Dressed up and nowhere to hide Tinsel: The bad and the ugly overwhelmed the good as the movie queens, and a few well-turned-out men, put on a show.


March 25, 1997|By Alice Steinbach | Alice Steinbach,SUN STAFF

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?"

-- Jane Austen Yes, yes, of course we all watched the Academy Awards last night to see who won what.

But, admit it: Long after we've forgotten who won the Oscar for Sound Effects Editing or Animated Short Film, we will remember who wore what on Hollywood's Big Night Out.

The Bad. The Beautiful. The Glitzy. The Gaudy. The Sexy. The Tacky.

And, of course, everybody's favorite: The Just Plain Wacko.

It really was, wasn't it, an absolutely fabu night. A night lit up by gowns covered with glitter and the flash of borrowed diamonds the size of the Hale-Bopp comet. Hey, even James Woods' mother was wearing $2 million worth of loaner diamonds.

But the night was not without its share of harrowing suspense.

Would Ralph Fiennes (pronounced Rafe Feens) show up in a tux by Rafe Lauren (pronounced Ralph Lauren)?

Would Mira Sorvino's hairdo cost more than the $3,000 she spent on her do at the Oscar nominations ceremony?

Would Madonna, that cheeky new mother, outdo the black Dolce & Gabbana "My cup runneth over" bra gown she wore to the oh-so-appropriately-named Golden Globes.

And what about Jodie Foster? Would she show up with that out-of-character, scary Big Hair look?

Let's face it. Fashion-wise, it was not a night to look, dare I say it, nice. It was a night for The Blonde Babe Look (Sorvino); the Drive-By, See-Through Look (Sean Young); The Everything But the Kitchen Sink Look (Diane Keaton).

We laughed. We cried. We felt superior. We felt envious. But in the end we went to bed tired but oh-so-happy not to be Dennis Rodman.

It was so good I'm already nostalgic for next year's Oscar night.

But enough with the philosophy. It's time to present our special "The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat Oscar Night Fashion Awards."

Top Fashion Victim: Once again it's Winona Ryder. Bad, bad, bad. An ugly black flapper dress and what's with the hair. She's gone from a marcelled look to a masculine Victor/Victoria look. Even the beautiful Winona can't overcome a look like this.

Runner-up: Emily Watson. Another beauty in a poorly fitted dress that looked as though it were cut by Santa's elves.

Top Fashion Master: Jodie Foster. Without the big hair and in Armani, she was classic and modern at the same time. It doesn't get any better than this.

Runner-up: Helen Hunt, hair piled up and wearing a sleek, shining Isaac Mizrahi. Total glamour but elegance, too.

Best Collagen-Lipped Babe Look: Barbara Hershey in green silk Versace. (Real lips can't really look like that, can they?)

Biggest Letdown: The fabulous one-time model Lauren Bacall in dark, uninspired matronly Saint Laurent. We expected more from a woman who's always epitomized class and taste.

Biggest Surprise: The continuing transformation of Courtney Love from rock star grunge to classic elegance. Wearing bias-cut, pale pink silk charmeuse, her makeup subtle and hair colored a soft blonde, she shines.

Drop-Dead Sexy: The always-fabulous Goldie Hawn. Like the Energizer Bunny, she just keeps on going and going. A knockout at any age in a glittering gown with a small, graceful train.

Drop-Dead Sexy. Not!: Jenny McCarthy in an ugly, too-tight dress.

The Count Dracula Tuxedo Award (Dead & Loving It): Kevin Spacey, in his all-black outfit with long coat, wins this one hands-down.

The Princess Leia Memorial Award: To the much heavier Carrie Fisher who, in a brief walk-on appearance, appeared to have swallowed Yoda.

Tacky, tacky, tacky: Even in Chanel couture and a truly ugly diamond Chanel necklace, the skinny Celine Dion just doesn't make the jump from tacky to elegant.

The Don't Cry for Me, Valentino Award: To Madonna, a woman who's lost the clear sense of image she once had. One day it's patterned fur-collared coats, the next a nightgown look. Maybe she should just become Evita, a look that suited her.

Everything Was Great Except for Those Darn Slits: Beautiful redhead Nicole Kidman looked sensational in her green silk, slightly Asian-styled dress. Until she walked. Then those two long side slits flapped around and totally ruined the lines of the dress.

Coolest Looking Guy No. 1: Joel Coen, director of "Fargo" and husband of Frances McDormand. Here's a guy who knows how to wear a ponytail, sunglasses and a turtleneck with his tux and come up looking great.

Coolest Looking Guy No. 2: Cuba (pronounced Kuba) Gooding Jr. If you have to ask why, you weren't watching.

Coolest Looking Dame No. 1: Sandra Bullock in a slinky, python-printed chiffon dress and simple hair style that accentuated her wonderful bone structure and dark eyes.

Coolest Looking Dame No. 2: Claire Danes in powder blue cashmere top and long skirt from Cerruti.

The Most Beautiful Woman in the Room: Kristin Scott Thomas. The face that launched a thousand ships. Beautiful in black. The woman of our dreams.

Pub Date: 3/25/97

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