The Oscars, Recession-Style

No $1 million shoes, but never fear: there were smoked salmon statues.


On today's Good Morning America, anchor Robin Roberts described this year's Oscar glitz as "toned down." Apparently, stars and designers had to make some tough decisions. Notes the Los Angeles Times, "It's a delicate balance to strike in a town not known for its restraint."

And let's not forget the viewers.  InStyle magazine's fashion director told the LA Times (pre-Oscars), "Would you really want to tune in and see a bunch of women walking down the red carpet in black pantsuits?" he said. "It's a recession, not an apocalypse." The horror! The stars didn't disappoint last night, but they did acknowledge the recession in their own little ways:

-Accessories designer Stuart Weitzman, who usually adorns a lucky actress with $1 million shoes, decided it wasn't appropriate.

-Stars opted for "statement" pieces over going the head-to-toe diamond route.

-Vanity Fair went for a more "intimate" location for its annual party, and used decorations from past years' events.

But apparently Wolfgang Puck didn't get the memo. His menu for the Governor's Ball included 3,000 Oscars statues made out of smoked salmon and 6,000 made of chocolate. He told reporters it was essential to do it up and support Obama's stimulus plan.

One of the night's great lines came from host Hugh Jackman, who's also the star of the "Australia." He quipped: "“Because of the recession, everything is being downsized. Next year I’ll be starring in a movie called ‘New Zealand."