Natalie Portman Oscars Dior – When Bad Things Happen To Good Vintage
How refreshing to finally see “vintage” applied correctly to a red carpet frock (see: Julia Roberts, “vintage” Valentino – not). Ms. Natalie Portman in 1950s vintage Christian Dior. It was also refreshing to see a hemline that didn’t cause consternation and concern – coupled with the towering heels that so many wear on the red carpet, the puddling voluminous hemlines are a televised tragedy waiting to happen.
However… I almost wish I hadn’t immediately looked down. This is a classic example of When Bad Things Happen To Good Vintage. This gown is not unusual in its construction: a sheer overlay with an opaque lining. Often such an effect is achieved with silk over a synthetic taffeta. And therein lies the problem. Overzealous – and even the most careful – cleaning frequently leads to shrinkage of the chiffon overlay. The fabric is more delicate and silk shrinks like crazy. The synthetic liner remains, as ever, making itself even more apparent as it now has sometimes inches of exposure.
What happened here? There are several possibilities. The first, Dior pulled an archived gown, cleaned it, and sent it on to Ms. Portman’s stylist. The next, the gown arrived in LA with nary a mishap, and was steamed before the event. Either way, someone shrank the dress. Fortunately, her fiance/husband’s socks weren’t exposed, as well. That would’ve been the ultimate in Red Carpet Matchy-Matchy.
UPDATE: March 8, there is some clarification available. The gown was offered to Ms. Portman’s stylist, gratis (that means “free”, kiddos) by a vintage dealer in NYC. I know who but will not name names here (google away). Made that discovery completely serendipitously when a google search for something I wrote returned something written by said dealer that was, well, rather similar. ‘Nuff said.