Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oscar Goes Vintage

Did anyone else notice that Miley Cyrus' Zuhair Murad gown for the Oscars was heavily inspired by Dior's Junon Dress from Fall/Winter 1949/50? I've been trying to figure out why I like the Dior dress so much more than the Murad. I think the drape of the petals is softer, and the embroidery (probably by the famed Lesage firm) is more delicate- there's an ethereal feel, true to the dress' name (meaning Juno, the goddess), that the Murad piece lacks. Also, Cyrus' seashell belt seems very "little mermaid."

The late forties to mid-fifties were present in full force at the Oscars this year, what with Sarah Jessica Parker's Dior gown (although I think Monsieur Dior would have cringed at what this does to her breasts...), Marion Cotillard's Dior (beautifully true to his fifties designs) and Penelope Cruz's stunning vintage Balmain. I'm impressed it's in such good shape, especially in that color and with that much embellishment. I need to do more research, but I'd say the dress is somewhere in the 1949-54 range.

The difference between the vintage Balmain and the retro Diors is in the bodice fit- they're all built over plenty of interior structure, for sure, but the Balmain is very close to the ribcage until just under the bust (similar to the Junon dress), while the two Diors have a more continuous curve from bust to waist.

There's plenty more I could say about the Oscars (Marisa Tomei's Erte-esque dress was #1, too much pepto-bismol pink, I loved Heidi Klum's dress but wish it fit her up top, what is it with men and pre-tied bow ties) but I'd better stop here.

Do you think structure and fullness are coming back into fashion? Are boned bodices and petticoats the wave of the future, or are we going to go the way of the grecian gown? What year do you think Cruz's Balmain gown is from?

(Photograph of Pierre Balmain and Ruth Ford by Carl Van Vechten, November 9, 1947)

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