Remember when stars dressed themselves for the red carpet, and when personal style and glamorous gaffes (Cher, Barbra Streisand) were part of the award show viewing experience?
The red carpet lost some of its luster when celebrity dressing turned into big business. Now that gowns must be stylist- and publicist-approved and are sometimes line items in lucrative endorsement deals, much of award show fashion has succumbed to a predictable sameness.
Enter Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci. For the last two years, he has been making the most surprising red carpet gowns out there, for ladies who dare to wear them.
Take Cate Blanchett's 2011 Oscar gown, in lilac chiffon with pearl embroidery framing the bodice, and a spray of yellow beading on the shoulders and back for an unexpected contrast. Or the crystal-encrusted, cascading ruffle confection that Zoe Saldana wore to the 2010 Oscars. Love them or hate them, at least you noticed them.