“I’ve never experienced an Oscars that’s as apathetic and unenthusiastic as this one,” said Cameron Silver, the owner of Decades, a vintage couture boutique on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Leading ladies like Nicole Kidman, Chloë Sevigny, Jennifer Lopez, Marisa Tomei and Rachel Griffiths have all turned to the shop in the past to find “wow” ensembles for the biggest night in entertainment.
“Normally, the past three weeks would be airport-central … with stylists coming in and celebrities coming in,” said the tony togs dealer, who has owned Decades for over a decade. But this year? “The momentum is gone.”
Mr. Silver blamed the dress delay largely on the absence of “a real awards season that usually creates a buildup.” In years past, he said, actresses tend to become “gradually more and more dramatic with their attire in advance of the Oscars,” but this time around, he predicted celebrities will play it safe. “I don’t think we’re going to see costumey fashion. I don’t think this is the year of over-the-top haute couture. I think it’s not about fantasy fashion. This Oscars is going to be more about realistic. Every Oscars has been more and more sedate. This could be the safest yet.”
Predicted pragmatism aside, Mr. Silver said he still expects to see a lot of bright color on the red carpet this Sunday, because “it translates really well in a magazine.” Though he did note that a large number of actresses, including Tilda Swinton and Jessica Biel, looked “really fresh” in black gowns at last month’s BAFTA Awards.
Two of this year’s contenders for the Best Actress Academy Award have scheduled fittings at the store, according to Mr. Silver, but they’re waiting untll the eleventh hour to settle their seams. One of the aforementioned stars, he said, is slated to come in on Saturday, Feb. 23—fewer than 48 hours before she steps on the red carpet. “I was dealing with her stylist,” Mr. Silver said, “and was like, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard of a nominee doing her fitting the morning before the Oscars.’”