Monday, February 23, 2009

From Extraordinary to Extra-Extraordinary

Let's face it. At the Academy Awards we expect the extraordinary -- that's why so many of us tune in and watch it. So to be extra-extraordinary you have to re-define and rethink your approach to the evening. We have all come to expect that everyone will be beautiful.

But I believe that there was one woman who fit the occasion better and was more beautiful, more extra-extraordinary than anyone else.

Penelope Cruz showed up in a 60-year old vintage couture gown by Parisian designer Pierre Baumain. This was a dress that she had seen eight years ago and dreamed that she would one day have the opportunity to wear it. When she was nominated, she tracked down the dress, was delighted to find that it was still available and she bought it. I mean, this is a story of consummated love!. It's extraordinary -- and the fact that she found it, loved it, wore it beautifully to one of the most important events in her life; and then, be-decked in Chopard jewels, she WINS best-supporting actress and becomes the first Spanish actress ever to win an Oscar. Not only that, but the whole theme for the Oscars last night was that 1940's/50's Old Hollywood Glam and she couldn't have been more perfectly coifed.

That, my friends, is extra-extraordinary!! She loved that dress and that dress loved her and she glowed because of it. And her acceptance speech was my favorite of the evening -- she was absolutely RADIANT.


And she probably wins my Extra-Extraordinary Award because there was someone else there last night to compare her too.

Someone else tried to carry off the same look.

Now don't get me wrong, I like Sarah Jessica Parker...

But for some reason when I saw her, I couldn't help but think that her look had been done before...


When she walked out on stage I thought she looked just like Glinda, minus the wings...I think it was the hair?


OK. So I give best all-around dress, dress performance and Extra-Extraordinary Award to Penelope Cruz...

Here are the nominees for best FABRIC on a dress...

1st is Anne Hathaway for all those billions of beautiful, catch-the-light paillettes...wow!

2nd is Kate Winslet for her hand embroidered and beaded black lace that draped from her shoulder to her waist and down the back of her dress...stunning....

and 3rd is Penelope again for her vintage gown with all of its ruching and ornate detailing...

But I've got to give it to Kate Winslet who was just breathtaking, and she won an Oscar for Best Actress too! It's so nice when my favorite dresses are also the winners of the awards!


And I LOVED that five of the prior winners of the Best Actor/Actress awards came up to introduce the nominees and announce the winner. It was a beautiful way to welcome the new winner into the sorority of best actresses.

Of course, I was very curious about Ms. Cruz' dress so I found some pictures courtesy of e.coleman p.r. of backstage shots of a couture show of Pierre Balmain's in 1954. Aren't they grand?


Pierre was known for his ornate detailing and he dressed Hollywood starlets such as


Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Brigitte Bardo and Kathryn Hepburn...

We just don't do detail like they used to...sigh...

Oh, and forgive me but I have to show you one more from the woman who I think is one of the most beautiful on the face of this earth...

Halle Berry. *sigh.

11 comments:

Eva said...

the photos of all the beautiful dresses were like a long slow drink of cool water to me.i like the backstage shots of a couture show best. the gowns are very elegant and ladylike and there is movement, activity in those photos that really makes them special, alive. the models' femininity was captured beautifully in their smiles and everyday movements of adjusting their dresses and make-up, talking with other models...

the story of Penelope and her dress is enchanting and could serve as an inspiration to follow our dreams.

Marty52 said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! Her gown and the story that goes with it are equally exquisite. I don't watch the show but I always like to look at the gowns the next day. Isn't Halle Berry a stunner? Every inch a star. Love the back stage photos... so alive as Eva said. Quite a rarified atmosphere, though!

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

I thought all the ladies looked wonderful, but your choices are the best, I agree! I too loved the way they were presented their awards.

Elmsley Rose said...

Thankyou for such a beautiful post!

Maureen from Maryland said...

You are right on the money again. I don't really watch the show but I was sitting there when someone was talking about all the crystals they would be using in the decorating of the auditorium and I thought I needed to see that. Then they showed some of the people and I thought many of the dresses lovely. It has been a long time since that crowd has been wearing lovely dresses. Then I saw Penelope and her dress and it was gorgous!!!! I heard the story and I loved it even more. I looked at the dresses this morning on line and I also loved the pink dress worn by Portman or something. I thought that lovely. I even liked the dress worn by Miley Cyrus. It is such fun to look at something with such detail as some of these dresses. I do have to admit there were some real douseys there also like Parker.
Thanks Susan you always do such a great job of critiquing. You could be one of those people hosting the red carpet.

Plays with Needles said...

Oh, I forgot about the millions of swarovski crystals that made up the curtain!! That was unbelievable!

I would be scared to death to be on the red carpet...I'd have to wear that dress sooner rather than later and I already said I was past my prime...but Meryl Streep looked beautiful didn't she? So maybe with a lot of really good undergarments...just to get close up to all those fabrics...

Camilla La Mer-Art Dolls said...

This blog entry was more fun than watching the actual show! Thanks for your fashion research and insights!

You should approach Ellen Degeneris about standing in as one of her correspondents at the next Academy Awards show...

The crystal curtain was my favorite part...instant rainbows...I want one for my home!

xoxo Camilla

Lisa said...

How lovely! I don't have TV so love having your commentary and pictures of the event! I love Penelope's dress! So gorgeous and elegant! Thanks for sharing!

karenfae said...

what a wonderful blog post you did on last nights show. I wasn't going to watch it and then decided to and I'm glad I did. I so much agree with you on P. Cruz - beautiful and on the S.J. Parker - I was thinking the exact same thing - Glenda the good witch -- I thought she looked horrible in that dress and you know she has worn similar outfits in the past to this show as well and all I thought looked really bad on her.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

a2susan said...

Thanks so much for your comments on the Oscars. I'm another one who doesn't watch tv, so I look at the dresses on the internet, but having your commentary brings the event to life. What a great story about Penelope Cruz...showing that dreams really do come true!

Susan

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Beautiful ladies...beautiful dresses...I love that vintage dress...much more unique than the others....can't help but think it the best form of recycling ;o)

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