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- April 10, 2000
- Vol. 53
- No. 14
Growing Up at the Oscars
Jodie Foster's Transformation from Tomboy to Tastemaker Took a Few Years of Practice—and a Little Help from Her Friend Giorgio Armani
In Taxi Driver, Jodie strutted in hot pants and a halter top. But on Oscar night, the 14-year-old Best Supporting Actress nominee acted her age, facing the cameras in schoolgirl style. "I never want to grow up," she told People later that year.
For her first stint as a presenter, Foster, then 15, chose a blue velvet pantsuit with a tasseled belt. "I wear things that are comfortable," she said at the time. "And I don't give a hang about fashion."
Even before she knew she was a Best Actress contender, for The Accused, Foster, 26, saw this strapless gown hanging in the window of a boutique in Rome and purchased it on the spot.
By the time she returned to present the Best Actor award, 1989's winning actress had discovered Giorgio Armani. "Jodie was game for a new look," says the designer, who continues to dress her to this day.
"This appeared to be a pretty daring choice for her," says Armani of his revealing gold suit that Foster wore to present the screenplay awards. "But in fact the jacket construction was impeccably snug to her body."
When Foster picked up her second Best Actress Oscar, for The Silence of the Lambs, she left the fashion details to Armani, who created her pink grosgrain jacket and beaded pants. "Jodie's standard line is 'Just tell me what I'm going to wear,' " he says.
The black strapless gown that Foster wore to present the Best Actor award "came straight from the runway in Milan," says Armani. "Ready for modern-day movie star glamor."
Nominated for the fourth time, for Nell, Foster chose a sophisticated beaded Armani that prompted Women's Wear Daily to rave "Va-Va-Voom." "It's one of our all-time favorites," says the designer.
Presenting the screenplay awards in an ice blue Armani jacket and pants, Foster reminded the designer "a little bit of Marlene Dietrich," he says. "She was dazzling on the red carpet."
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