Oscar watch: 1930s Glamour

February 23 2013


Photo source: Derek McLane

Tomorrow at 5:30pm Pacific Standard Time, millions of people will be tuning in to the pinnacle of all awards shows. The Oscars. 

This year, the set designer is Derek McLane, a Tony-winner whose credits include "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", "Follies", as well as numerous other Broadway shows.  His inspiration? Busby Berkeley film extravaganzas of the 1930s, with the stage featuring an arch with hundreds of Oscar statuettes dangling inside it like the charms of a bracelet. (A total of 1,051 Oscars painted silver rather than gold, to better reflect the lighting design, populate the set.)

The glittering effect gets its illumination from a multitude of clear, incandescent bulbs suspended on aluminum rods: The nominated stars will themselves be stargazers.

And with movies like Baz Luhrmann's remake of "The Great Gatsby" coming out this year, the 1930s will be a perfect era to celebrate, as beauty, grace and style seemed to be effortlessly married in every aspect of fashion from that era, not necessarily glittering events. Everyday hats were worn with ease: Fedoras, Homburgs, Bowlers, Trilbys, Berets, Cloches. 

It's a great era to find inspiration for how to wear hats easily and effectively... 2013's fashion predictions were about accessible fashion, functional fashion and "wearability", and that's exactly what the 1930s did quite effectively. 

Almost 83 years later, we're now slowly revisiting the kind of fashion that shows amazing quality, affordability, approachability and that has a story to it. Hats always start that conversation, so all we need to do is keep it going. 

So tomorrow, we'll be doing our hat-spotting, but we're guessing that most likely there will be very few hats at the ceremony.

However, to those of you having your Oscar parties, we suggest toasting with a few martinis, and grabbing your trilby. We definitely will be.