The red carpet may be a bit muted this awards season.
With the U.S. in recession, global markets in upheaval and labor unrest in Hollywood, jewelry and beauty publicists predict that celebrity gift suites will be more scarce, or at least more subtle. Several pre- and post-awards parties are on hold or scaled back. Vanity Fair, which decided to cancel its post-Oscar festivities last year because of uncertainty over whether the show would be halted because of the writers' strike, is said to be trimming its guest list this year.
Tinseltown has experience in toning things down. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Emmy Awards were postponed twice. When the show was staged on Nov. 4, 2001, most of the stars were dressed down in black suits or cocktail garb. The U.S. invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, and although the Oscars show went on as planned four days later, many actresses, including best actress winner Nicole Kidman, chose mostly subdued looks.
Despite the grim mood, stylists are operating at full speed with sketches and gown samples. "You have to be prepared for any situation, so we have to continue to do our jobs," said stylist Tanya Gill, who works with double Golden Globe nominee Kate Winslet.
Though Oscar nominations are not until Jan. 22 -- a day before the Screen Actors Guild strike authorization results -- Gill and others have been scouting looks from the Spring 2009 and pre-fall runway shows. With the Golden Globes set to air Jan. 11, stars on the red carpet could be a hopeful boon to design houses and retailers.
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