LOS ANGELES — The fast approaching red-carpet awards season could once again be in jeopardy.
The Screen Actors Guild board is seeking a strike authorization from its 120,000 members, causing shudders among designers and stylists — as well as others in the film industry — who depend on awards season and the Hollywood machine.
The timing couldn’t be worse with the economy tanking — and memories of last year’s Golden Globes, which were aborted because of the Writers Guild walkout, still raw.
“I just thought, ‘Here we go again,’” said Los Angeles designer Kevan Hall. “A show was actually canceled last year. It could happen again — to any awards show.”
The implied meaning was dire: If it happened to the Golden Globes, which is set this year for Jan. 11, it could happen to the Oscars, and all the awards shows in between, such as the SAG Awards, Directors Guild of America awards, Broadcast Film Critics and New York Film Critics.
For Hall, who relies on the press attention from dressing stars such as Vanessa Williams in custom gowns at awards shows to generate sales, as well as gown sales to agents and wives of industry executives who attend the shows, a strike would be painful.
“We are rolling out our red-carpet gowns no matter what,” he said. “In addition to awards shows, we’re always working on movie premieres or charity fashion shows, and we will find a way to do business. We’ve lived through this once, but who wants to do it again?”
Stylist Jessica Paster said, “Its the lost exposure for designers and it will hurt hair, makeup and styling because we make money off of those events.”
Indeed, with the California economy already beset by crises, the financial impact of awards show cancellations from a SAG strike could easily top the $60 million loss of the Golden Globe’s cancellation.
“This is nail-biting time in Los Angeles,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “A strike and any subsequent cancellation of awards shows would be a big hit to the Los Angeles economy. The effect would carry down from actors not working to studios spending way less. No more expense account meals or gift baskets, hotels, limo drivers, beauty salons, restaurants and retail — all of it will feel the impact. It would further depress an already down local economy.”
Movie production has already slowed because of the residual impact of the writers’ strike and the anticipation of an actors’ walkout. Studios don’t want to lose money by starting a new production and then having to shut it down.
As with the writers, the key issues are new-media and DVD residuals. When the writers went on strike after they were unable to agree on terms to renew their union’s contract, they threatened to picket awards shows. In a show of solidarity, SAG members said they planned not to cross any picket lines.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association decided to cancel the Golden Globes, replacing the dinner and show with a scaled-down telecast announcing the winners, sans actors presenting or accepting awards. The Oscars were also in jeopardy, but the writers, under pressure not to ruin the film industry’s marquee event, came to an agreement just before the Feb. 24 show, which proceeded normally.
Since the SAG contract expired on June 30, the guild, which declined to accept the same terms as the writers, has been deadlocked with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
While SAG maintains that it is simply calling for a vote to authorize its board to decide whether to go on strike — 75 percent of its union members must vote “yes” in order for the guild to proceed — most observers in Hollywood predict that a strike is all but guaranteed.
“This is not the economy to be striking in,” said actress Debi Mazar, a SAG member, known for her roles on “Entourage” on HBO and “Ugly Betty” on ABC. “We can’t afford it.…Designers should be worried not about the red carpet, but about inspiring people to get into stores and just buy the everyday clothes they need. That’s hard enough.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye