Oscars red carpet: The year of Jolie-legging

It started with a thigh-high slit and a pose. One thin, well-toned limb protruding from a cascade of black velvet. Then came a twitter handle. And a little playful mocking from a screen writer.

Angelina Jolie at the 84th Academy Awards (Amy Sancetta/AP).

Before the credits rolled for the 2012 Academy Awards broadcast, “Angelina Jolie leg” had become a proper noun and “Jolie-legging” a verb. Imitators emerged immediately as they do with these sorts of viral memes.

But perhaps unique to this trend are the re-enactors themselves. They are not just a university swim team or bored co-workers. Starlets in their own right — serious actresses and artists — have been lining up on red carpets over the last year with right leg exposed through taffeta and chiffon.

In Cannes, a few months after the Oscars, the silhouette was everywhere. Kristen Stewart, Jessie J and  Kim Kardashian were among the leggy copy-cats. More surprisingly, Jada Pinkett-Smith joined the party, as well as Frieda Pinto, who wore three separate gowns with extreme slits.


Jada Pinkett-Smith at the screening of “Madagascar 3″ (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/Getty Images)

The Emmys brought newly-divorced Heidi Klum in Alexandre Vauthier. The Critics Choice Awards had Jamie King in Jason Wu. The Golden Globes, a print-clad Halle Berry.

Halle Berry at hte 70th Annual Golden Globes (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

And most recently, and notably, Jennifer Lopez in Anthony Vaccarello at the Grammys.

As the year anniversary of Jolie-legging dawns, the meme/fashion trend/publicity stunt may have run its course.

Not that any of these women should avoid showing a little leg on the red carpet. But the ladies who have contributed to the fad have previously been some of the most daring and memorable for their own choices — think Halle Berry at the 2002 Oscars, J Lo in green Versace and Heidi in John Galliano at the 2008 Oscars.

Halle Berry at the 74th Academy Awards (Doug Mills/AP).


For Sunday, let’s hope attendees take a lesson from Psy and retire the figurative dancing horse.

More on the Oscars:

Best Oscar gowns of the last decade

Oscars red carpet preview

Best and worst Oscar hosts

2013 Academy Awards nominees

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ in 90 seconds



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Chris Richards · February 21, 2013