published Monday, March 15th, 2010

Oscar fashions inspire formal wear trends

How do local fashion retailers rate the red-carpet parade at last week's Academy Awards?

The envelope please.

"I loved almost all of the gowns," said Emily Goodin, owner of Boutique Couture, a bridal and special-occasion boutique on Market Street.

"Sandra Bullock was my pick for best dressed of the evening," Ms. Goodin said in an online posting. "Beautiful gown, sleek hair and simple makeup. (I) would have toned down the lips, but overall she was beautiful."

Suzanne Bishop West, owner of Frankie & Julian's boutique on Frazier Avenue, said Ms. Bullock's form-fitting, embroidered Marchesa gown topped her list of favorites.

"Sandra Bullock's dress was timeless and elegant," Ms. West said.

Emily Goodin's Oscars observations:

The good

* Sandra Bullock

* Demi Moore

* Miley Cyrus

* Rachel McAdams

The bad

* Charlize Theron

* Kate Winslet

* Kathy Ireland

* Mariah Carey

"I also loved the red lipstick," she said. "Her hair was simple, and she look fresh-faced. Everything was neutral, including the champagne dress, all of which made the lipstick great. It gave a pop of color, and she carried it well."

The biggest fashion disaster was the butter-yellow gown worn by Sarah Jessica Parker, Ms. West said.

"I didn't like it at all. I was shocked that it was a Chanel couture gown. ... It had this metal-looking thing going on at the top, and it was just a straight-cut, unflattering dress. It wasn't one of her better moments."

The Academy Awards show is known for inspiring fashion trends, Ms. West said. This year's trends were strapless gowns, muted colors (blues, orchids and pinks), natural makeup, minimalist jewelry and simple hairstyles.

"There's always a lot of black, but this year the other colors were quite varied," Ms. West said.

Visibly absent this year was the bling, she said.

Knock-offs of some of the Oscar-night gowns will show up in stores beginning in May, Jill Martin of US Weekly said in a recent Today Show interview. Ms. Martin said the interpretation of Sandra Bullock's $35,000 gown will sell for about $400.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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