Horror of horrors (or OMG)!!! Sophia Loren attended the Golden Globes awards in a recycled dress. She had actually worn the stunning number once before. I understand fully Us Magazine's outrage when reporting this fashion faux pas. A beautiful woman had shown up at a party wearing a gorgeous dress that she’d previously worn to another party. Us further damns with faint praise, “Although the dress was a repeat, the Italian actress did her best to freshen the look with new accessories.” I certainly hope the accessories were new and not something she fished out of a junk drawer. We can only forgive so much.
People are so cruel. “I am so glad you wore that, it always looks lovely on you.” Yikes! I took that as a compliment, never realizing I was actually being slammed for being so ignorant. How could I ever let the same people see me in the same outfit more than once? There were times when I’d worn the same dress to work twice in one month! The shame of it!
My second reaction (I’ll get to my first later) is that when someone shows up on the “red carpet” in vintage fashion from one of the currently fashionable fashion houses, the style reporters ooh and aah. But if it’s “vintage” from your own closet…let’s not even go there. I guess we should be thankful she didn’t pick something up at the Salvation Army Store.
Ms. Loren’s choice of a dress that she already knew was flattering, and probably one in which she was comfortable, is so fashion-forward she should get an award. She is a superb example for all of us. Couturiers would frown on this practice, but don’t we all “recycle” our clothing? Here is my first reaction: I hope Sophia Loren starts a trend. I would much rather see a ravishing dress more than once than see the same styles executed to excess by different designers. Give me more of Gwyneth Paltrow in her Shakespeare in Love Academy Awards dress, and less of mermaid silhouettes and wide, deep cleavage. Lots less.
In the past year lots of stars appeared on the red carpet in gowns that had lots of “stuff” hanging off them or strangely constructed bodices that looked painful to wear. Booties were shown all over, this season; if we weren’t so brainwashed we’d know they don’t look good on anyone. Especially not Sarah Jessica Parker. And don’t get me started on those platform shoes with the sky-high heels. Christian Louboutin, indeed! These women must have something that would look good on them in one of their closets. Must they always go for something “unique” or “original” when so little of fashion is? There’s a reason their pictures end up captioned “What was she thinking?”
Oh, I’m not naïve. I know celebrities’ gowns are “provided” by the designers, that they borrow their jewels, and that the red carpet scene is extremely competitive. Who will be best dressed? Who will be cited by the fashion police? Remember, what Angelina Jolie wears today will be on the backs of American women soon, and at Valu-Mart in two years. Colors you see on this season’s red carpet will be done to death next season.
Designers who need to showcase their originality too often delve into the bizarre, and celebrities allow themselves to be used as advertisements for these creations. I don’t believe that every clothing item should be practical, but, c’mon, open-toed boots? Our young women need better examples and role models. The fashion lessons can be applied to other aspects of their lives as well. Just think, if celebrities could wear a dress to more than one function, what else could they do? Maybe Britney Spears could recycle Red Bull cans and use them for pencil cups or make-up brush holders.
It’s time for a "less is more" style approach–the less you have in your closet the more you get out of it. It says so much about us that we buy jeans that look like they’ve been worn to the point of being worn out, yet we don’t actually wear our clothes out. Denim designed to look ripped up is good; a frayed cuff is not. This philosophy is constantly reinforced by magazines that deride someone famous for going out looking like the rest of us. Clearly, they tell us, the way you look is not acceptable.
Fashion is a good thing. The fashion and garment industries provide jobs for many people (even if some of them are making only twelve cents an hour). We need to remember, though, that clothing is a necessity, fashion is not. Us closed the article by asking its readers, “Tell Us: Do you think it's okay for stars to repeat their red carpet looks?” I’d normally hope that “stars” don’t look to us (or Us) for fashion advice, but as of this writing the overwhelming response was basically, “why not?”
“Why not?” indeed.