In case you'd lost track of which awards show you were (or weren't) watching, last night we had the SAGs -- a less popular, but uber-important event in this long season of statuettes.
The Screen Actors Guild awards allow actors to vote for their peers. There's no foreign press, no random people's choices, no odd panel of unknown judges. It's the ultimate popularity contest, not unlike voting for homecoming king and queen in high school, but everyone (OK, most people, except for Jaime Pressly) is better-dressed.
It shouldn't be overlooked that this is a biggie in the Town of Tinsel because it's traditionally considered the most accurate forecast of who will go home with an Oscar.
But in my world of fashion and frippery (c'mon, I know you love it), the SAGs are also the most accurate forecast of celebrity style trends. Everyone wings it at the People's Choice Awards, gets a bit more clued in for the Golden Globes, and then finally gets their act together for the SAGs, which are a literal dress rehearsal for the Oscars.
And that brings us to our post-awards show fashion awards. But first, the trends:
1. The Color Purple: The women of Wisteria Lane -- Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Alfre Woodard -- reigned in this royal hue (although Nicolette Sheridan didn't get the memo). Ziyi Zhang also looked lovely in lavender. I have to give serious trend-setting props to "Brokeback Mountain's" Michelle Williams, who wore a gorgeous purple gown to the Globes.
The men also opted for variations on violet: Ludacris, Tony Parker -- sadly, when he stood next to Eva in her matching dress, they looked like they were going to the prom. Note: Couples should not be matchy-matchy unless they want to look cheesy-cheesy. Daniel Dae Kim (who looked anything but "Lost" -- or cheesy -- in his Paul Smith ensemble), Morgan Freeman, and even the stage had a purplish glow to it.
2. White Is Right (except for Jaime Pressly): It was the color of choice for Hilary Swank, Michelle Williams, Mariska Hargitay, Reese Witherspoon.
3. The Ponytail: Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Sandra Oh, Cheryl Hines, Dakota Fanning.
4. Strapless Dresses: The most impressive item of note about most of the strapless crowd is that stars let their clavicles do the talking. … No need to cover up lovely bones with ostentatious ice.
5. Cocktail-Length Dresses: We saw this trend at the Globes, and it continued. Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank and Sandra Oh did it best.
Best Take-Away Lesson: Bling ain't the thing (as evidenced by the elegant simplicity and restraint of Sandra Oh, Felicity Huffman and Hilary Swank). They resisted the urge to overdo the layered necklaces (this means you, Candice Bergen) and the earrings and necklace pairings (ahem, Catherine Heigl). Simplicity reigned.
The "Nailed All the Trends But Still Didn't Look Trendy" Award: To Hilary Swank. This "Million Dollar Baby" had the white, cocktail-length dress; the ponytail; and minimal jewelry -- just basic stud earrings -- rolled up in one fabulous-looking package.
The "Oops I Missed the Boat" Award: To Anne Hathaway. Her Nina Ricci gown was black and blue (a bad image right there), and looked wrinkled. She didn't fill out the bust. The look was too old for her. Her hair was over-styled, with the severe part and sparkly hair ornament. And her makeup was too "done."
Anne should have taken a lesson from Charlize Theron, who pulled off "glamorous" without looking contrived. Her barely-there makeup, simple hair and clean-lined dress were accented with one gutsy accessory -- oversized vintage Fred Leighton earrings.
Who Did It the Best?/Who Did It the Worst?
White: Hilary Swank (Best); Jaime Pressly (Worst)
Purple: Felicity Huffman (Best); Ludacris (Worst)
Hair Up: Charlize Theron (Best); Catherine Heigl (Worst)
Hair Down: Sandra Bullock (Best); Patricia Arquette (Worst)
Winner: Felicity Huffman. Her dress fit her perfectly. No bells and whistles, simple hair and jewelry, absolutely flawless head to toe.
Geena Davis. Origami gone wrong.
Jaime Pressly. Drag queen meets prom queen.
Maggie Grace. Mmmm, there's nothing like crumpled copper.
Candice Bergen. It appeared that she had been partially swallowed by the bottom half of her dress.
Ellen Pompeo. The bust line looked like it was heading south. … No wonder they call it the SAG awards.
Winner (so to speak): Jaime Pressly, who now garners the dubious Terrible Trifecta Award for bombing three times in a row at the People's Choice Awards, the Golden Globes, and now the SAGs. Three strikes and you're out.
MEN (Don't Come) Back in Black: Apparently George Clooney, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx (with pinstripe AND sheen??) and Heath Ledger missed the last Szish Dish where I mentioned that black on black should be banned from the red carpet.
Kiefer Sutherland: I pray for the return of the bow tie with tuxedos, but Kiefer's polka-dotted number was a sin worthy of praise.
Matt Dillon: Oh, that blue tux shirt. … I can't say why, but it worked.
Jake Gyllenhaal: A bow tie! A classic, shawl-collared tuxedo! Nothing wonky or weird! Now this is what young Hollywood should look like.
Red-Carpet Fashion Etiquette Note to Celebrities: Please learn how to pronounce the name of the designer whose creation you are wearing. Gwyneth Paltrow stumbled over Nicholas Ghesquiere on the Globes carpet -- a mistake acceptable for mere mortals, but not for style icons. Know whether the designer is a "he," "she" or "they." Mariska Hargitay seemed to think that Carolina Herrera was a they. Um, Mariska, there's just one, and she's a "she." Or dead. Anne Hathaway said that Nina Ricci was a designer "well on her way." Psst. … Hey Anne, Nina Ricci died in 1970.