Tim Gunn: 10 Red Carpet Looks I Truly Love!
I'm the first to admit that a few of my favorite red carpet looks are provocative; that is, they will strike a discordant note for many people. I believe in the semiotics of clothes: the clothes we wear send a message about how we're perceived. Accordingly, it's important that we each accept responsibility for how we present ourselves to the world. With that in mind, I submit the following (and in no particular order, other than reverse chronology):
PENÉLOPE CRUZ (Academy Awards '09)
Truly great fashion withstands the test of time, as proven by Penélope Cruz looking stunning and radiant in a vintage Balmain gown, a gown that is almost twice her age!
ANNE HATHAWAY (Academy Awards '09)
My how-to-get-your-fashion-correct mantra of ''silhouette, proportion, fit'' is beautifully demonstrated by Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive.
MERYL STREEP (Academy Awards '09)
The Queen of Hollywood has her share of fashion ups and downs, but this Alberta Ferretti gown is a clear winner. When La Streep gets it right, she slam dunks it!
SARAH JESSICA PARKER (Academy Awards '09)
I love SJP's spirit of risk taking, because she doesn't play it safe — ever! This Dior Haute Couture gown received mixed reviews, but not from me. The ethereal, diaphanous qualities of the gown personify SJP and her other-worldliness.
DEBRA MESSING (Emmy Awards '09)
Red can be a difficult color to pull off on the red carpet, because one can become obfuscated. This sublime column with its one-shoulder neckline is a perfect collaboration between Debra Messing and Michael Kors.
SANDRA OH (Emmy Awards '09)
I find that Sandra Oh's red carpet looks are too frequently an exercise in excess. I submit her in this look by Marchesa, because it works: all of the potential for ''excess'' is confined to the streamlined column of the gown. Bravo!
HEIDI KLUM (Academy Awards '08)
Does Heidi ever get it wrong? Not in my opinion. I especially loved her in this exuberant gown by John Galliano. When Heidi appeared, it was impossible to notice anyone else!
TILDA SWINTON (Academy Awards '08)
Alright, I can hear the screaming! It's about semiotics, remember? Tilda Swinton is a bohemian, not a classicist, and that's precisely what this cocoon-like gown by Lanvin says about her. Would I put this look on Sally Field? Of course not!
HELEN MIRREN (Academy Awards '07)
Helen Mirren in this sparkling gold gown by Christian Lacroix was, hands down, the most gorgeous, sophisticated — and sexy — woman on the red carpet. She had me enraptured! Ingénues, beware!
CATE BLANCHETT (Golden Globes '07)
This lace dress by Alexander McQueen stirred up other notes of controversy. Why? Cate ruled the red carpet in this look: her carriage and bearing exuded unbridled confidence. I asked her to please tell me what's at the core of her style. She responded, ''That's easy; I only listen to my own voice.'' Take note, everyone!