|Got Lemons? Make Lemonade!
By: Edwina Owens Elliott
I missed the Big Trip on Oscar night. Until that moment, Jennifer Lawrence had not made it onto my personal radar just yet. Although she's on the cover of last month's Vanity Fair, which I was actually in the middle of reading, she simply hadn't registered with me. So after her name was called as Best Actress, uninterested, I turned back to my computer monitor and missed it — the trip heard 'round the world.
Now, of course, everyone who's not spending the bulk of their time sound asleep or under a rock is aware of the lovely Ms. Lawrence. The interview she was in the midst of giving backstage when hit on by none other than Jack Nicholson has almost 4.5 million views on YouTube. (Sure he's a little long in the tooth now but sugar, she could do a lot worse out there in Tinsel Town).
It was that damned dress. By Raf Simons for Dior Haute Couture, it was big, wide, and heavy. A gown that you absolutely must take control of — or it will end up controlling you. And we all know what happened next. The image that appeared everywhere the next day showed her in semi-sprawl on the stairs of the Dolby Theater, her body beautifully braced by one arm while the other hand is held up to her face in mortification. The dress had ballooned out around her like some great, fluffy cumulus cloud, as if arranged by a photo stylist standing nearby. We should all be so lucky to look this stunning while toppling over on the biggest night of our lives.
Inside the praise that followed her Oscar win was a healthy share of chastising for not possessing the grace required to wear a gown of such magnitude. But then an ad, branded by Christian Dior, appeared three days later on Facebook and when I saw it, I almost fainted with delight.
Presented in black and white, the ad went viral immediately. But no one seems to know the story behind it. Did someone from the House of Dior take this moment of sheer embarrassment and spin it into a celebration of human frailty? And a once-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunity? Or is it the work of some smitten fashion director in Boston or Dallas or San Francisco who saw in the shot a perfect elegance and ding — the lightbulb switched on overhead? However it came to be, it's a lesson that applies to just about any of life's challenges, from clumsy public missteps to shameful private failures. When life hands you lemons, you squeeze those suckers dry, make a big ol' pitcher of lemonade and slap your logo on it.
The image is indeed a real and precious moment in time. What's more, it's utterly flawless. Well. Almost. Other than removing that odd shadow strewn across the dress like a nasty splash of cabernet, I wouldn't have changed a thing.
Edwina Owens Elliott is a graphic designer, art director, illustrator and owner of FASHION+ART, an e-commerce art gallery. She has a lifelong passion for fashion, art, writing, music, movies, books, theater, cooking, gardening, plotting and planning and dreaming big dreams. Find her online here and here.
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