Next time Angelina, do check the label

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

She is one of the most glamorous women on the planet, whose every red-carpet appearance is scrutinised by an army of photographers and tooth-sucking style commentators. But Angelina Jolie stands accused of an extraordinary fashion faux pas.

The actress sparked heated debate yesterday, after it emerged that the striking, but somehow odd-looking, blue dress she wore to Sunday's Screen Actors Guild awards in Los Angeles had been worn back to front.

Sharp-eyed pundits who pored over the pictures of Jolie negotiating the event's 200-yard red carpet noticed that her dress bore a striking resemblance to a $798 (£560) ball gown showcased at catwalk previews of designer Max Azria's spring collection.

The cornflower-blue frock had the same kimono-style sleeves and waistline as the silk dress worn by Azria's wafer-thin models, they remarked, together with identical detailing on the skirt. But its plunging neckline appeared to have been reversed to show off her back.

After the influential Red Carpet Fashion Awards website noticed the dress-reversal, fashion commentators began discussing the crucial issue of whether Jolie had been aware that it was on back-to-front.

Some speculated that she had accidentally got dressed the wrong way round. In a celebrity version of The Emperor's New Clothes, they said neither her partner Brad Pitt nor dozens of domestic staff had been brave enough to tell her of her wardrobe malfunction. Others described the move as an intentional, and ingenious, way for the 33-year-old actress to wear a dress that would otherwise have exposed an enormous portion of cleavage. They also claimed that reversing the garment allowed Jolie to showcase the collection of tattoos on her back.

Jolie's stylist, Jen Rade, issued a short statement to USMagazine yesterday, saying that her client had intentionally wore the dress that way round to make the outfit "more blouson".

But not everyone was convinced, noting that when Jolie discussed the garment in a red carpet interview with the TV show E! on Sunday, she made no mention of the fact it was on backwards, commenting merely: "I just like to be comfortable, I see what comfortable options are out there."

Cynics also noted that, if she had intended to expose her tattoos, the dress was hardly an unqualified success: the v-shaped neckline actually covered up half of the artworks.

Either way, the affair left some influential fashion commentators with egg on their faces. The Los Angeles Times critic Booth Moore, for example, failed to notice that the dress was on back-to-front when composing a lengthy analysis for Monday's newspaper. "Jolie is one of the few celebrities who has developed a signature red carpet look: drapey, goddess-like dresses that show off her tattooed shoulders, natural hair, minimal make-up and jewellery. Some have criticised the look as dowdy, but I would call it self-aware," he wrote.

"She's using clothing to control her image. In a way, Jolie is telling us she's transcended fashion and won't be at the whims of whatever designer or jeweller happens to be the highest bidder. That alone sets her apart from the starlet pack, giving her integrity as an actress and mother, instead of just a mannequin."

Attention will now turn to Jolie's outfit at next month's Oscars, for which she has been nominated for the Best Actress award for her role in Changeling. Meanwhile, whether she reversed the dress deliberately or not, the actress can at least reflect that she is following in a small yet memorable show-business tradition.

During the 1990s, the adolescent rap duo Kriss Kross sparked a trend for wearing jeans and t-shirts back to front. Meanwhile, at the 1999 Oscars, Celine Dion famously wore a white Dior tuxedo, backwards. That outfit, topped-off with an extravagant white fedora hat, was variously described as "bizarre" and "unflattering", and in some quarters even saw Dion compared to a "pimp".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Negotiator - OTE £24,000

    £22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An enthusiastic individual is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Area Manager - West Midlands - OTE £35,000

    £27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Area Manager is required to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Area Manager - Yorkshire & Humber - OTE £35,000

    £27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Area Manager is required to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Embedded Linux Engineer - C / C++

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A well funded smart home compan...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?