halle berry oscars 2002

Kimberley Foster writes...

Feel free to disagree with me here (perhaps I, like many of you, am simply suffering from awards ceremony overkill) but isn't it all getting a little too boring? As we hurtle towards the big one, a.k.a. the Oscars, I can't help but feel a bit meh about the whole thing. Undoubtedly a side effect of seeing far too many 'slebs over the past few weeks being far too safe on the red carpet in order to steer well clear of the dreaded worst dressed lists. Oh the shame!

Don't misunderstand me, a reasonable amount of boring dresses is fine. You know the ones - bland, strapless, usually mermaid-style and designed to make the wearer look disturbingly smaller than they actually are. But where has the wow-factor gone? What has happened to those truly memorable "aha!" moments that make the whole thing worth staying awake for? Where are the Halle Berry in Elie Saabs (pictured, above) and Björk in her amazingly mental swan dress?

These are the looks that stick in our minds, for better or for worse.

Of course these days the red carpet is no longer really about the celebrities or even about the clothes. It's about the fashion designers, the stylists, the publicists, the magazine editors and those scary white-toothed commentators on US TV networks such as E!. Over the years award season has developed from a time when costume designers were in charge of dressing screen goddesses such as Veronica Lake and Audrey Hepburn (read more about this here) to a giant money-making machine which caters solely to the commercial taste of Americans. If it can't be replicated for the high street, then what's the point?

As the Guardian's Hadley Freeman points out, "this tendency towards conservatism in American fashion goes quadruply so among American commentators on red-carpet fashion and, knowing this, the stylists and the designers obligingly dress their clients as conservatively (boringly) as possible."


With that being said, here at Catwalk Queen, we will still carry on as per usual. Happily bringing you all the latest from the Oscars red carpet when it rolls around next Sunday. Why? Because despite the looming sense of same-old-same-old, we will never lose hope that the next Oscars ceremony won't deliver us another exciting "aha!" fashion moment.

It better. If not for me than at least for my Oscar-loving, red carpet-addicted editor-in-chief, for whom awards season is just like crack.

[Image: Steven Granitz/Getty Images]