Celebrity Swag. The Oscar Fashion Frenzy Begins…

February 21, 2008 • Lifestyle

Penelope Cruz on last year’s Oscar red carpet

Due to the 14-week writers’ strike that nearly jeopardized the 80th annual Oscar’s
(before ending last week) appears to have reduced the number of gift
suites. Boo hoo. Additonally, more fashion houses now have VIP salons in their
boutiques while others opt to send their sketches, gowns and celebrity
dressers directly to the homes of stars and stylists, according to WDD

Stylist Tanya Gill, who is dressing best actress nominee
Julie Christie said, "designers are very much focused and they just pick one
or two people to work with. They deliver the things to you."

has noticed there are fewer suites, though she tries to visit those
that have set up shop. "It’s not only respectful of all the beautiful
things that get flown to Los Angeles, but it’s important to see what’s
out there because things can change at the last minute and you have to
be prepared," she said.

But the biggest names in fashion still
jockey to dress top actresses and do their jewelry and makeup for the
show on Sunday, which can lead to millions of dollars worth of
publicity and help boost the bottom line.

The Oscars generate an
estimated $130 million for the local economy alone, according to the
Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. This includes $51 million spent
by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the ceremony and
all related events; $56 million in studio spending on Oscar campaigns;
$5 million in gifting and "perk" related business; $3 million on
parties (this is usually $4 million but cancellations this year brought
it down), and $2.5 million on hotels.

If there’s less marketing this year it’s because of the
shortened awards season and the uncertainty about the Oscars. Many
companies either didn’t commit or make plans until they could see how it was going to shake out.

"Because of the price of gold being
higher than it has been in years and certain jewelry companies paying
celebrities to wear their gems, we decided to focus on the handbags,"
said Robyn Brooks, vice president of Kara Ross.

the cost, many beauty companies insist that participating in the
pre-Oscars courtship of Hollywood notables is a valuable investment.
Matrix-owned professional hair care brand Biolage is setting up a spa
and salon at the Thompson Beverly Hills hotel at which hair stylist Mark Townsend will perfect celebrity
dos. L’Oréal-owned hair color treatment brand PureOlogy is at the TMG
Luxury Suites, while L’Oréal Paris is the official sponsor of the
Oscars broadcast and is providing a compact designed by Kwiat to
nominated actresses.

Read "Oscar Week Fashion Frenzy Evolves"

photo: boston.com

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