The Buzz

Nick Oscar Party: 'It's like playing dress-up'

They needed more lip color.

She needed gold earrings. The big ones or the small ones?

Anything else?

Anne Postic scurried in Revente last week. In her hands, bracelets, earrings and plastic clothes pins, the kind that cinch too-loose garments on a mannequin.

But Postic, the fashion insider who blogs as The Shop Tart (http://www.theshoptart.com), was styling members of the Nickelodeon Theatre's staff for a photo shoot. The Main Street theater is hosting the Nick Oscar Party Sunday night.

And the desired look is red-carpet best.

"I just think the Oscar party should become a big signature event," for the Nick, said Heather Spires, the theater's director of development. "We don't want them to just sit and watch the Oscars.

"We wanted to add a fashion component."

It was smart to call Postic, a local Rachel Zoe, if you will. She styled Spires in a black Nina Field garment that didn't fit. That's when the clothes pins - four of them - came in handy.

"The dress is too big," Postic said. "But I had to have it."

Tori Katherman, the Nick's director of marketing and membership, radiated in a pink Carmen Marc Volvo gown as she waited for the others to get dressed.

"It's like playing dress-up," she said.

In the back of the store the men, Larry Hembree and Andy Smith, were being fitted in tuxedo separates.

"You wear cummerbunds with pleats facing up to catch the crumbs," said Dianne Wilkins, a Revente employee, as she hooked one around Hembree's waist.

"That doesn't work," Hembree, the Nick's executive director, said.

Debbie McDaniels, Revente's owner, assisted Smith a bow tie that was revealed to be a clip-on. If you don't know, that's not a good look.

"I didn't make any of the decisions," Smith, the theater's associate director, said about the clothes.

Smith, who wears Versace-frame glasses, did look stylish with the barrette flower pin on his jacket lapel.

Postic and Patti O' Furniture will MC the Nick Oscar Party, which will extend into the next door-restaurant, Immaculate Consumption.

The Oscars don't start until 8 p.m., but the red-carpet coverage begins hours before. While Main Street near the State House won't be mistaken for Hollywood, one can certainly dress (sort of) like the stars being honored at the Kodak Theatre.

"I think this could be an event people think of every year," Postic said. "The Nick's Oscar party needs to be big."

About the only things missing from the fitting were wine and Champagne.

"Are there, like, real customers in here?" said Heather Craig, a Revente employee who has quite possibly the most striking eye makeup in Five Points. (While the photos were being taken, we discussed how Tina Fey without her glasses looks a bit like Halle Berry on the March cover of Vogue.)

"Can we do this once a week?" Spires said.

Playing dress-up is contagious. I walked out of the store with teal sunglasses because it's never too early to prepare for one's summer look.

"Give me an Oscar statuette," McDaniel said while holding hanging garments in both hands.

She also did a hip-swaying dance that caused Hembree to remark, "You look like you're looking for something else."

This from a gentleman who wore an earring in just one ear for the photo.

"I can't believe you didn't wear your Trustus (Theatre) queen heels," McDaniel said.

"I'm going to wear them in the casket at my funeral," Hembree said.

He's actually having one: April 30 and May 1 at the Fox Theatre, the future home of the Nick and its Oscar parties.

The lights were set but the photo needed something.

What else?

Postic scurried over to a glass display case and pulled out a fistful of pearls.

"I feel like an insane thief," she said.

Oscar outfits are supposed to take your breath away.

THE SHOP TART'S FASHION TIPS

Ladies: Have fun with it. Dresses will range from short cocktail to long ball gowns. Feel like dressing as someone you saw on the red carpet? Now is your chance to channel Angelina. (Extra points to anyone who wears Bjork's infamous swan dress or similar, because the world isn't over that one yet.)

Gentlemen: Free yourself from boring black tie and the rest will follow. Anything goes. How about a green, blue, silver or purple tie? At the very least, wear a star-style skinny black tie with a dark suit. This is most definitely a drag-friendly event, so go ahead and take your inspiration from Cher's past red carpet looks.

Ladies and gentlemen: There's no need to break the bank for a red carpet-worthy look. Try Revente, Hip-Wa-Zee, Sid & Nancy and local thrift stores for fab, budget-friendly clothing and accessories. You might even want to dig through the dress-up drawer of your childhood. No telling what you'll find.

THE LOOK

On Heather Spires: Nina Field beaded bodice with corset. Retails for $750, but listed for $250 at Revente. Makeup by Elizabeth Baston at Pout.

On Tori Katherman: Pink beaded Carmen Marc Volvo gown with lace overlay. Retail price $1,400, but listed, with original tags, for $95 at Revente. Makeup by Cille Arrendale at Pout.

On Larry Hembree and Andy Smith: Tuxedo separates from Gentleman's Closet, with pieces from Sid & Nancy.

Revente is at 737 Saluda Ave., (803) 256-3076; Pout is at 2850 Devine St., (803) 254-5051; Gentleman's Closet is at 717 Saluda Ave., (803) 256-3868; and Sid & Nancy is at 743 Saluda Ave., (803) 779-6454.

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