Thursday, January 7, 2010

Best Red-Carpet Vintage of the Noughties

Grazia, in their red-carpet collectors edition, calls 2001 the "back to vintage" year, saying Julia Roberts led the way in vintage Valentino when she collected her Best Actress Oscar for Erin Brockovich. And I've got to say, it was - and is - an amazing dress.

But Winona Ryder actually kicked off the predilection for vintage couture on the red-carpet the year before when she wore this sultry but chic Pauline Trigere at the 2000 Academy Awards.

Winona has long been a vintage fan and it has been a lovely trip down memory lane looking at her pretty face and petite figure working lots of hot frocks. The Dior dress below is another favourite. Remember when Winona was the be all and end all It girl? Let's hope her acting career can start to soar again soon the way she always soars in her dress.

Red-carpet style in the 1990's was all about simplicity and understated elegance. Think suits, slip dresses, halter-necks and jersey. But as Bronwyn Cosgrove says in her fantastic book Made for Each Other: Fashion and the Academy Awards (Bloomsbury) "vintage dresses and couture harking back to Hollywood's Golden Era became the mode adopted ... as the twentieth century gave way to the twenty-first." I've had a lot of fun selecting my favourites, of the vintage variety, from the last decade.

Jean Desses knocks my sock off and so do Renee, Jennifer and Marisa in their amazing vintage frocks. These are three of my all time faves.

Considering that Valentino Garavani's modus operandi has always been classic frocks that make women look beautiful, it is pretty unsurprising that when celebs choose vintage for the red-carpet, he is such a popular choice. Calista Flockhart was a definite favourite at the 2008 Oscars (just ignore the school formal hair), and Renee, Kim, Jennifer and Gwen are all flying the vintage flag with grace.

Chanel makes me happy. Vanessa, Michelle and Kyra all look divine and even though some bagged Kate Bosworth's multi-coloured, bedazzled sheath (picked out for her by Karl himself, as she was his Met Ball date), I think it is a brave and beautiful choice.
I know there are a lot of people out there who seriously covet Sienna's wardrobe, but I feel somewhat indifferent about her. However, I feel anything but indifferent about this jaw dropping sexy vintage Ungaro. Backless all the way, I say.

Vintage Dior was also been hugely popular in the noughties. Some thought Reese Witherspoon looked mumsy, but I can't think of anything lovelier to wear to accept Oscar than 1950's Dior.
Plus I can't think of enough superlatives to describe how much I love Marisa's frock.
And while, for me, the heady days of Kate Moss: Style Icon, are over, I consider this dress one of Kate's parting gifts. What a show-stopper.

Rachel Griffiths is a huge vintage fan. Mates with Cameron Silver from Decades, I think Rachel wears vintage on the red-carpet more than just about any other celeb. And she's Aussie. And I loved her in Six Feet Under. And she looks modern and chic in a 1950's cocktail dress, proving that a beautiful & well-made dress can have many, many lives. Love her.

Following in the footsteps of Julia and Reese, Penelope proves that vintage is good luck. She wore this Balmain ballgown to collect her Supporting Actress Oscar last year.

Nicole's former stylist Rachel Zoe introduced her to the wonderful world of vintage, and now she hasn't looked back. I particularly like this vibrant Halston.

Kristin Davis is another vintage fan and snaps to her for wearing Guy Laroche to the SATC film premiere in 2008. She's as pretty as a picture.

So I know that Kelly Brook and Kate Moss are on footpaths rather than red-carpets, but when vintage party frocks are this influential, I need to be a bit flexible. I don't think any dedicated follower of fashion has forgotten that yellow dress in a hurry ... after all, it launched a hundred Kate Moss for Top Shop rip offs.

I wish desperately searching for more vintage Balenciaga on the red-carpet, so thank goodness that the iconic label has got a look in via model Hilary Rhoda.
(BTW I hate the over-use of the word iconic, so it is saying something that I use it here.)

And finally, representing for prints and their awesomeness when featured in evening-wear, is Emma Watson in Ossie Clark, Angie Harmon in Oscar de la Renta and Chloe Sevigny in Yves Saint Laurent.

Eight days into a new decade and I'm hoping fervently for a little more 'brave' on celebrity red-carpets. I'm thinking some of the more experimental and structured Christobal Balenciaga ballgowns and cocktail frocks. Or how about some Jacques Fath? Queens of Vintage just ran a story on Fath and a selection of gorgeous images appeared on My Vintage Vogue this week.

If you've made it to the end of this long, long post, I'd love to hear about your favourites. There were many more frocks to choose from.


E. Driscoll said...

I have to agree with your assessment of Reese's dress! It was fabulous. I read in an interview somewhere she still has the dress and will never wear it again to preserve it for her daughter. She hopes she'll get married in it. Pretty great wedding dress I think :)

Lemondrop Marie said...

WOW. So many of my faves here! I adored Julia Roberts look that night and have always admired Winona's style and use of vintage. Just gorgeous! Love to see vintage on the stars.

Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
January Charmed bracelet giveaway!

Jessica Cangiano said...

What a stellar idea for a post, you've done a fantastic job of highlighting some of the most beautiful (not to mention swoon worthy!) Oscars frocks of the last decade. I'm hard pressed to pick just one favourite, but perhaps would veer toward Reese's champagne hued number.

Wishing you a gorgeous Friday & weekend ahead,
♥ Jessica