I am as happy as any red carpet-walking actress that another awards season is behind us. I can't skim anymore articles or suffer anymore chat show segments instructing me how to get myself Red Carpet Ready. I don't know about you but I'm going to work, the airport, yoga, CVS and I don't feel to compelled to get RCR to do any of these things.
As for last night's red carpet, aside from the trends - red and varying shades of purple, lace, nude, shimmer and sequins- Oscar fashion always falls into five reliable camps:
PRETTY: Romantic, frothy, lacy and sometimes more than a little too fairy princess for grown women. But pretty all the same. The kind of relatable fashion that most women can imagine themselves wearing if they needed to be RCR. Last night Natalie Portman inspired leagues of pregnant women how to do a maternity evening look well. Halle Berry would look stunning wearing a belted garment bag but her floaty nude Marchesa confection led the charge in pretty.
HIGH FASHION: Strong, statuesque types like Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Tilda Swinton dress for fashion's sake and not for wolf whistles. They take risks knowing they will be pilloried by the press. I love them for it and I loved the Givenchy Haute Couture creation that Cate Blanchette wore last night.
STATUETTE: Sequined columns that suggest Oscar himself like Gwyneth Paltrow's liquid platinum gown by Calvin Klein or Amy Adams in a sapphire sequined L'Wren Scott.
TRAIN WRECK: Helena Bonham Carter has been helming this category for years. Her period costume drama sensibilities are okay with me. She lives with Tim Burton. What more do we need to know? Sadly, there aren't enough train wrecks of the Cher in Bob Mackie variety to look forward to anymore. The majority of actresses are savvy enough to hire a good stylist. However, Melissa Leo's hand tooled leather lace number by Marc Bouwer did not disappoint. And the perfect accessory for a certified TW? An F-bomb. Fun!
ABOVE THE SCRUM: There are a few actresses who by keeping things simple manage to navigate the rocky shoals of Oscar style like Helen Mirren in steel gray Vivienne Westwood, Ann Hathaway in an 'archival ' red Valentino and Sandra Bullock in red Vera Wang.
A new year. New eyeglasses. It seemed like an easy enough style upgrade until I started to shop for frames and found myself muttering "why does anything with a look cost $400?" There are a few reasons. Designer glasses are ridiculously expensive because much like Big Oil and Big Pharma there is Big Optometry. Safilo and Luxotica are two mondo manufacturers who also design and market glasses for fashion names like Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Ralph Lauren. Luxotica also owns retailers Sunglass Hut and Lens Crafters. So the cost of seasonal ad campaigns and mall real estate are factored into the price of every pair of frames.
After a little online research I discovered Warby Parker which sells retro-inspired frames for around $95 a pair including prescription lenses. The one year old company eliminates the retail middle man with frames of their own design that they sell from their online store. You have a few options when you shop. The site has facial recognition technology so upload a picture of your face and try on virtual glasses. I prefer a hands on approach so the company mailed me five loaner frames of my choosing to try at home. I was impressed. The glasses were lightweight enough to avoid slipping but felt comfortable and sturdy on my face. The loaners are returnable if you don't strike gold. Choose your frames and enter your prescription information online including the distance between your pupils ( an optician can easily measure this for you) and that's it. Chic-looking and well-priced glasses for a fraction of the cost of designer frames. And for every pair of frames sold WP provides a free pair of eyeglasses to someone in need in the U.S. or the developing world.