Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jennifer Connelly's infamous red dress

On booting up my computer this morning, I was greeted once again by Jennifer Connelly in her shapely, red dress at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It seems Sympatico.ca — Where Canadians start their day — believes Canadians are a lecherous lot getting their morning-motor-starter not from coffee but from the sight of Connelly's breasts and nipples visible through her her now infamous fashion faux pas.

(The above picture, from Adorned, is not one of the pictures in question. The dress looks great here. I'm not posting the revealing pictures. If you must see those, use Google. Weirdo!)

What a bunch of kids! But kids who raise interesting questions about themselves and about the media in general. You see, I'm not sure if Jennifer Connelly meant to reveal so much. In a Canadian Press video, featuring reporters Catharine Benzie and Sunny Freeman, one of the two remarks, " . . . don't know if she (Connelly) expected the lights to do that to her . . . "

I agree. Oh, I think she meant to look sexy. The dress is clingy. But when seen in person, under lighting that is softer, less directional than the straight on strobe light under which she was photographed, the effect is totally different.

I have seen the Connelly-dress-effect before. Years ago, I shot a picture for The London Free Press of a young woman at pool side wearing a tight, body-hugging racing suit. When I saw the prints, I saw her naked. Nothing was left to the imagination. The strong, directional strobe light passed through the dark fabric, illuminated her light skin and any contrasting areas, and carried all that risque information back to my camera. I used Spot-tone to darken her swim suit for the paper and somehow those negs got lost (wink).

I did some searching and discovered that Linda Barnard, who reports for The Toronto Star but once worked for The London Free Press, saw Connelly in the flesh on the red carpet at TIFF.

This is Barnard's take on the infamous dress: ". . . as to Connelly's dress - it was not see-through at all - in fact the dress seemed to be made of a pretty heavy stretchy material and I was standing right beside her a few times. I think you're right though, it may have appeared so when hit by a powerful flash. It wasn't lined and she wasn't wearing a bra. But she struck me as a classy woman, very poised and extremely generous with her time for all of us. And, as we later learned, she was going through a rough time emotionally - it was the one-year anniversary of her father's death. So I say props to Jen for looking fantastic."

If you watch the CP video that I have included, you will hear at the opening, "I think it's about time that we get a little bit catty . . . " Look carefully at these two and then ask yourself who you would like to cut into fashionable ribbons — Jennifer Connelly or these two fashion losers. (Sorry, but I thought it was about time that I got a little bit catty.)

I don't imagine that it was a great trip to Toronto for Connelly. Canadians didn't show their best form. Harsh strobes weren't necessary to strip away the Canadian veneer of civility. A Canadian TV executive made Connelly cry with an immature outburst attacking Connelly for apparently not attending his party. What a boor!

The National Post reported, " . . . John Riley, Astral Media’s president of television networks, reacted to Connelly’s alleged no-show at his company’s opening night gala party the night before — due to travel delays, the report said — by ripping a photo of the actress in two . . . “This is my former favourite actress … I promised my kids we would shake hands.”

The day after the party Connelly responded, "My husband and I did go to your party last night but only very briefly and I had to leave early because yesterday was the first anniversary of my father’s death,” she said, struggling against tears. “And I’m very sorry. I would have loved to have stayed longer but was not able to. So please accept my apology.” "

Connelly apologized! What about the boor? Well, the best I could find was a report in the Toronto Sun in which Riley claimed his “remarks and actions were completely in jest . . . "

Connelly's dress was a definite fashion oops. Not a good choice for a night in front of the photographers' lights. But Connelly seems to have come through her visit to Toronto looking good, clothed in class.

Kudos to Jennifer Connelly.


Canadian Press reporters Catharine Benzie and Sunny Freeman question fashion choices made by Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly and Naomi Watts on the TIFF red carpet.
Updated 15th September 20

Addendum: Since writing this, it has been brought to my attention by folks in attendance that the red dress was not see-through at all. This was not a shear fabric blasted into invisibility by strong light. This was an illusion, best seen in photos, caused by the strong shadows cast by the harsh lighting and enhanced by the spectral highlights from the flash photography on the fairly thick, but rather light-reflective, fabric. Whatever, not a good choice for the red carpet.

No comments:

Post a Comment