Oscars Not Wild: Time to Ruffle Some Academy Feathers

As the type of 14-year-old who
choreographed dance routines to “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles, the Oscars once held a dear place in my heart. The People Magazine Oscars Special held a revered space on my
bedside table. 

Now, as a jaded college student, my main contention with Oscars
fashion is that its fashion looks the same as it did in 2007; despite ever-changing styles, Oscars fashion is stagnant. Aren’t we all past
being smitten with Old Hollywood Glamour? (I’m looking at you, Kate Hudson.
Let. It. Go.)

Essentially, the Oscars are like the Grammys’ frumpy uncle having
a retirement party. Few people are willing to take risks, and the event suffers
for it.

On a positive note, Emma
Watson and Naomi Watts looked charming. Both wore simple outfits—Watson, a
black, shimmery tank top and flared skirt by Vera Wang; and Watts, a sequined
white Calvin Klein dress.

On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence’s dress, a bright red Dior, bore a bold color but was ultimately unexciting. She may charm with
her inability to walk without tripping, but surely someone could have alerted
her, Julia Roberts, and Amy Adams that peplums are pretty outdated. I wore one
to junior prom, and if your look echoes mine as a high school junior, you’ve done something
wrong. 

I take special offense at Amy
Adams’ dress, a dark navy blue with folded lapels at the top and hips, because she so recently wore some of the best clothes of the year
in American Hustle. The ’70s are
absolutely astounding in terms of fashion, and Adams’ plunging necklines
were emblematic of a bold era, showing the daily motifs of liberation
and revolution that characterized the era. In contrast, her dress at the Oscars
showed a disappointing lack of adventure.

Lupita Nyong’o has received a lot
of attention for her lovely ensemble. Although unexciting by most standards, her dress was delightful in the context in which it was worn. Nyong’o chose the color of her Prada gown, dubbed Nairobi blue, because it reminds her of her home in Kenya. 

This charming move shows the shift that will hopefully continue in the Oscars: A newcomer, outside of the establishment of Hollywood and the Oscars machine, brought her own culture and personality to the event.

The Oscars are, in
essence, wealthy white men of the establishment giving each other awards.
Several of said individuals confessed to not having seen 12 Years a Slave. Yet the movie still won, and in doing so brought
a new sort of racial and historical awareness to the conservative, stuffy
Oscars. 

Yes, the Oscars are frivolous,
overly conservative, and easily disregarded. But fashion does matter. It is a barometer of life, a way for people to convey personality and excitement. When we choose to play it safe
with clothes, we indicate a lack of adventure and creativity. How many more
draped gowns in pastels and navy blues will we suffer through until we cry
“Enough?”

The final question, of course, is
how this relates to college students at the Claremont Colleges. Quite simply,
like Justin Bieber’s drunk driving arrest, we need to learn from the mistakes
of the stars. 

Playing it safe didn’t win Sandra Bullock and her boring, navy
blue draped dress an Oscar. Cate Blanchett and her kooky, nude sparkle dress
won and looked fabulous while doing it.

Style, like a shark, dies when it stops
moving. Don’t let the winter (well, slightly chilly) weather get you down.
Instead, channel Pharrell and make your predictable tuxedo pants into daring tuxedo shorts. And
maybe add a hat.

Sadie Renjilian SC ’17 is from Atlanta, Ga. Her favorite shoe is the clog. 

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