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Pursuitist Exclusive Q&A: Nina Garcia Talks Oscar Night Fashion Predictions

Pursuitist Exclusive Q&A: Nina Garcia Talks Oscar Night Fashion Predictions

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On the eve of the Academy Awards, Pursuitist chatted with Nina Garcia, Marie Claire Creative Director, Project Runway judge and JCPenney Style Voice, to get her thoughts on this year’s award show fashion trends … as well as the best ways to go from runway to real world. 


J. Mendel at Fall 2015 Fashion Week
J. Mendel

You’re in the thick of fashion week. Are there runway trends you predict will go directly to the red carpet for this year’s awards season?

Gowns with plunging necklines and a defined waist, like we saw at Altuzarra, Jason Wu, and J. Mendel this week.

What are this season’s big red carpet trends? Anything you predict specifically for the Oscars?  

So far, the biggest red carpet trends have been bold, primary colors (Canary yellow, hues of red), plunging necklines, and metallic.

I think we’ll see all of these trends play out in a big way for the Oscars from elegant red dresses to daring necklines.

Particularly, we’ll see primary colors a lot because they have translated onto the red carpet from runway shows that have embraced bold colors from Ralph Lauren to Christian Dior.

The 360-degree cameras and new inventions like the “mani cam” are really putting the focus on the details – what’s trending in accessories and hair for 2015?

Metallics are a trend I’m loving for accessories on and off the carpet for 2015.  From metallic embellished gowns to accented jewelry, we’ve seen leading ladies rocking this red carpet look and I think we’ll see it play out in a big way for Oscars as well.  What I also love about this trend is how easy it is to incorporate into your everyday style – don a metallic cocktail dress or punch up classic jeans and a tank with a studded clutch or crystal bracelet.

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(Nina selected the JCPenney Call It Spring Napanoch East/West Studded Clutch $35 and the JCPenney Natasha Crystal Spiked Bracelet $83.32 as items for perfect for taking the red carpet to the real world)

emma-stone-768We’ve seen many hits (and misses) so far this year at awards shows like the Golden Globes and Grammy’s. Who has had the best red carpet looks so far, and who has just totally missed the mark?

Best – Emma Stone’s jumpsuit at the Globes (at left) and the sheer number [of jumpsuits] at the SAG Awards were right on point.

Worst – Several very fashionable women I thought made rare missteps at the Globes this year. Without naming names, anyone who had an ill-fitted dress.

Any celebrities (male or female) that you consistently say “yes, they got it right again” in terms of overall look and style?

Julianne Moore and Emma Stone. They are not afraid to take fashion risks. Their personalities as well as their red carpet looks tend to have a bit of edge to them, something unexpected.

Plus, they have each cultivated special relationships with a designer who suits them and their style well (Moore with Givenchy’s Ricardo Tisci, and Stone with Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz). That pays off big time on the red carpet.

And though it’s not really her year, Natalie Portman always tends to look great on the carpet. Oh, and Charlize Theron, of course.

We’ve lost a few big red carpet names this year – Joan Rivers as a commentator and Oscar De La Renta in the fashion world. How do you predict these losses will change the overall “red carpet experience” in coming months, if at all?

Indeed, the loss of Joan Rivers and Oscar de la Renta are huge. Joan made the red carpet the experience it is today. No one used to care what designers people had on. Joan was the one who first asked, “Who are you wearing?” And the rest is history. Now the red carpet is arguably even more of an event than the actual awards show.

And Oscar––where do I start? He was the undisputed king of elegance. His woman was the red carpet woman. His designs are synonymous with glamour, which is why he was the designer of choice for countless celebrities and royals over the last 40 years. So of course their losses change the red carpet experience.

But both Joan and Oscar live on––someone new will be asking people what they’re wearing, but the question will remain; and someone new is designing for Oscar (Peter Copping, who showed his first collection for the house this week), but the brand will live on. In general, I think the red carpet experience is always evolving.

What designers are doing the best red carpet looks this year? Any up-and-coming names you particularly love?

Best? Atelier Versace, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Valentino, Lanvin, Giambattista Valli, Zac Posen, Chanel, J. Mendel.

In terms of newer, up-and-coming designers, I think Jason Wu, Mary Katranzou, Thakoon, Altuzarra, and Erdem Moralioglu are ones to watch. I also think with Alexander Wang at the helm, you might see more Balenciaga on the carpet.

What is the best way to translate red carpet looks into real world style?

The best way to translate red carpet looks into real world style is by taking the top trends and using them to accent your own personal style.

unnamed (4)Bold primary colors can easily be incorporated into your wardrobe – fully commit to the trend in a little red dress (which is also having a major fashion moment right now), or rock a bright pop of color with a cool yellow blouse and muted skirt, with trend-right and affordable looks from JCPenney.

We’ve also seen a lot of gorgeous jewel tones on the leading ladies of the carpet from Kiera Knightley to Katie Holmes, which can easily be translated into your everyday look with a brilliant accessory like a pair of Vieste Green Stone Gold-Tone Drop Earrings ($28) to complete the look.