I had aimed to post about hair, but that’s the next one.  Instead, I thought I must say something about the faux furore around the Oscar-winning Jenny Beavan and her wearing a biker jacket at the ceremony.

I mean it’s hard to take the Oscars seriously when, you know, there’s so much else going on.   And also this post is a bit late as the Oscars was two Sundays ago but i) I had a virus and wasn’t up to much for around 10 days and ii) I’ve been away for a short break in London (which was just great, btw, as I do crave that energising pop and buzz you get from big cities).

Anyway, where was I? Yes, Jenny Beavan won the Oscar for (ironically) best costume design (Mad Max) but she was also castigated for what she wore which, if you’ve been hiding under a bush or forgotten, as it was so long ago, was a pair of black trousers, a big striped scarf, a biker-type jacket and amazing hair. But there’s evidence, since refuted, that some people in the audience were a tad chilly about said outfit, as it’s not (if you’re a woman, that is) what you’re expected to wear. And certainly there are people looking rather po-faced with their hands definitely in a not-clapping position.

Now you might think I’d be on their side, as you know I love nothing better than dressing up and wearing a frothy skirt (and I’m already thinking about what to take in the dress department to my next cruise). But au contraire. I don’t support the audience’s (or some of the audience’s) reaction at all.  Jenny Beavan herself was totally cool and magnanimous afterwards saying that everybody gets tired of clapping by the end of the night. Ok, sure, but there’s no need to look so frosty.

Because, you know what, if you look closer at some of the dresses worn at the Oscars they are beginning to be beyond parody. It’s not just a plunging neckline it’s a plunge to the navel – how far do you want to go, people? Perhaps take a chunk out of the dress as well, and then there’s the split up the side. Take it further why don’t you?  And Lady Gaga, sweetheart, you’re lovely, and I know you like to shock, but please, that white dress, ah no, it’s trousers, with that crease…  Of course, a few of the dresses are beautiful, but some of them are plain ridiculous apart, that is, from Charlotte Rampling who, imo, absolutely aces it.  Have a look at some of them here.

The reason I’m even bothering writing about this is the inequity.  Do we ask the men to dress in anything other than a good old tux? No, we don’t. Do they have to bare their arms, legs and torsos?   Of course, they don’t.  Btw, did any of you over the pond realise that the BAFTAS was held in freezing weather, and still the men wore their jackets while the women bared their arms and so much more, in near sub-zero temperatures.  Actually, it’s hardly ever sub-zero here in the UK, just that damp cold that gets into your bones, so the walk up the red carpet must have left the women feeling very, very cold.

Anyway, good for Jenny Beavan for dressing just as she pleased rather than flaunting her body supposedly in a dream designer outfit.  Moreover she’s been quoted as saying that she hoped that by not dressing up and being herself she’d shown that you don’t have to be a supermodel to be successful – yay!  A big hurrah for Jenny Beavan!

All we want now is for just one or two of the top-notch actresses to follow suit. Come on women of all ages, we should wear what we want, not what others say you should.


That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. For those of you who’ve read to the end (thanks so much x) here’s something I wore on the last day in London. It’s my faithful faux leather jacket worn with a skirt that’s actually new, but bought for £2.95 in my local charity shop. It’s got a cool central front zip that goes from top to bottom.




7 thoughts on “What’s up with the red carpet?

  • 11th March 2016 at 8:34 am

    Hi Penny. You obviously missed the BAFTAs where Jenny turned up to collect her award in the same / similar outfit. This prompted a remark about dressing as ‘a bag lady’ that prompted him to leave Twitter because of the criticism. He later explained they knew each other well & she was not offended. Good post – I’m with Jenny. She looked great.

    • 11th March 2016 at 8:35 am

      Oops forgot to say that it was Stephen Fry who made the remark. Note to self – read through before sending!

    • 11th March 2016 at 8:46 am

      I did know about Stephen Fry and the BAFTAS (and didn’t think much of Fry, to be honest, for saying it) but wondered if the international followers would know much about the BAFTAS and hence concentrated on the Oscars. But yes, maybe might do an edit.

      Thanks so much for the comment as really Beavans was rocking it and being fabulous for being herself.

  • 11th March 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Great post, Penny. I think it all comes down to the fact that the other women depend on their looks for their jobs, and Jenny B doesn’t need to, her talent says it all. They can’t afford to look anything other than ultra perfect, whereas she just doesn’t give a damn as her livelihood doesn’t depend on her looks. What amazing confidence she has, I am a fan!

    • 12th March 2016 at 8:59 am

      Thank you for your comment, Judy and wow, yes, Beavan is exactly what I’m talking about in my blog because, i) we should wear what we want, ii) we should have attitude and she so does! and iii) I love a biker jacket and to have that confidence to wear it at the Oscars, what’s not to like! And if you’ve seen Mad Max you’ll know she is such a great designer of costume – excellent woman!

  • 11th March 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Penny. I love this post because it rings dear to my heart and thoughts. (See my Oscar posting). I give Jenny credit. First of all, she didn’t go out at her or her studio’s expense to hire a “stylist” (and BTW it seems that all stylists have no creativity–they either choose plunging necklines or slits up to the origin of the world (I’m a Gustav Courbet admirer). She didn’t wear a dress on loan to advertise someone else’s brand. She stayed true to herself.
    Proving to me that Hollywood is all smoke and mirrors–or is it mirrors and smoke? We need more Jenny’s in this world. BTW. I LOVE the jacket you are wearing. Love it! XOXOXO!

    • 12th March 2016 at 9:11 am

      Hi Catherine and yes, I just loved your Oscars post. In the UK, Oscars night is now only broadcast on Sky which you have to pay for (and which we refuse to do – Murdoch, meh) so we don’t see it all in it’s boring glory!!! So it was great to read your reaction. Apparently our BAFTAS is considered much better (by the participants) as they sit at tables and eat and drink while it’s going on. And btw, what I didn’t say in my post was that at the BAFTAS the compere Stephen Fry called Jenny Beavans a ‘bag lady’ and people were so annoyed with him that he quitted Twitter (where he has a humungous number of followers). Ah such is the suffering of these celebs! Anyway I thought I’d concentrate on Beavan at the Oscars. And, on the one hand it’s such a non-story but on t’other it just goes to show the inequity, sexism and ageism of the celebrity world – you have to look perfect – well, no, you don’t said, Beavan – good for her!!! Lots of love xxxx

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