Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who I'm Wearing To The Oscars

In case you've never seen a celebrity stopped on the red carpet and asked about her gown, that title is not a grammatical mistake, at least by today's standards. Awards show reporters must be convinced that we are much more interested in designers' names than in actresses' upcoming movies, or political opinions, or plans to adopt African orphans, so consequently every three minutes, you'll see an overly made-up bimbo run up to the next arrival, gushing, "Kate! (or Cate! or Katie!), you look absolutely fabulous, who are you wearing?"

I keep hoping for some actress with an IQ higher than her bra size to snap, "Hello, I'm wearing a dress, not a person," Or at least "It's WHOM, not who." But apparently, this grammatically-impaired fascination with clothing designers is ubiquitous (a word I doubt anyone on Project Runway could use in a sentence). We have reality competitions, fashion shows covered in the NY Times, and instantaneous knockoffs available of the dresses worn by the new, chic First Lady (we even know who designs her kids' clothes). I'm not knocking the fashion industry, even though I wouldn't spend $8,000 on the latest purse even if I had it to spend. But can't we celebrate movies and creative accomplishments beyond what the women are wearing?

Last night I heard an essay on NPR, of all places, by a writer whose film-maker husband was up for one of the minor awards given out by Rikki Lake or William Shatner before the telecast, and while most of the piece was about how the hubby's previous Oscar had changed their marriage, she had to mention that she'd be 'wearing' a pair of hip young Oakland designers who'd lent her a fabulously structural, modern yet vintage, ruched Aubergine satin gown with a sheer lace bolero (or something along those lines). Come on, now even anonymous spouses are drinking the Koolaid? I know I couldn't say 'who I was wearing' without snorting, it sounds like I'd have a pair of little designers, one on my back, one in front, holding hands and suspended from my shoulders.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not immune to the allure of glamour, and I'll be watching the pre-Oscar telecast and critiquing the arrivals ("Strapless gowns don't look good on women that thin," "Jeez, with all that money she couldn't manage to get her hair done?"), hoping for a really good Fashion Don't like Bjork's swan-laying-an-egg dress, or the year Gwyneth looked like a goth vampire. But just once, I'd like to see the actresses asked something besides 'who they're wearing'. (As for me, I'll be wearing Lucy - the dog who likes to sit on my lap - and sweats by Target.)

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