Oscar flash will be a tad more subdued than usual, due to the possibility of war…Richard Gere’s next gig…The Met’s big dance-a-thon.

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Cecile Zilkha

Photo By WWD Staff

Red-Carpet Blackout: Stars Shun Glamour Gowns in Favor of War-Appropriate Attire

Many of the best-dressed ladies of the silver screen, such as Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Salma Hayek, are rethinking their red-carpet dresses due to the impending war, as are Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, Meg Ryan, Meryl Streep and Diane Lane. None of them wants to be seen frivolously twirling her way into parties looking too glamorous and too concerned about what she is wearing. The world’s top designers, including Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada and Tom Ford, as well as New York’s and Hollywood’s top stylists, have all had frantic calls asking for subdued and beautiful choices for Hollywood’s big night. That means less bosom-baring and no gold lamé.

It was going to be all about color, beads and layers and layers of chiffon, but that is all changing as of this moment. Stars who chose bright colors are going to black. All those who went for neutrals, yellow, cream, beige or white are sticking with their choices. When it comes to jewelry, the big houses like Harry Winston are getting requests for more subtle pieces. But don’t you worry, Hollywood will still razzle-dazzle you one way or another.

Renée Zellweger, for one, is starting to show signs of Oscar fashion fatigue. She says she has already worn 40 outfits in three weeks in the marathon of interviews and parties on two continents for "Chicago" and is due to wear at least 20 more this week, including, of course, the big one Sunday night for which she looked at more than 100 choices — including vintage gowns from almost as many designers. What she says somewhat endearingly is: "I’m sick of talking about myself. In fact, I’m sick of talking."

What she and the rest of the stars choose to wear on Oscar night is always a big question made even more difficult by current events. In 2001, the Emmys were postponed due to Sept. 11, and a more dressed-down version of the usual glamorous doings took place two months later. At this point, it looks as if the show will go on. But we will have to wait and see what happens in the best-dressed battle in Hollywood this year.
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