dressed body in the business, she wore a burgundy and dark green dress with the chiffon top discreetly covered in petals or jewels. She hadn't copied or borrowed her look from anyone else.

She's Halle Berry with her alert spiky black hair and little need of artifice. Oscar for best look even if I don't agree with Oscar for best actress.

Look, I feel bad criticising Whoopi Goldberg. She has a bigger personality than any woman - and most men in Hollywood. I love her - she made the whole evening possible. But her clothes did inject a kind of circus element to the proceedings.

The opening spoof Moulin Rouge sequence was a glittering hoot - but then the patchwork velvet coats, the array of fancy dress clothes didn't do it for me. Someone get hold of Whoopie and make her look glamorous.

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet came up trumps

What else can I tell you? Helen Mirren, Renée Zellweger, Maggie Smith displayed restrained good taste in black or white. Oh, Sissy Spacek looked so dignified and attractive in a white cover-up jacket. What a smile.

But do you want to know who looked really gorgeous?

The men. Despite their advanced ages, nobody in the theatre looked better than Sidney Poitier and Robert Redford in their DJs. Even Woody Allen looked good.

I tell you, things have come to pass when Woody Allen shows up anywhere looking better than Gwyneth Paltrow.

I'm still trying to absorb that fact as I rethink my spring wardrobe.

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See also:

28 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
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