Sustainable Gowns (and Tuxes) at the Oscars

Natalie Portman, who presented the Best Actor award, in Dior.

The 84th Annual Academy Awards were last night, and I’m surprised to report that Natalie Portman was the only actress who wore vintage: she looked stunning in a 1954 red Dior gown. But even though I was disappointed that there weren’t more vintage looks on the red carpet, I was pleasantly surprised to see that sustainable clothing  seems to be getting more attention.

Meryl Streep wore a gold Lanvin gown made from eco-certified fabric, Colin Firth (deliberately) “recycled” his tux from last year, and Kenneth Branagh, John Krasinski, Djimon Hounsou, and Demián Bichir all wore Zegna, who design patterns that reduce fabric waste and recycle scrap material into new textiles. And Missi Pyle from The Artist wore an eco-conscious gown by Valentina Delfino, winner of the “Red Carpet Green Dress” design contest, an initiative by Suzy Amis Cameron (James Cameron’s wife) to promote sustainable clothing on the red carpet.

Meryl looked radiant in her eco-friendly Lanvin gown.

(I have many questions about the money spent, the energy used and the pollution caused by the manufacture of “eco-friendly” gowns that apparently take “weeks” to make, but I’ll reserve judgment until I can do more research. Of course, I applaud the use of organic and recycled fabrics, and support companies that use “green” methods in manufacturing, but vintage is really the best way to go if you care about the environment.)

Renee, Julia, Reese and Penelope (photo below) all won Oscars in vintage: Renee in Jean Desses, Julia in Valentino, and Reese in Dior.

Although encouraged by the attention that sustainable clothing has been getting on the red carpet, I miss seeing top stars like Reese Witherspoon, Marisa Tomei, Julia Roberts, Demi Moore, Penelope Cruz and Renee Zellweger proudly wearing vintage to important events. As a matter of fact, I have a theory…which I hope to back up statistically at some point…that wearing vintage seems to bring good luck: nominees who wear vintage consistently win. Congrats to Meryl for wearing a sustainable gown and for winning her third Oscar!

Penelope Cruz, the year she won her Oscar, in vintage Balmain.

Marisa Tomei in Charles James, 2011 Oscars.

About Elisa Casas

ELISA CASAS (that’s me) was born and raised in New York City. I have a BFA in Photography from NYU and worked as a photojournalist and talent scout for major record labels before opening Chelsea Girl in 1993. I also owned Laurel Canyon Vintage, Clutch! and a popular cafe, City Girl Cafe, and I starred in the groundbreaking Sundance series, “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys” with my best friend, David Munk. I like pomegranates, clouds, “Exile on Main Street,” birthdays, ancient ruins, the beach, abstract art, cypress trees, “Annie Hall,” old diamonds, Almodovar, clam shacks, surprises, Anne Boleyn, popcorn, “Rebecca,” margaritas, pugs, apple pie and castles in Spain. I live in TriBeCa with my fashionable daughter, Ruby. Follow Chelsea Girl on Facebook- and Instagram-ChelseaGirlVintage
This entry was posted in "vintage is green", academy awards, best dressed, best dresses, chelsea girl, elisa casas, jean desses, julia roberts, lanvin, Livia Firth, Marisa Tomei, meryl streep, natalie portman, oscars, penelope cruz, red carpet, reese witherspoon, renee zellweger, Sustainable clothing, vintage clothing, vintage dior, vintage oscars, vintage valentino. Bookmark the permalink.

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