A DEMURE LOOK FOR THE DARK ANGEL
Byline: Merle Ginsberg
Looks from European designers such as Chloe, Gaultier and Lacroix have become a common sight on the red carpet during awards season — a feat some of New York’s grooviest designers have yet to equal.
But one young television actress and her stylist were inspired to procure a look from Marc Jacobs. Doing her first turn on the Golden Globe carpet in one of Jacobs’s spring 2001 looks — one that did not appear on the New York runway — was Jessica Alba, the teen star of the James Cameron-produced “Dark Angel.”
Although her looks are dark, exotic and rather glam, like a modern day Ava Gardner, Alba is a typical 19-year-old.
“I don’t really wear gowns,” she admitted last week. “I knew it was important for me to be comfortable, and I didn’t want to be not me. You know? I didn’t want to show up looking like a bride — or Jessica Rabbit. I didn’t want to sex it up, stick my butt out and have to suck my stomach in all night. I’m not a model.”
Enter stylist Vincent Boucher of the Luxe Agency in Los Angeles, a former New York fashion editor who’s worked for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Us Weekly, German Vogue and In Style, whose particular awards show pet peeve is ingenues dressed like dowagers. (Remember Mena Suvari at last year’s Oscars?) He met Alba on a photo shoot and put her in a slinky Dolce & Gabbana number for the People’s Choice Awards earlier this month.
But for the Globes, he wanted to go a little more demure.
“The pictures from this event have a long shelf life,” said Boucher. “And she’s a modern girl. I wanted her to look her age, modern and clean, but still special. And mostly I wanted her to wear the dress: I didn’t want the dress to wear her. You’re only young once.”
Boucher’s known Jacobs personally for years, and loved his daring “Eighties prom queen” spring collection.
The resulting dress was a black silk strapless number made of paper-thin, crushed taffeta with a full skirt. “It shows a little bit of cleavage,” Alba said, “but not too much. What I really love is that it’s not a sequin gown that weighs 20 pounds. I didn’t want to do too much of ‘Hey, look at me.’ “
What’s best is the Jacobs dress is more classic and modern than any recent Hollywood look.
“I don’t follow trends,” said Alba. “We shoot the show in Vancouver, and when I shop, I like to go to New York. I’m definitely not into that ‘L.A. look:’ cropped khaki pants and short tank tops. Every girl in L.A. seems to want to show off her stomach these days. I may be young, but still I like classy old-school style.”