Enough with the black already!
It was starting to look ominous at the Golden Globes. That Yves Saint Laurent number Kate Winsltt blubbed over? Black. Anne Hathaway? Disturbingly dark. Angelina and Kristin Scott Thomas? Beige. But the BAFTAs were infinitely more sinister.Marion Cottillard (who wore unforgettable white Chanel to win her Oscar last year)? Black … with a hint of white. Angelina? Black and yellow. But mostly black. And Brad wore a black scarf over his black tuxedo just to drive home the point.
Meryl Streep? Guess. Penelope Cruz? Got it. Goldie Hawn??!! Let me repeat: Goldie Hawn. Gold, surely? Silver, at least? No. Black. Even Alesha Dixon, whose sole job in life is to show off her legs and flood us with happiness, wore floor-length jet. It’s as if they’ve all been told by their stylists that It’s Bad Out There. Everyone Is Miserable. And they don’t dare buck the trend.
Sure, the hair was nice. Everyone was charming about the hair. But the reason they noticed was because the dresses were UNBELIEVABLY BORING.
What is it this awards season? Is it Heath Leger’s overdose? Is it The Recession? (I grant it capital letters because if it’s affecting Brangelina’s wardrobe choices, it needs them.) Why does every major star with a film to promote feel the need to channel Queen Victoria post Albert? Honorable exceptions are Sharon Stone (no film) and Frieda Pinto (not major). They chose pink for the BAFTAs. Hooray! But they were in a pathetic minority.
This just shows today’s stars missing the point entirely. We all understand that they get paid footballer salaries to go out, live the high life and fulfil our dreams for us. They’re our modern day sacrificial victims, except they get personal trainers instead of fattening diets, and they get paparazzi instead of carnivorous volcanoes. Their job is to do the stuff we don’t get to do and cheer us up. Most importantly, they’re supposed to wear the stuff we can’t wear, and have fun doing it.
At times like these, more than ever, we need distractions, not reinforcement. The movie awards themselves are confirming it in spades. Are they rewarding Meryl Streep (black bonnet) scaring the bejeezus out of Philip Seymour Hoffman (black surplice)? Or Angelina being hosed down in a mental asylum? No! It’s Dev Patel winning 20 million rupees and Bollywood dancing on a station platform. It’s Mickey Rourke rising from the dead and doing it with a funny hairstyle. If Meryl had been up for Mamma Mia, she’d have been in with a chance. Doubt? I don’t think so.
Kate Winslet had her moment in that blue Narcisco Rodriguez number at the SAG awards. The one where she rashly tried to name four women and forgot The Most Famous Woman On The Planet. Anyway. Fabulous colour. Exceptional cleavage. Va va voom. But note, she saved it for the ceremony we can’t remember. The little one that none of us mere mortals would miss if it quietly slipped off the calendar.
Stop, Kate! Think! When you step in front of those cameras on the red carpet, you’re suggesting how I could look if I was a stunning, talented actress with great bone structure, good boobs, reliable hair and a posse of make-up artists, dressers, designers and jewellers to turn me into a goddess for the evening. That’s not your dress you’re wearing. It’s mine.
And I don’t want to wear black right now. I want bling and zing and a reminder that the world is not, in fact, coming to an end. We have a new President (OK, he’s black, but that’s not the same thing). We know from history that things will get better. We all have our moments when things are, actually, fine. Go celebrate them.
The Oscars are coming up in a couple of weeks. Pick out the shocking pink. Go blue again. Even yellow. I’m not fussy. Accessorise the hell out of it. Revel in the fact that it’s your year. Cheer us up, for God’s sake. We’ve seen you in black and we know that you can do it. Now move on.