Hollywood Clamors for Glamour Once Again
As Oscar night promises one of the world's most visible style shows, the Academy Awards fashion coordinator talks of film's greatest designs and how they have influenced trends
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.
WHILE the fashion world is busy redefining glamour for 1995, the man who has been defining it for the 1 billion-plus audience who watches the Academy Awards says glamour is a Hollywood invention that is as important in fashion annals as Christian Dior's New Look of 1947 or Chanel's braid-trimmed cardigan jacket.
Fred Hayman, the Beverly Hills retailer and fragrance innovator now in his seventh year as fashion coordinator for the Academy Awards, believes that Oscar night itself may have inspired the current clamor for glamour.
''The Academy Awards presentation is the world's largest fashion show,'' Mr. Hayman says. ''It is the ultimate expression of fashion as power. It has influenced designers as well as the stars and their fans.''
As the awards have become more glamourous so has fashion, says this longtime purveyor of glamour, pointing to the gradual evolution away from the boringly safe clothes that swept the Oscars back in the late 1980s and early '90s to the klieg-light-worthy gowns expected at this year's 67th annual Academy Awards on Monday night.
Ever since he took over the Oscars' fashion coordination in 1989, Hayman has been pleading with the nominees and presenters to dress like stars, not business executives. To that end, he asks the world's most famous designers to send their most spectacular evening clothes for Oscar-wearing by the nominees and presenters.
For the man whose Rodeo Drive boutique is a magnet for Hollywood moguls, only glamourous clothes -- ''clothes that make a grand entrance'' -- are appropriate for Oscar night.
Makeup is crucial in the creation of glamour, Hayman says, citing the new trend to red lips and key-lit eyes as the ideal -- and idealized -- expression of Hollywood allure. Glamour is also rooted in hair, Hayman says, pointing to the lasting power of Veronica Lake's peekaboo, Jean Harlow's peroxide, Carole Lombard's marcelled waves, and Ann Sheridan's pompadours.
To pass this glamour-meister's screen test, you also need the right props, including long cigarette holders, oversized dark glasses, feathers and ''if you can manage -- a pair of Russian wolfhounds.''
Comparing the great costume designers of Hollywood's Golden Years to the grand couturiers of Paris, Hayman says their work and their fashion idiom was, indeed, haute couture. From the design to the artistry, a gown by Travis Banton or Edith Head, a suit by Adrian, a beaded sheath by Jean Louis, a halter dress by William Travilla were all as original as a Paris original, and every bit as well made.
Here are Hayman's picks for the most important glamour looks of all time -- the Paramount screen gems with Universal appeal for 20th Century-Fox-es:
1. Joan Crawford's broad-shouldered suits by Adrian in ''Today We Live'' -- the prototype for the power suits of the '80s.
2. Marlene Dietrich's tuxedo by Travis Banton in ''Morocco'' -- the first le smoking.
3. Vivien Leigh's corset and pantaloons by Walter Plunkett in ''Gone With the Wind'' and Helen Rose's slips for Elizabeth Taylor in ''Butterfield 8'' and ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' -- precursors of today's underwear-as-outerwear looks.
4. Marilyn Monroe's crystal-pleated, halter-neck blow-up dress by Travilla for ''Seven Year Itch'' -- arguably the most copied Hollywood dress design of all time.
5. Dorothy Lamour's sarongs by Edith Head in the ''Road'' movies -- still making waves on beaches and at resorts.
6. Greta Garbo's all-white croquet outfit by Adrian for ''Anna Karenina'' -- the mousseline picture hat followed the line of her brows and was the forerunner of one of the most famous hats of all time -- the Garbo slouch.
7. Rita Hayworth's ''Put the Blame on Mame'' strapless satin gown by Jean Louis for ''Gilda'' -- still starring on many designer lines.
8. Elizabeth Taylor's strapless tulle gown by Edith Head for ''A Place in the Sun.'' The John Galliano remake for spring 1995 is a likely candidate to be worn to the Oscars.
9. Jean Harlow's bias-cut satin and crepe dresses by Adrian. There have been so many sequels in many collections for spring '95, the look deserves its own Oscar.
10. Audrey Hepburn's little black dress by Hubert de Givenchy for ''Breakfast at Tiffany's.'' Everyone's still mooning over this ''Moon River'' number.
Even animated cartoons have risen to fashion heights, Hayman says, pointing to the curvaceous clothes of ''Jessica Rabbit'' as inspiring the bodacious clothes of Thierry Mugler and Azzedine Alaia.
Who gets Hayman's vote as the most glamourous star of 1995?
As they say in Hollywood:
and the Oscar goes to ...