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Hey Celebrities: Let's Make Oscar Fashion Less Boring

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You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, sales, television, new shops, the recession, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls and getting blasted for Racked for over two years. Well, we think it's time you got to know him and his quirky-irreverent views on life and fashion even better with his column: Love, Frank. Taking the form of an open letter and always signed with love, Frank will rant about whatever style-related conundrum he encounters in a given week. So buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, it's going to be ? Something.

Look at these dumb, boring dresses via Entertainista.

Well, well, well ? The Oscars are, once again, upon us. And, you'd think this night of nights would be like a Fashion Superbowl—fans shrieking en masse at a TV while clutching a plate of nachos and a can of beer (glass of pinotage). But, you know, over dresses and tuxedos rather than football (commercials).

You'd be wrong.

For one, we already had our Fashion Superbowl. And Madonna won. With Nicki Minaj and Givenchy tied for second and M.I.A. being disqualified, once again, for petulant conduct, a suck ass attitude and—you know—not being very good at anything besides petulant conduct and having a suck ass attitude.

For two, no one wears anything interesting to the Oscars anymore—and it's a huge bum-out.

The Oscars are the film industry's biggest night. A night rife with ego and attitude and cold hard cash paying off stylists on call. Yet no one gets peacocky, no one steps out of bounds. Women wear sparkly soft-colored things with a single shoulder and a mermaid hem created by labels that barely exist off a red carpet. And the men they walk in with? Black tuxedos, black ties, and black shoes that may be by coveted, directional labels but basically look like your standard issue black tux.

Are the stars timid? The stylists too tame? Too worried for their jobs? Or is the whole celebrity machine so terrified that bionic geriatric Joan Rivers, never-was Kelly Osbourne (no offense, love "Sleeping in the Nothing" to this day), and/or some gaggle of E!-employed nobodies might say they look bad (or, worse—like they're trying too hard).

It's the latter. Our A-listers are horrified they might be included, by a C-lister, on a worst-dressed list. So horrified they'd rather step into glittery nothings by Elie Saab or Marchesa or Monique Lhuillier than have a little fun or, heaven forbid, a point of view. Which is unfortunate, because there's no telling when such a risk might pay off in a total home run (so many sports metaphors today!), be it a best dressed list, branding opportunity, fresh credibility—what have you.

So, an eleventh hour plea to nominees and presenters: Give Jil Sander a chance. Wear Prada but wear cool Prada. And, someone, please, for the love of god, wear Marc Jacobs. Or Proenza. Or, I mean, I don't even like Rodarte—or the creep-o antisocial sisters who design it—but wouldn't that be cool? If Reese Witherspoon or someone else beautiful and palatable to the unwashed showed up wearing Rodarte? Or Mary Katrantzou? Or Comme des Garçons? Or anything Japanese?

And what happened to the whole vintage trend? Many a starlet showed up in vintage just a handful of years ago—garnering cool points and looking fantastic and building awareness for relaunched labels like Halston, Balmain, Lanvin and Balenciaga (Chanel never needed the awareness-building, but there was obviously a lot of vintage Chanel, too). As we speak, something is being relaunched—Vionnet? Kenzo? Get in the game, make some calls.

And, men, holy hell: I'm not suggesting you embarrass yourselves and everyone with or without a clue by wearing some Frankenstein-shouldered micro-suit man wedding dress by Thom Browne. But, have you walked into a store lately? Flipped open a magazine? There are piles of interesting yet respectable evening items by names-you-know like Gucci and Calvin Klein and Tom Ford—exotic skins, piping, subtle color, tonal plaid, pin dots ? Could someone wear a print shirt? Could someone wear something with a contrast trim or lapel or elbow patch? Could someone wear, like, a little black-watch plaid? I'm not suggesting pink polka dots; but if Dunhill can show print and color-blocking, certainly we can get someone—anyone—to wear something with some modicum of flash or interest or new or fun? I mean, what about a jaunty Paul Smith pocket square?

And shoes! In this age of Duckie Brown and Mark McNairy, and George Esquivel (to say nothing of Lanvin, Prada, Jil Sander, Marni, and Marc Jacobs)—could someone put on a fun shoe? It can even be black! There are contrast laces and soles everywhere! I'm tripping over them! Literally!


At least we'll always have Tilda Swinton.

· Love, Frank [Racked]