Celebrity Style. The Tony Awards: Triumphant or Tacky?

June 9, 2009 • Celebrity Style

I'm just not even sure what to say about the Tonys.

Not enough highs. Too many lows. But that's how it goes.

Too much blah, too much frump, and too many older women trying to feel young again. If you're over 40, dress your age, please! (And if you're Liza Minnelli, please just wear a dress!) 

There were a couple of highlights. Fashion starlet Anne Hathaway was not one of them. I'm quite surprised about that one, actually. I was expecting her to outshine all. I guess she was trying to keep the attention off herself, but she did have to do it with a poofy black dress.  

(On a side note: What was Anne doing at the Tonys anyway? Do they need one big movie star to make sure people tune in? Don't they have Will Ferrell for that? We know, we know, she did a number with Hugh Jackman at the Oscars and she's starring in Twelfth Night this summer. But still—)

Trends: Bright dresses (again not for the middle-age set!), black, deep green, low-cut necklines, bare necks, little jewelry.

Well, here are the stars that DID shine:

The Good
Angela Lansbury

Ms. Lansbury, I commend you! I put you first for a reason. Because this is what a lady should dress like. At 83, you look quite sharp! And yet, with the stark white suit and sequined top underneath, you still stand out. Standing ovation, Ms. Lansbury.

Josefina Scaglione 

I like the color on this West Side Story star. She looks youthful, chic, and the cinched belt around the waist adds some fun. The dress fits her well at the bust, but the flowy skirt does not make her look super skinny. Well done! 

Bebe Neuwirth

I must admit, I love this dress on petite Bebe. It's in some ways classic, in some ways totally mod, and yet, completely elegant. The flower adds some punch and the texture adds some shine. Bebe, you're the queen of Broadway tonight.

Carole Shelley

Surprised to see the Billy Elliot supporting star there with the big style starlets tonight? What I love about this dress is that Ms. Shelley knows she's not a size 2 and she dresses appropriately. The color is demure, yet chic. The open collar is sexy, yet not too revealing. Perhaps she should have added a small necklace, but overall a true winner.

Marine Ireland

Where others fail, Marine shines. Though a bit too low cut in front, this dress is beautifully made and Marine wears it well.  

Stockard Channing

There was a little too much black tonight, but Stockard Channing was the only one who looked absolutely fab in it. Not a huge fan of the necklace, but somehow it falls in nicely with the dress. Nothing too revealing, nicely structured, well done!

Alice Ripley

Initially, I was going to put Alice in the "Bad" list, because I'm not crazy about the halter top straps. But the color is just exquisite, and the dress fits her well. Thus, in a sea of despicable dresses, she looks divine.

Lauren Benati

Gorgeous and classic, but the color brings out a nice playfulness. I also like the matching necklace. Nice job. This is what some of the other women should have done!

The Bad
Anne Hathaway

Yes, Anne, I know you're not used to being here–what with being Marc Jacobs' muse and all. But that feathery tutu bottom just doesn't cut it. You're a study in contrast, you know? Wearing black with a big poofy bottom. Are you trying to blend in or not? Well, the outfit's not terrible. At the Tony's, we saw much worse.

Jane Fonda

Well, all I can say is that the former workout guru is pretty much dressing her age, but with the panache of Angela Lansbury! She looks a bit drab, the big charm at her midsection is not great, and her shoes are ugly.

Marcia Gay Harden

A lot of people said they loved this dress, but I actually HATED it! I do not like the scaly texture or what she was trying to go here with the strapless top and the green color. I'm sorry, but she looks like a mermaid's fish tail!

Nancy LaScala

I can see what she was going for here, but it looks like this actress has cobwebs hanging from her too-high neckline

Charlotte St. Martin

We get it, Charlotte. You have a lot of cleavage. But no need to mask it with a halter neckline that's just too high. And that ruching at the mid-section does nothing for your figure!

Chandra Wilson

Well, you're obviously not a small girl, Chandra, so kudos for pulling off that color.  But I don't love it.

Haydn Gwynne

This would have gone in the "Good" list, but I don't like the fact that the one-sleeve top half is transparent and you can see underneath. It should have been cut the same with a darker purple fabric. Perhaps I'm being too critical here…the color is beautiful and the Grecian element is elegant.

Allison Janney

Again, this could have been GORGEOUS! But the big bow at the waist completely throws the whole thing off. Why are all the middle-age women trying so hard to be trendy? Why not go for classic clean lines and elegance?

Becky Gulsvig

The color is nice, the one shoulder sleeve is nice. Not sure what those butterfly pendents are for.  But there was a lot better here at the Tonys (and a lot worse, as you'll see in a minute…)

The Ugly

And here we have the neon messes, who definitely didn't pull off the color the way Becky Gulsvig, Lauren Benati, and Chandra Wilson did…

Sutton Foster

Lauren Graham

Tovah Feldshuh

Julie Chen

More ugly…
Piper Perabo

Piper is young and so it's easier for her to take a risk, to try something new. But what is going on down below? She looks like an Arabian genie who got stuck in the bottle…

Phyllis Newman

She looks strikingly similar in style to Vogue's André Leon Talley

Dolly Parton

Goodbye class, Hello Dolly!

Diane Paulus

Too much going on here with the fringed top and the patterned bottom. And why is that dress dragging on the floor?

Edie Falco

Ohh, Edie. You could have been great. But this velvet wrinkled mess just doesn't cut it. And for added ugliness, you have that bland cut at the neckline and the strange golden color blocking at the bottom.

Hope Davis

Wow, this is just bad. She looks like she's going to a high school dance and she borrowed her mother's shoes. Hope, do you realize you're at the Tony Awards?

Kate Burton

A big sloppy, patterned mess!

Liza Minnelli

Oh Liza…you're a legend! So could you please take a cue from fellow legendary Broadway star Angela Lansbury and wear a suit next time? Better yet, wear a gown. Just not this black parka mess!

– Simona Kogan

Photos: Wire Image

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One Response to Celebrity Style. The Tony Awards: Triumphant or Tacky?

  1. Tyson says:

    Kate Burton’s dress is the best! Huge flowers! I love them on everything!!!!!

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