March 20, 2016

"The thing that lots of people are missing is that I was wearing a costume. A homage to Mad Max."

"I look ridiculous in frocks. I can’t wear heels – my back goes out and my feet get terribly sore. And besides, I have no interest in clothes other than what they tell me about a person. I am a storyteller – I’m not interested in fashion. Other than people like Alexander McQueen. The rest of it is just so much Cinderella stuff.... I don’t mean that as an insult to Cinderella. It’s just – fashion like that is just telling one story. Catwalk models: not only do they all walk the same way, they all look identical. It’s only the clothes that change. Whereas when I’m researching something, I go and sit in a relevant café and just watch people, which is completely fascinating. For myself, I just wear black and white. I want to be in the background."

Said Jenny Beavan — about why she wore what she wore when she won the Oscar for costume design. Beavan is 65 — same age as me — and the way she looked, she got mocked as a "bag lady" and as "a rude woman" who "plainly could not be bothered... self-absorbed and childish... puffed up by her own ego."

Back in 1987, she also won an Oscar. It was for "Room with a View" — which was a very un-Mad-Max-y movie. Here's how that looked... with Lauren Bacall announcing the thing (looking very 80s):



Beavan doesn't appear until 8:18 — there's a lot of 80s dancing in the process of listing the nominees — and she's wearing a sort of tuxedo. I wondered what was the best costume for the day.

12 comments:

southcentralpa said...

Clearly, too early ... when I first read that I thought I'd read "View to a Kill" and wondered how the Fritos a Bond film had won a costume Oscar(tm)

Okay, back to caffeination...

Phil 3:14 said...

Did it have to end up as a feminist thing? Is women fighting women a feminist thing?

Do we really believe that her choice of what to wear says anything about the other celebrities choices?

Kate said...

I thought her walk was more a finger in the eye to ageism. (We all carry our own issues into the moment.) Cleavage and skin-tight frumpery post-menopause only look good because of plastic surgery, bulimic-level exercise or ... you're Helen Mirren. I loved Beavan's outfit and was too busy looking at her to notice the dude eye-roll.

YoungHegelian said...

So, is Beavan that short or is Blanchett that tall?

Big Mike said...

Someone who's earned an Oscar can wear anything they want, as long as their genitalia are covered.

Unknown said...

Wonderful. A true artist.

Titus said...

That dancing intro was absolutely horrible.

Bob Matthews said...

On the contrary Titus, I thought the dancing was terrific. It makes me miss Solid Gold and the Solid Gold Dancers.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought the dancing was hilarious, the men in their shiny suits and the models swanning about amongst them.

And I loved the way they tried to update the "Room With a View" clothes by just leaving off the skirts and having the models in hosiery (with maybe a wisp of a skirt).

William said...

Does any form of artistic expression age faster or less gracefully than fashion design.........Perhaps the reason for the continuing popularity of Jane Austen movies is that that was one of the few epochs where women wore attractive clothes.....Even the styles (for the women) on Downton Abbey are unflattering and somewhat dowdy.

fivewheels said...

It was a costume, and she's a costume designer, but the Oscars are not a costume party. It's a formal event, and appropriate attire is tux and gown. You should dress appropriately for any event you choose to accept an invitation to, and you'll get pushback if you wear jeans to an NYC cop's funeral or wear flip-flops to meet the president at the White House, to name two memorable examples. You can shrug off the criticism if you like, but you can hardly be surprised by it.

Quaestor said...

Jenny looks mighty wasted for 65. She's the gender-flipped Keith Richards. And her designs for Mad Max: Fury Road strike me as comic book conventional -- no originality whatever. That post-apocalyptic motor-psycho skinhead crap is so derivative, so stereotypical, so jejune it turns my stomach. You'd think someone with Jenny Beavan's long career would eschew the expectations of a comics-addicted slacker and really think things through, such as why would anyone put an idiot bedeck himself with all kinds of armor, leather, and metallic bric-à-brac and then leave his chest and noggin totally unprotected. Then there's he guy who wears what looks to be about 50 rounds of 7.62mm machine gun ammo on his f-ing head! Nobody would ever do that. Ever. It's like Beavan watched every grade-z grind house post-apocalyse fantasy for the last 40 years and turned the costume design up to eleven. Jeez, there's nothing more depressing than a 65 year old woman without subtlety. Unless it's a geriatric rocker who's gone from adolescence to senility without even a momentary stop at the corner of Maturity Boulevard and Introspection Street.

Just have a gander at Keith Richards. He's like what -- 93? -- and still wearing f-ing eyeliner like it's 1971. (Even Lou Reed knows glam is dead and gone. He looks like a banker with a Harley, fer chrissake.) Those made-up eyes staring myopically outta that worn out boot of a face is just absurd.