Economic woes won't dim glamour on Oscar red carpet

LOS ANGELES Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:21pm EST

Actress Jennifer Garner poses as she arrives in the Orchid Court area of the arrivals line at the 80th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars, in Hollywood February 24, 2008. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich

Actress Jennifer Garner poses as she arrives in the Orchid Court area of the arrivals line at the 80th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars, in Hollywood February 24, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Sam Mircovich

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Economic woes have taken their toll on Wall Street and Main Street, but they won't dim the glamour on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.

It will be business as usual on Feb 22, the biggest night of the U.S. film industry when it pays tribute to its finest actors, directors, producers and writers.

Film stars in designer gowns will stroll down the red carpet to the delight of screaming fans and millions of television viewers before the awards gala at the Kodak Theater.

Jewelry and shoe designers said they expect the look to be pure Hollywood but with less glitz this year than in the past.

"A lot of the looks we are styling have to do with creating big looks with less bling," said Michelle Adjoran, of Tacori jewelers, which works with celebrities to create distinctive looks for the red carpet.

"Instead of a huge statement necklace, which we did see at the Golden Globes, I think you are going to see a lot more open necklines, dramatic earrings and accent pieces that offset something," she added in an interview.

Expect to see broaches worn as hairpieces, layered chains around the neck and stacked bracelets.

"They (film stars) want something that is reflective of them and that hasn't been seen before," said Adjoran, adding that the jewels are primarily on loan to the stars for the night.

Big, dangling, three-dimensional diamond earrings are also expected to be popular.

"Diamonds brighten your smile and they bring sparkle to your eyes whenever you are photographed, literally, because they refract the light. Diamond earrings will definitely be seen on the red carpet," said Adjoran.

FROM HEAD TO TOE

Joe Fountain, a spokesman for shoe designer Manolo Blahnik in London, says footwear will also be more understated than in the past.

"Previously it was very sparkling, very metallic and still very satiny, as well. It got to a point where it was getting to be too much. It seems to be toning down a lot more and it is less sparkly than ever. I think there will be more concentration on the cut (of the shoe) and the color," he explained.

"It's all black. Black, black, black," Fountain added.

Heels will be high, with stilettos still a top choice because they are flattering to the overall look.

"Usually our big things are the court shoes, which in America are pumps, and the usual simple satin sandals," said Fountain.

As it has done since 1999, Jimmy Choo is offering an Oscar collection of customized shoes and handbags to nominees and presenters at a style suite it has set up in a Los Angeles hotel.

A small team will be working in the days before the show to meet any requirements requested at the invitation-only service.

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