17 January 2011

The Golden Globes: Runway to "Reality"

The 2011 Golden Globes were, all in all, an uncomfortable experience. From Alexa "I'm a LOT cooler than all of you" Chung's dead-eyed red carpet interviews and Ricky Gervais's strange brand of occasionally successful humor (cruelty defended as brave honesty), to Robert DeNiro's Megan Fox at the TSA joke and Aaron Sorkin's strange "elite is an aspirational word, smart girls have more fun" message to his daughter, it was a weird evening. There were moments of brilliance from Tina Fey, Robert Downey, Jr., and Tom Hanks, but something just seemed a little sloppy and poorly timed about the entire evening -  presenters were not announced unless the host on high had a joke to go with it (thanks Gervais, I'd be able to ID Tim Allen, but what about Kaley Cuoco? Sure, whatever, The Big Bang Theory is like the number 1 or number 2 show on television, but that doesn't mean I'm able to just spot the generic looking hot blonde female lead in the absence of her co-stars), and the audience reaction crew spent too much time on Angelina and Brad (who looked bored the whole time) and Lea Michele (who seems to be working on a campaign to rectify her diva reputation with over-emotive "I'm just SO HAPPY FOR EVERYONE" faces). 

But of course that's all beside the point, right? The awards are a sham (see: nomination of The Tourist for Best Musical or Comedy) and we all know that it's just sort of the unloved middle child with a superiority complex of awards shows. So why do we watch? The dresses of course. 

Though beautiful, thin celebrities aren't really all that different from beautiful, thin runway models, I like to see the dresses side by side where possible. Enjoy. But keep in mind: most of these clowns had their gowns custom made, so pickings look a little slight. 

   Anne Hathaway and Karlie Kloss in Armani Privé (Fall 2010)

 Catherine Zeta-Jones and NAMELESS MODEL in Monique Lhuillier (Pre-Fall 2011)

Jennifer Lawrence and Lara Stone in versions of Louis Vuitton (Fall 2010 RTW)

 Piper Perabo and Anja Rubik in Oscar de la Renta (Spring 2011 RTW)

January Jones and Jac in Versace (Spring 2011 RTW)

Tina Fey and Marike Le Roux in L'Wren Scott (Spring 2011 RTW)

No photos yet of Alexa Chung in Valentino, but this Julia Saner in the look  (Spring 2011 RTW)



A-J said...

It's really weird that we think about these very similar spaces in totally different ways. That is: why is runway fashion considered "art" while the same clothes on celebrities in the context of the red carpet (really, just a runway by a different name), just a spectacle or an advertisement?

There's a related transformation of the designer too....on the runway, the designer is an artist. On the red carpet, the designer is a brand....or something.

ldbahr said...

So you're saying the celebrities diminish the value of the art just by wearing the clothes? Because celebrities and awards shows really middlebrow? I wonder if there are designers out there who wouldn't want their clothes displayed in this way. I think the transformation from art to advertising becomes more apparent when the design is "customized" for the actress - like the random vain actress would know better than the designer/artist.

So there's no spectacle here, so it's not pulp, and it sort of becomes pathetic because it's grasping for taste and class. Theatrics get mocked (see Helena Bonham Carter), the staid are celebrated. When considered alongside the fact that the concept of the red carpet is so inherently middle/low brow...you're probably right. The ART is lost as soon as the dress floats off the runway. (Yes, these dresses float.)

A-J said...

I didn't mean to imply that any objective value is taken away from fashion in the change of venue. (I probably shouldn't have used the word "just.") And I'm totally with you: when beautiful movie stars wear the things that designers make for beautiful fashion models, monetary value skyrockets--so of course designers want that.

But my question is rather something like this: Why are these contexts so different when it's the same dress? Why, to use your approach, is the red carpet necessarily "middlebrow" when the catwalk isn't? And, maybe most important to me because I wear a LOT of plaid: why is the middlebrow pathetic?


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