Madonna and Andrea Riseborough
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
Was there a memo sent out in Hollywood about the masses of Baywatch babe hairdos (Reese, Salma, Elle, Madonna, Heidi, Kristen) at the Golden Globes? And did an alternative memo go out for the ballerina knot at the nape (Angelina, Natalie, Claire, Emma)? And where were the unexpected surprises on the red carpet? Instead, a sweep of strapless dresses with dramatic caboose trains ruled the evening. I kept wanting to see those moments of shock and awe, but there were none. I kept wanting to see someone in a short dress, but there were none. I will say thank you, Meryl Streep (Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama for The Iron Lady), for the dignity of your words in relation to all the women working in your industry and your ability to look soigné in what looked like a Temple Grandin shirt while seated, until you were onstage and revealed the dramatic cut of your skirt and lace-insert shirtwaist. Your choice of Alessandra Rich was original, to say the least. Score for Lanvin with Natalie Portman looking great in ruby duchesse satin with dramatic side draping, and Emma Stone just as wonderful in a two-toned Grecian dress with eagle-buckled belt.
André Leon Talley and Oscar de la Renta Photographed by Brian Nordstrom
by André Leon Talley
"Is it a flash? Is it a flash?” Those are the words Mae West asks her maids in I’m No Angel. She is asking if her imported embroidered gown, just delivered, will make an impact. That’s what counts at the Golden Globes.
If it takes days of prep and three to four hours of makeup, better make sure your dress has fireworks—great fabric, elegant lines, or wow detail. Someone should have told Helena Bonham Carter, nominated for her brilliant portrayal of a royal wife in The King’s Speech, to nix the idea of one green shoe and one pink shoe. Her Vivienne Westwood lamé and a haze of tulle and point d’esprit and James Dean-style sunglasses, was the evening’s train wreck.
Otherwise, there was a return to what people want to see: full-frontal glamour. The top honor goes to Nicole Kidman, a veteran red-carpet influential, wearing elegant white sequin Prada. That simple grosgrain waist defined with a flat bow was the best point of her refinement. Olivia Wilde was in a superb Marchesa: a bustier bombast of tulle and sparkle and perfectly combed hair.Natalie Portman (Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, for Black Swan) surprised with a strapless, draped Empire Viktor & Rolf, spiked with a huge sparkling red rose. Her dress-up French twist and her bib-like necklace were perfect for the expectant mother. She called her look the way she always wants to dress, which translates to comfortable, modern elegance. Loved it. Julianne Moore’s modernist ponytail and almost-not-there makeup was the correct balance for her fuchsia one-shouldered/one-long-sleeved Lanvin by Alber Elbaz. The poufy sleeve was overkill, though, kind of like the padded shoulders of Anne Hathaway’s otherwise beautiful Armani Privé sparkler. Angelina Jolie’s long-sleeved emerald-green paillette Versace was a bit of a matronly choice, and the slightly extended shoulders didn’t help. Why would arguably the sexiest star in Hollywood go for something that looked as if it had been recycled from the back lots where Adrians or Orry-Kellys might have been discovered at the last minute? Tina Fey said she spent three-and-a-half hours in makeup to go with her gorgeous midnight-in-Paris blue L’Wren Scott velvet column. Void of flash, the dress was exciting in its simplicity. Sandra Bullock in Jenny Packham tulle and spangles looked super sixties cool. January Jones has the cool factor to pull off a red-fringe Versace that took its hues and lines from Madame Grès. It’s obvious she is involved in her choices, and after the blue Versace that she wore at the Emmys last spring, this choice puts her in a league of some of the best dresses ever seen on the red carpet. Less is definitely more: Claire Danes (winner of Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, for her role in HBO’s Temple Grandin) in a backless pink column by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection with a neat ballerina chignon and one simple gold bangle; and Sabrina-like cropped Michelle Williams in a nude daisy-chain appliqué Valentino—such an original choice. I have worked with Tilda Swinton in Paris, and she usually rings you from her car in Scotland, having dropped her children off at school. Her Jil Sander duchesse-satin evening skirt and simple white shirt, is exactly the way you think a practical mother juggling children, career, and life might opt to dress at night, even in Hollywood. What saved her from being a fashion blooper? Her impeccable glide and beautiful posture.
by André Leon Talley
Photographed for the February 2010 Issue of Vogue by Annie Leibovitz
Inspired by his addiction to style and the fashion worlds from New York to Paris, Diddy’s new album, Last Train to Paris (to be released December 14), is a brilliant fusion of stream of consciousness and beats that bring to mind the broken cadences of avant-garde jazz. During Fashion Week last year, he sent out the call via e-mail and voice mail to high-fashion friends to come to his studio to participate in the record. I was somewhere doing what I usually do—previewing a collection or sitting around on the fourth floor of Manolo Blahnik’s midtown shoe emporium—when I received the invitation. Rushing to his studio, I thought about what I would say on the album, which inspired his February 2010 Vogue fashion shoot with Natalia Vodianova, photographed by Annie Leibovitz and styled by Grace Coddington, in which he appeared with the swagger and elegance of Cary Grant in a gorgeous shawl-collared camel double-breasted coat by Tom Ford. It wasn’t his first shoot with the magazine. In another Annie/Grace collaboration, for the October 1999 issue, he looked as dramatic as a thirties screen idol, escorting Kate Moss, dressed in couture, around Paris.
by André Leon Talley
Photographed by Brian Nordstrom
Like Alice and the Rabbit rushing to the Mad Hatter’s tea party, Gloria von Thurn und Taxis and I didn’t waste one second at the screening of The King’s Speech. After the film ended, we arranged to have our own pop-up shop of Rod Keenan’s custom-made hats right in the lobby of the screening room at 500 Park Avenue. A friend and Vogue editorial assistant had rushed to Keenan’s Harlem townhouse, which features a great purple door, and brought back a shopping bag of beautiful men’s and women’s hats in the finest felts and textured materials for us to try on. I would pick them up later in the week. Both the Pious Princess and I were looking for new hats to go with our black Prada coats from the current collection.
Gloria arrived in New York wearing hers, sporting sleek black patent flat boots, a vintage Hermès calfskin bag, and an old hat from the finest hat shop in Regensberg, Germany, called Hutkönig. When I went to her twenty-ninth birthday party in 1989, a seated banquet for 500 (for which Keith Haring was commissioned to design the invitations and dinner plates), I discovered the beauty of Austrian- and Tyrolean-style hats. Somewhere in an attic are two great examples I own, one black, one Bavarian green, with wildly expensive badger plumes or rare ornaments fashioned from the tails of mountain goats.
Keenan’s beautifully blocked hats, lined with deep purple satin, have Old School finesse. The Kansas native first enrolled at Parsons, eventually earned his millinery degree at FIT, and has been designing hats for more than two decades (he went out on his own about nine years ago). Some are stamped with roses or, in homage to Schiaparelli, there’s a black felt fedora with a giant red lobster with gold accents. When you enter his town house for an appointment, you know you have come to the mountaintop of fine millinery. The entrance has beautiful eighteenth-century Chinese wallpaper that he found in a London antiques shop and had framed to decorate a perfect window alcove. On the far end of the long, gallery-like entrance, where hats are displayed on stands or in clear plastic boxes, there is a beautiful pale-blue 1930s chandelier from the Venini factories in Murano, Italy.