From Issue #4 of Deadline’s recent awards print editions, noted fashion editor/writer Elizabeth Snead filed this report:
No, it’s not too early to ask that question about the Oscars or the Golden Globes or the BAFTAs or the SAG Awards or to speculate about the actress considered this Hollywood awards season’s biggest “get” among the global fashion industry that has taken root. Clothes and accessories designers, personal stylists, and image-makers who hook up celebrities with prestige brands already are predicting which actresses will wear whose haute couture (especially if they fit into a runway sample size 2).
The fact is, what stars showcase on the red carpets is based on their existing relationships. Several actresses touted for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominations this year, like Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman, and Annette Bening, already have long fashion histories. Style-icon Hathaway (Love & Other Drugs) favors Oscar classics from Armani, Valentino and Marchesa. Oscar winner Kidman (Rabbit Hole) has worked with many top designers during her career including, Chanel, Balenciaga, and her designer/stylist L’Wren Scott. Annette Bening (The Kids Are Alright) has long been on Team Armani.
Carey Mulligan (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Never Let Me Go) often wears Balenciaga; Lanvin; and Prada, the house that did her most recent Oscar gown adorned with tiny forks and spoons. Michelle Williams wowed critics with her trend-setting, mustard-yellow Vera Wang for her Oscar nod in 2006, but recently wore Chanel couture at the Blue Valentine Cannes premiere. Amy Adams (The Fighter) has picked Carolina Herrera for three highly-praised Oscar carpet strolls. Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right) loves edgier Lanvin and Balenciaga — plus, Tom Ford has directed her, so he might give her something special from his new collection that recently debuted during NYC Fashion Week. The always-eclectic Tilda Swinton (I Am Love) has designers she describes as “friends who send me boxes” including, Alber Elbaz (whom she’s nicknamed ‘Albert Elbows’), Haider Ackermann, Dior’s John Galliano, Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquiere, Viktor & Rolf, and Vivienne Westwood.
This season’s biggest Oscar ‘get’ might be Natalie Portman (Black Swan), if only she hadn’t recently signed her first fragrance contract — for Parfums Christian Dior. The natural assumption is that she’ll do Dior on Oscar Day just like she did at Mike Nichols’ recent AFI tribute. But there’s already chatter she might don Rodarte for some red carpets because of her long history with its Pasadena-based designing sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy. And don’t forget that she insisted on Rodarte designing the exquisite ballerina costumes for Black Swan. Natalie already wore a stunning red Rodarte gown to the Venice Film Festival, but also carried a Dior bag.
Indeed, fashion’s equivalent of Facebook status is which actresses have which multimillion-dollar brand ambassador deals for designer jewelry, clothing, and fragrances. That may mean they’re ‘done’ for the 2011 awards season because, deep in the contract’s fine print, are requirements that these actresses wear — or at least give first consideration to — those designers’ fashions. Milla Jovovich (Stone) models in Escada’s Fall 2010 ad campaign that featured some Oscar-worthy fabwear. While she wore a Temperley orange silk gown to the recent Hollywood Awards, fashion folks predict she’ll wear Escada to the Academy Awards. And Blake Lively (The Town) is known to have a friendship with Vogue editor Anna Wintour, thus explaining her recent front-row seat at a Chanel Paris haute-couture show. After her appearance with Karl Lagerfeld at the Chanel boutique reopening during New York Fashion Week, it was reported that Lively was in Paris shooting a Chanel handbag ad campaign. Insiders now consider her locked this awards season.
Among previous Oscar-nominated or-winning actresses, Keira Knightley (Never Let Me Go) is still the face of Chanel’s Coco fragrance. And she continues to stand by her brand, wearing Chanel at the Rome and London film festivals. No surprise since, in September, she hopped on a motorcycle in Paris to shoot a new Chanel Coco ad. Marion Cotillard (Inception) stars in a series of Lady Dior print ads and short films, including films directed by David Lynch and John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole). No surprise that she favors Dior gowns for big awards. Same with Charlize Theron, who’s the face of J’Adore fragrance: she keeps wearing Dior (like John Galliano’s controversial rosebud-bosomed gown at last year’s Oscars). This means many designers will go after the uncommitted, like Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Rebecca Hall (The Town), perhaps Juliette Lewis (Conviction), even 12-year-old Elle Fanning (Somewhere), and, of course, Kristen Stewart (Welcome To The Rileys, The Twilight Saga).
Some already have fashion help. Lawrence — who wore Thakoon to pick up her New Hollywood Award — is being styled by Estee Stanley, who also dresses Jessica Biel and Penelope Cruz. Noomi Rapace — who wore British designer Alexander McQueen to get her Hollywood Spotlight Award, and two Elie Saab gowns to the Venice Film Festival — was dressed by very influential stylist Elizabeth Stewart, who also dresses Cate Blanchett. Even Kristen Stewart has been improved by stylist Tara Swennen, who dressed her this year in high fashion from Elie Saab, Balenciaga, Herve Leger, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, and Monique Lhuillier (for the last Oscars). Kristen has even switched her signature Keds for Christian Louboutin heels.
Also still up for grabs are these fine and mature actresses: Lesley Manville (Another Year), Sally Hawkins (Made In Dagenham), Sissy Spacek (Get Low), Dale Dickey (Winter’s Bone), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Dianne Wiest (Rabbit Hole), and Gemma Jones (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger).