Fashion Diary: QVC will be at the Oscars


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Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters.

QVC is coming to the Academy Awards.

That’s right, QVC.

The home shopping network is turning the red carpet into a literal marketplace, throwing a live-for-TV party at the swank Four Seasons Hotel on Oscars weekend, and inviting celebrity guests to mingle and sell in front of the cameras, in hopes that a little Tinseltown glamour will rub off on hometown America.


It’s a genius idea, really. Considering how much time and money go into product placement during awards season, the red carpet might as well be a sales floor. And one with affordable products, as Versace probably isn’t going to sell a lot of $20,000 plus crystal-embroidered gowns (like the one Drew Barrymore wore to the Golden Globes), but might sell quite a few bottles of Crystal Noir perfume.

It shouldn’t be long before we’re able to point and click -- Marion Cotillard’s Dior lip gloss here, Tina Fey’s Christian Louboutin pumps there. But until then, QVC is hosting two three-hour live broadcasts March 5 (6 to 9 p.m.) and 6 (6 to 9 p.m.), selling everything a woman needs to get ready for a glamorous event.

With cameras in tow, Isaac Mizrahi, Rachel Zoe, Marc Bouwer, Lori Goldstein and other QVC designers will work the party crowd, showcasing products and contents of gift bags. And QVC host Lisa Robertson, perched on a circular stage, will do what she does best -- sell.

‘There will be a camera shot that looks like you are walking down the red carpet,’ says QVC spokesman Jamie Falkowski.

As for the goods? Lots for primping (Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty glowing serum) and preening (Chaz Dean cleansing hair conditioner). There will also be items made specifically for the event (Zoe’s $135 ‘simulated’ diamond bracelet and IsaacMizrahiLive’s $58.50 strapless denim cocktail dress), and new product line launches, including jewelry from tabloid TV show host-turned-QVC designer Nancy O’Dell. Joan Rivers will also pre-sell a glitzy necklace that she will wear on the actual Oscars red carpet, while covering fashion for E!.

‘Lots of women watch the red carpet to see the new jewelry of the season and the new hair color, and we’re lucky enough to work with so many of the artists who are actually dressing and preparing celebrities for the event,’ says Claire Watts, president of U.S. commerce for QVC. ‘We think our customers will love experiencing that allure, and being able to translate it into fashion they can buy right away.’


It’s yet another example of the growing synergy between fashion and entertainment. To that end, on Thursday, Creative Artists Agency became an investor in J Brand Jeans -- a deal that will leverage the talent agency’s event marketing clout and celebrity relationships.

‘QVC is using Hollywood celebs and Hollywood to lend credibility and aspiration to the products they are offering to their consumers,’ says Michael Stone, president and chief executive of brand licensing and consulting firm Beanstalk Group, based in New York City.

QVC has a history of remote programming with broadcasts from Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg, Yankee Stadium and beyond. On Saturday at New York Fashion Week, QVC will debut new collections by designers Erica Davies, Christian Francis Roth, Mara Hoffman, Pamella Roland and Thuy.

‘It’s part of the blurring of the boundaries of where designer brands and names can be purchased,’ says Stone. ‘It used to be, a celebrity or a designer would never consider home shopping because the scene was so down-market, just a step above an infomercial. But QVC and HSN have changed that perception. Having Hollywood and celebrities coming to a QVC party is recognition of the fashion force QVC has become.’

Leading up to the Oscar events, videos on will feature on-air talent getting ready for the big night. ‘People I come into contact with through QVC always say, ‘I’m not famous, I don’t have money, I live in the Midwest and am a mom, I want my own red carpet moment,’ ‘ says Zoe, who started selling on QVC last year.

One possible scenario will have the stylist in her studio pulling dresses for clients. And so far, those clients -- Kate Hudson, Demi Moore, Jennifer Garner, Eva Mendes --haven’t minded that Zoe is moonlighting for a home shopping network. They’ve actually been supportive, she says, noting that Mendes wore a faux fur vest from her QVC line at the recent Sundance Film Festival.

But it remains to be seen whether they will come out for the QVC party -- and if they do, what they’ll be wearing. If it’s J Brand Jeans we’ll know why.

-- Booth Moore


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