Friday, March 23, 2001
Samuel L. Jackson in purple velvet. Robin Williams dressed like an old-time preacher. Will Smith in an open-neck chartreuse shirt and black suit. Jim Carrey in a burgundy satin shirt and matching necktie.
The women aren't the only ones strutting their stuff on Oscar's red carpet.
"I love watching the men because they are coming out in nontraditional tuxedos. Designers like (Hugo) Boss, (Giorgio) Armani, Versace, and Richard Tyler are so smart and producing unbelievable-looking tuxedos and suits. They are customizing each piece for each celebrity," said Carol Brodie-Gelles, of Harry Winston Jewelers, who helps many male stars accessorize their outfits.
"The men realize they will be just as photographed and written up as the women," said Tom Julian, the official trend analyst for Oscar.com. "Every major publication gives them post-Oscar coverage."
Julian will be on the red carpet Sunday night as Hollywood's elite make their way past Joan Rivers and a gaggle of photographers and camera crews documenting every nuance of their attire. Many will be in custom-made formal wear from some of the world's premier designers.
"Men's wear companies realized they could have an opportunity with men just like the women. It is very seldom you have an actor not know what he is wearing on the red carpet, although occasionally you do get a guy who mispronounces a name," Julian said.
And what names they are ï¿½ Armani, Versace, Prada, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana ï¿½ the high-profile trendsetters of the men's wear business.
Most credit Italian designer Giorgio Armani with discovering the marketing potential in the Oscars. Through the years his name has been associated with everyone from this year's best actor nominee, Russell Crowe, to last year's best actor winner, Kevin Spacey, as well as Matt Damon and Williams. And while Armani is best known for his stylish classics, the designer is not averse to giving a star something with a bit of an edge. Williams caused a stir in 1998 when he accepted his best supporting actor award in what he described as an "Armani Amish" tuxedo with a knee-length jacket.