Liz Smith: How To Walk The Red Carpet

WELL behaved women rarely make history,” said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

I KNOW  you guys reading this probably don’t spend over $200 a year to see what the revitalized and now glamorous Hollywood Reporter is telling us addicts of celebrity weekly. You’re all reading The Wall Street Journal, Taki’s conservative blogs, Vogue, and The Economist.

So I have to tell you what the Reporter advises this year for the Oscar red carpet. It hasn’t been always warm in L.A. of late. You may be surprised. Here goes:

1. Choose walkable heels. (I know, I know — sheer blasphemy!) But they say you may need to move fast and get inside.

2. Look for a dress with sleeves. Very on trend this season and no longer confined to those over 60. Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie wore long sleeves last year.

3. Go with heavy duty material … velvet, stretch crepe, silk brocade or silk wool blend. No chiffons, tulle or lace.

4. Watch out for static. Carry a small hairspray and wear your hair down for warmth.

5. Try stick on athletic pads. They say this sounds crazy but athletes do it and they are all the rage at fashion shows in Paris, Milan and New York. I would say the lower heel is a really good idea. At the Golden Globes the worst moment was the star and creator of “Girls,” Lena Dunham, stumbling around and falling out of her high heels which she obviously was not used to.

SPEAKING OF such matters, I don’t know how Jennifer Lopez looked on the Grammy Awards red carpet, wearing that black schmatta with the slit up her leg, but it didn’t look very good in motion, as she sashayed onstage Sunday night. In conversation about the gown, a friend said to me, “The amazing thing is that she paid people to make her look like that, complete with the bagel on her head.”

Oh, well — like she cares? I did notice that Lopez perhaps inadvertently stole Cher’s “As you see I received the memo” line (I’m paraphrasing). Many years ago, the Academy of Arts and Sciences released a memo similar to the one issued by the Grammy committee, about no outrageous and/or revealing clothes on Oscar night. Cher paid it no mind, wore something outrageous and revealing, and joked onstage about receiving “the memo.” (The difference? Cher’s outfit was supposed to be a joke.)

DON’T ASK me anything else about the Grammy show. I watched Taylor Swift’s opening number, and then basically abandoned the 2013 music industry for the period glories of “Downton Abbey.” I switched back a few times and that’s how I managed to catch the Lopez Leg.

I also saw a number by a group called Fun. They were energetic and during the song, were drenched with water, raining from above. The lead singer looked to be about 20.

They won … something. And when they got up onstage the singer, whose name I found out was Nate Nuess, said, “I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that song. I’m sure this show is in HD, and you can plainly see, we are not young!” Then he thanked the group’s fans for sticking by them for many years. I thought that was cute and sweet. (Nate is actually 30.)

Otherwise my evening was mostly consumed by what would happen to the once-wayward Ethel … the fate of the gay valet (he’s not a very nice guy, but we don’t want him thrown in prison, after all!) … why does poor Edith always get the short stick when it comes to men? … would Matthew and Mary be able to conceive a child and what bitcheries would fly between the Dowager Countess and Matthew’s equally formidable mother, Isobel. (The simmering hatred between these two — played by Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton, respectively — is always a joy to watch.) You know — the usual soap opera shenanigans of the occupants of “Downton Abbey.”

As with all entertainments, disbelief must be suspended, and I willingly do so for something that allows people to speak in complete sentences and doesn’t have an explosion every five minutes. Not that I haven’t enjoyed my share of explosive movies. I’m looking forward to my friend Bruce Willis’ latest “Die Hard” turn, for instance.

SHANNON ROWBURY is the fastest runner in the U.S. 1500 meter race. But she’s more than just a pair of well toned, well trained legs. Shannon and her boyfriend Pablo Solares (also a runner, and an artist) have started a foundation for young women called “Imagining More.” The organization promotes arts and athletic careers for young women. (Shannon danced — Celtic folk dancing — before turning to sports.) Shannon says that her own upbringing was one in which she was told anything was possible, but after training and traveling to places such as Mexico, she saw that not all girls similarly are encouraged. To learn more, log onto imaginingmore.org.

ENDQUOTE: “Sorry, I just spaced out.” That was Matt Damon to Don Cheadle in Sunday night’s episode of Showtime’s “House of Lies” after fed-up ad-man Cheadle told Damon what an arrogant, hypocritical, jaded monster he was. (Matt was playing himself — a drink-swilling, drug-taking, degenerate evil twin version of himself!)

What was so funny about Damon’s response is that it is the typical reaction that particular kind of celebrity has to being told the truth. They just “space out” and sort of pretend not to have heard it. Anybody who has ever been an assistant to a mega-star with a mega-ego to be fed must have been rolling on the floor.

Matt — who in real life is a doll — really went all out playing this “bad” version of himself. Very funny! I don’t often watch “House of Lies” but I wanted to see what Matt Damon was doing there. Glad I did.

This column originally appeared on NYSocialDiary.com on 2/12/13

One comment so far.

  1. avatar JERILYN says:

    Jennifer Lopez with “the bagel on her head”. LOL Perfect description Dame Liz Smith. I love J-LO but the outfit was a disaster as was ADELE’S VALENTINO matching dress and shoes. Can anybody say gradma’s slipcovers? OMG what was she thinking? And what was Valentino thinking? It was a red carpet disaster. Where is Dame Elizabeth Taylor when we really need her glamor, passion, bling and raucous spirit. How we miss her…