Best Picture or Best Dressed?

I may not remember what won best picture, but I never forget who was best dressed.  If you spend Sundays riveted to the screen to see who’s wearing what to the Grammy’s, the BAFTAs and the SAG awards, you know that this Sunday is the Olympics of red carpet sportsmanship.  Check out this great list of books compiled to celebrate the most fabulous red carpet of them all.

1. Made for Each Other: Fashion and the Academy Awards

The best performances are the product of great collaborations.  DiCaprio and Scorceses, Nick Cassavates and Gina Rowlands, the list can go on.  In this book, fashion historian Bronwyn Cosgrave shows how the relationship between star and designer results in red carpet gold.  Would Audrey have been our fair lady without Givenchy?  Who could forget Scaasi dressing Streisand in see-through, bedazzled pajamas?  Is there anything more 70’s louche magnificence than Halston, Liz and Liza?  Of course,  no fashion friendship can ever top Mackie and Cher.  The original material girl (or lack thereof), Cher’s fashion choices are part of the red carpet DNA.  An added bonus are illustrations from the magnificent David Downton. Focusing on presenters and actresses in top marquee categories, Cosgrave’s book should be a part of any Hollywood or fashionista’s library.

2. The Complete Book of Oscar Fashion: Variety’s 75 Years of Glamour on the Red Carpet

A fun romp through the Oscars year by year is Reeve Chace’s contribution.  A little serious, a little tongue-in-cheek, Chace tries to connect the dots of fashion history.  With fun sections like “Repeat Performances” she shows when a style trend first hit the carpet and the time lapse to the next showing.  If you can’t imagine what Angelina Jolie and Diana Ross have in common, this book will be great fun for you.

3. Star Style at the Academy Awards: A Century of Glamour

You can’t get much better than a foreword by Mr. Oscar himself, Bob Mackie.  Author  Patty Fox shows she is the ultimate insider with a look at the red carpet as far back as America’s first sweetheart, Mary Pickford.  Including men and women, Fox gives a very comprehensive history of many celebrity style evolutions. Plus, there’s a photo of Celine Dion in that crazy backwards tuxedo, and that never gets old.

4. Oscar Night: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties

The Oscars is a button up affair where everyone attempts to be picture perfect.  The after party, on the other hand, is an entirely different affair.  There are many after parties, but the Vanity Fair party ticket is just as elusive as a main floor seat in the Dolby theatre. Boasting over 500 candid photos, you get an invite to party with every A-lister for the last 75 years.

5. Unforgettable: Fashion of the Oscars (Christie’s Auction Catalog, Thursday March 18, 1999)

This book is fun for the Oscar and fashion historian. With a foreword by the preeminent Vogue Editor and fashion journalist Hamish Bowles, this is an actual catalog from the 1999 Christie’s auction.  To benefit AIDS research, 54 stellar Oscar dresses were put on the auction block.  In full color, the dress is shown on a mannequin alongside the star that made it famous, or infamous, depending on popular opinion.  From Hollywood royalty like Janet Leigh to the original maverick, Madonna, you can relive fantastic fashion history.