A Glamour Gridlock as Stars Ogle One Another

Times Staff Writer

It’s official. Black is out. Aqua is in.

That was the winning fashion statement made Wednesday by arrivals at Shrine Auditorium for the 61st annual Academy Awards. From Geena Davis to Jodie Foster, from Jacqueline Bisset to Rob Lowe (his shirt), the color of choice was a Pacific Ocean green-blue.

Short hair was in vogue, becoming the new status symbol for actors who are working. Tom Cruise, who sheared his locks for his new movie, “Born on the Fourth of July,” raced past reporters, perhaps out of sheer embarrassment. Willem Dafoe and Edward James Olmos, who have been filming “Triumph of the Spirit” in the World War II concentration camps of Poland, also appeared in short haircuts.

But all the stars--and this year’s Oscars attracted everyone from old-time Hollywood stalwarts such as Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart to new combinations such as Cybill Shepherd and Robert Downey Jr. to popular youngsters such as Corey Feldman and Drew Barrymore--had plenty of time to admire one another’s attire outside the Shrine because of the blissful absence of a single traffic jam. Best actor nominee Tom Hanks (with his actress wife, Rita Wilson) even congratulated Mayor Tom Bradley for making good on his no-wait-next-time promise after last year’s gruesome limo gridlock.


Instead, the crowd delighted in “hunk gridlock” as very good-looking, very married actors such as Kevin Kline (with wife Phoebe Cates), Patrick Swayze (with wife Lisa Niniemi), Tom Selleck (with wife Jillie Mack) and Bruce Willis (with wife Demi Moore) had to cool out on the red carpeting while waiting to be interviewed.

Most of the nominated actresses this year went all-out for glamour--though Meryl Streep dodged reporters altogether and Glenn Close tempered her ballgown with hair as short as a boy’s. Supporting-actress winner Geena Davis wore a stunning dress--a turquoise ‘40s-like off-the-shoulder satin gown made by Bill Harding Costume Design. Sigourney Weaver, as always a fashion maverick, opted for an unusual white Grecian-style gown with gold braid.

Melanie Griffith, clutching the hand of her fiance, Don Johnson, said she went clear to London for her snow-white, low-bodice, full-skirted choice. “It was done by the Emmanuelles, the same people who did Princess Di’s wedding dress,” she smiled.

Goldie Hawn, arm in arm with her live-in boyfriend, Kurt Russell, went totally Hollywood in strapless gold lame. Jacqueline Bisset went to New York designer Arnold Scaasi for her glamour-girl silvery blue-green and pale pink number. Jodie Foster--blond hair loose and flowing--was wrapped in a figure-hugging aqua sheath that was as grown up as her role in “The Accused.” “I was walking down a street in Italy and I just saw it and bought it,” the Yale-educated actress said backstage.


Some celebrities, however, dressed down, down, down. Best song winner Carly Simon and best actress nominee Michelle Pfeiffer looked as though they were going to business meetings instead of to the Oscars--Simon in a black and beige striped outfit sans glitter and Pfeiffer in a mannishly cut navy suit and severe white shirt.

And Diane Sawyer, arriving with husband and “Working Girl” director Mike Nichols, wore one of her “60 Minutes” white pantsuits; her only glamorous touch was a gold shawl thrown over one shoulder.

Michael Douglas, arriving with his wife, Diandra, declared that this year’s Oscars was almost as good as last year’s for him when he won the best actor award: “It’s nice to come back and be able to enjoy it.”