Taylor Swift, Connie Britton and the CMA's trouble with contemporary fashion
The red carpet at the Country Music Association Awards is not a place where designer names are dropped -- Tom Ford is no status symbol in this club. Pre-show coverage rarely touches on clothing, other than bedazzled hostesses stating how fantastic the artist/actor/performer looks that evening. More than any other awards ceremony, the CMAs have a long-standing tradition of eschewing modernity. The model of dress for men is a blazer and jeans, topped off with cowboy hat and boots. Sparkling princess is the default for women – ultra feminine plus gobs of rhinestones. Even successful crossover stars bend to conform, despite demonstrating their capability of composing chic and daring looks for other events. See all of the red carpet looks from the CMA Awards.
Taylor Swift is a prime example. Maybe it’s an effort to maintain her female country fan base. But Swift is a professional at giving the people what they want, and what they want is Cinderella with a little twang. Her deep red Elie Saab ball gown (we get it, we’ll buy your album) felt dated, especially following some of her more youthful choices, like the Grecian-style J. Mendel gown she wore to the Grammys last February.
Carrie Underwood is less of a chameleon than Swift, but we’ve seen her dispense with larger hair and frills before. Her blush Ralph & Russo gown with sheer sleeves and skirt is overly glitzed, especially compared with the black jump suit she wore (briefly) on stage at the CMTs last year.
Connie Britton, though not technically a country music artist, has been adopted for her role in the hit show “Nashville.” While her hair can do no wrong, the spangled Peter Pan collar and capped sleeve details on her Georges Hobeika gown were too young, and combined with the sheer bust line, a bit tacky. By contrast, the Asos body-conscious dress and Monique Lhuillier cage pumps that she wore to the New York Film Festival last month felt sublimely polished.