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Fashion designers on Oscars 2002

Christina Perrin, the noted fashion designer whose celebrity clients include Charlize Theron, Calista Flockhart, Leelee Sobieski and Lorraine Bracco, is keeping mum on which stars she’s dressing. “There are a couple of different themes that are going to be worn,” said Perrin. “Some more fanciful and sequined and beaded, and some more draped and simple.”

Perrin says she hasn’t seen any downturn in the stars’ use of personal stylists this year. “I work with a lot of stylists. I think for that kind of an evening you really should, because it’s a lot of pressure to get the jewelry and the bag and the shoes and the dress. And you feel like you need someone to help you.”

For the well-tailored gentlemen attending the Oscars, a Giorgio Armani spokesperson says this year’s trend will likely focus on “more classic tuxedos, a little bit more conservative.” The recent movement toward open collars without a tie will continue, while others looking to individualize their look beyond the uniform formalwear will be leaning toward white, platinum or silver-colored ties.

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Closer to the red carpet, Stuart Weitzman (Halle Berry walked to the SAGs winners podium in Weitzman this year, as have Calista Flockhart at the Emmys and Kim Basinger at Oscars past) says, “We’re going to see very sexy shoes. They’re going to be jeweled to a great extent, sandalized mostly, and for the young actresses they’re all going to be high heels. Now the established actresses don’t have to compete with that…They’ll be a little bit more comfortable probably with a two- or three-inch heel, but the stars of today are in four- or five-inch heels–That’s what they want.”
He adds that lace-up shoes will be quite popular, as well as the “nakedness” of backless mules, but the hottest new trend of the moment is the evening shoe. “A closed toe, a pointy, narrow front with sandalized back, slingbacks or ankle wraps, ankle straps, halter straps…It’s sort of the evolution of the dressed-down shoe after Sept. 11.” Nevertheless, “You won’t notice that this year’s Oscars are any less glamorous than the previous years.”

Weitzman has shoes out to many top nominees, but he doesn’t like to make any early announcements because anything can happen–last year Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Zhang Zhiyi’s mother vetoed the “very sexy, naked” Weitzman sandal the actress picked at the last minute. “Evidently in old line Chinese culture, the toes are too risqué. The breasts are not–her dress was cut very low but her shoes were too sexy!” The designer whipped up a closed-toe show for the star in less than 24 hours.

On the pricier–way pricier–side, the designer teamed with jeweler Kwiat and the Platinum Guild to create a $1 million pair of diamond-and-platinum shoes which contain 464 carats of diamonds, including two five-carat, pear-shaped gems–that will grace the feet of one attendee (rumor has it, Faith Hill) and then will be auctioned off for charity. He said he values the face time–or in his case, foot time–that the Oscar spotlight provides: “If you can satisfy the people who are on the red carpet, you can sell shoes to just about any lady in the world.”

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