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Dressmaking Fabrics at The Oscars!

marilyn Marilyn Monroe stole the show in 1951

Last night saw the 86th Academy Awards take place in Los Angeles and whilst the winners of the most coveted awards of the year are basking in glory we turn our attention to more important matters such as, who was the best dressed on the red carpet? Traditionally, the Oscars are the night of the year when the biggest stars in the world pull out all of the stops and the event has delivered some of the most iconic movie star outfits of all time. Audrey Hepburn stole the show in 1953 in a stunning Givenchy gown made from a beautiful flowery dressmaking fabric. With her famous elfin features the look was delicate and feminine and, taking home the award for Best Actress in Roman Holiday, this was the night when Audrey ceased to become merely a star and became an icon. A few years before in 1951, a young up and coming starlet appeared as a presenter adorned in a cloud of black tulle dressmaking fabric and everyone in Hollywood and the rest of the world sat up and took notice. The starlet was the enigmatic Marilyn Monroe and this was the night (and the dress!) that kickstarted what was the most successful movie career of all time and is renowned as one of the most breathtaking gowns that has ever graced the red carpet.

On Oscar night, the importance of a movie star's gown should not be underestimated and can make or break a star's night. There are not many of us who can remember who won what on any particular year but you can be sure that most of us, particularly dressmakers, can tell you exactly what year the most fabulous dresses came from and the Oscars are the perfect opportunity for any starlet to cement herself at the head of the pack and as a paparazzi darling who will be gracing the front pages of the fashion publications for many years to come, get it wrong and your dress will be come back to haunt you for the rest of your career! In 1996 when attending her first Academy Awards, Hollywood heavyweight Kate Winslet wore a shocking creation in a bubblegum shade of pink satin dressmaking fabric which would have been better placed on a Disney Princess rather than the polished and poised red carpet pro that we know today. Possibly one of the most widely remembered frock horrors of all time was the swan dress worn by Icelandic pop queen Bjork at the 2001 event, paired with a baggy body stocking dressmaking fabric this is possibly the wackiest red carpet outfit of all time.

lupita] Lupita opted for a more traditional gown than she has in recent weeks.

The 2014 awards were a much more muted affair than usual with everyone seeming to play it safe on the red carpet though perhaps the awful rainstorms being experienced in LA at the moment may have had something to do with the much safer choices of gowns and dressmaking fabrics that we saw making their way down the red carpet last night. Possibly the most anticipated arrival of the evening was star of 12 Years A Slave, Lupita Nyong'o who has been turning heads and impressing designers all over Hollywood since her film debut last year. Lupita stepped out in a pastel blue Prada gown made of chiffon dressmaking fabric which was beautiful against her glowing complexion and huge smile. Although this was a much safer choice of gown than we are used to from Lupita I loved the fluidity of movement as she glided down the red carpet however, the princess like creation did not make quite the same impact that Lupita has made previously and I much prefer the edgier style that she showcased at The Golden Globes back in January when she wore a caped Ralph Lauren creation in a ravishing shade of red. However, after the successful year she has had Lupita deserved her princess moment and she was certainly one of the biggest winners of the night taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her first ever role.

Jennifer Lawrence as always, provided the laughs on the red carpet when she took a tumble whilst stepping out of her car. Once she had composed herself she was elegant and sophisticated in her usual Dior Haute Couture. Rather than the sugary, princess style gown she wore last year when she picked up the award for Best Actress this was a more high fashion look for Jennifer. In keeping with her new edgier hairstyle the star of American Hustle chose a fitted, strapless column dress with peplum detail in a gorgeous scarlet shade. This is a flattering style of dress for anyone on a special occasion and can be created using a cotton spandex dressmaking fabric which is perfect for form fitting designs and with a slight element of stretch provides a wonderful ease of movement for added comfort.

Emma Watson was a million miles from Hermione in a black metallic Vera Wang creation and looked wonderful in the simple creation with a flattering mermaid skirt, although she only narrowly avoided an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction when she turned around to reveal a rather sheer skirt which almost revealed a little too much. When sewing with sheer dressmaking fabrics you can avoid the same embarrassment by lining your creation with an anti-static dress lining to preserve your modesty under the bright lights of a party venue.

sandra Sandra Bullock was the epitome of style and elegance on the red carpet.

The best dressed of the night has to go to Hollywood veteran Sandra Bullock, although she missed out to Cate Blanchett for Best Actress she stole the show looking beautiful, classy and every inch the Hollywood icon in a stunning McQueen gown crafted from a navy satin dressmaking fabric featuring a classic sweetheart neckline, dramatic draping effect and with her trademark raven looks swept to the side in understated waves Sandra stomped all over many other style icons and actresses half her age with the classic Old Hollywood look. She may have missed out on the award but Sandra won the red carpet with her subdued elegance and sophistication.

As is always evident at such events, where there is a fashion win there is always a fashion fail and this years dubious honour has to go to Pharrell Williams. It is unusual for a male celebrity to top the worst dressed lists as a well fitted tux and a quick shave is usually enough to set many a female heart a flutter but Pharrell decided to push the fashion envelope a little too far by arriving in a pair of Lanvin shorts. Although his style gamble did not prove to be bad luck for the producer as he took home multiple awards for his track Happy. As a fan of the more traditional tuxedo, I was much more impressed by the suave and sophisticated style of Leonardo DiCaprio, although sadly, he missed out again on an award he certainly won in the style stakes with his classic black tux.

What was your favourite outfit on the last night's red carpet? Have you used any of our dressmaking fabrics in your creations? As always we love to see your pictures on our Facebook page.

Until next time!

Calico Laine