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On the carpet

The most prominent trend this year was hair so shockingly bad (Jennifer Lopez was our big winner, though Cameron Diaz, Uma Thurman, Helen Hunt and everybody with that long, stringy look were contenders), it was hard to focus on the clothes. As usual, black was a big deal. Sometimes it worked (Reese Witherspoon). Sometimes it was just tacky (Heather Mills, the future Mrs. Paul McCartney). White was supposed to be a big deal, but there was more color seen than usual (to good and bad effect). No style was a big favorite, either (we were spared the Night of the Living Poofy Skirts). Here are the night's big winners and losers:

STILL CHAMPION: Best Actress Halle Berry, with equally sharp-dressed husband Eric Benet, doesn't have a bad fashion day. This Elie Saab dress is adventurous yet classy. Kind of like Halle.

RETRO IS BAD: Whether it's a wig or the result of horrible, high-priced advice, Jennifer Lopez ended up with the hair every '50s prom queen wanted and every '60s bride had.

CAN YOU TELL ME HOW TO GET . . .: Jada Pinkett Smith usually has a good eye, but she unwisely gave in to her urge to do a Big Bird tribute.

HALF AND HALF: Kate Winslet would have had a lovely strapless dress with a well-proportioned, short train if someone hadn't thrown a lei over her head.

UP AND COMING: Reese Witherspoon had a great all-around look: classy Valentino dress and good hair.

THE BIG LOSER: Heather Mills will be lucky if McCartney doesn't call off the wedding after this debacle.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: Gwyneth Paltrow, this month's Vogue cover girl for being a fashion icon, pulls together a Little House on the Prairie-meets-goth look that should have the magazine printing a retraction.

THINK AGAIN: Cameron Diaz mistakenly believes her hair can't look any worse than her Ungaro dress.

WHEN BAD DRESSES HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE: Jennifer Connelly, another person who usually has a good eye, opted for what looked like a bunch of dirty tissues pasted together by Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga.

BLAME THE FRENCH JUDGE: Sharon Stone goes for the figure skater look with that flimsy, flesh-colored "let's pretend the dress is backless" fabric.

MOST WANTED: Nicole Kidman, who was on every designer's must-dress list, opted for Chanel, and her sister as her date.

JUST PICK A COLOR: Fortunately, Faith Hill changed into basic black before she sang a Best Song nominee.

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