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Viola Davis and André Leon Talley Talk Oscar Fashion at Vera Wang F/W '12

andre_vera wang.jpgAs PAPERMAG made our way into Vera Wang's show this morning, we immediately spotted André Leon Talley, curiously for the first time this Fashion Week. Looking dashing as ever, Talley explained that he'd been in L.A. at the Grammys all weekend and that Vera Wang's show would be "the first thing I've seen!" And how was the fashion at the Grammys?  "I loved Rihanna's dress. Armani," Talley replied with efficiency. And did he think fashion at the upcoming Oscars would be as notoriously "safe" as people predict? "Always! They play it safe at the Oscars. Except for people like Tilda Swinton, who's great. And I don't think Viola [Davis] and Octavia [Spencer] will play it safe.  They will give unexpected surprises."

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As luck would have it, Ms. Davis was also in attendance at Vera Wang's show and we couldn't resist finding out if Talley's predictions were on the mark. Though she wouldn't divulge too many details about her gown (was her presence at the show an indication that it'd be Vera Wang?), she did open up about her selection process. "I weigh [husband Julius Tennon's] opinion. I go on my instinct and I have a stylist but I always feel like on the red carpet, it's got to be dramatic, but dramatic in a way that I can handle. If it's beyond anything I can handle, I'll just embarrass myself," Davis said.  "I choose my dress really early on and I stick with it.  No one can sway my opinion. If you sway it two days before, that's going to make me nervous."

On her style, Davis said, "I like feeling feminine in a dress. So often in my life I don't feel [feminine] so I like a dress that forces me into that mode of feeling pretty and feminine." She added, "My big thing now is color. If I can manage that, right there is 50% of the battle. Color on my skin really pops."

And how is she holding up during awards season (Davis had just arrived in New York from London where she attended the BAFTAs)? "I'm getting no sleep. As a matter of fact, I fell asleep while they were doing my hair...with my mouth open!"

Photos courtesy of Patrick McMullan

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