Fashion season kicks off with summer sizzle
Where there are beautiful women, gowns and Christian Louboutins, there will be paparazzi climbing over one another. There will be all of that and more at this year’s Alma Awards.Sunday’s show, with its revved-up profile and glamour, is the sexy kickoff to red carpet season. The glam fest is now a big-time awards show where every outfit will be scrutinized, dissected and knocked off. And none more than the dozen or so to be worn by the show’s host, Eva Longoria Parker. “For the Almas this year, the word is sex,” says fashion critic Steve Cojocaru. “And it’s absolutely glamorous. The Latin stars really know how to dress up. They’re not afraid of their sexuality. And they’ve got the perfect host in Eva. I love that she does a million costume changes. That’s glamour.” And the diva knows how to work the red carpet. “Eva has the curves. She walks in, and she’s happy. She has fun,” Cojocaru adds. “If you don’t have fun on the red carpet, it’s game over.” And it’s not just the host but such Alma nominees as Valerie Cruz (“The Dresden File”), Cote de Pablo (“NCIS”), Lana Parrilla (“Swingtown”), Marisol Nichols (“24″), Paula Garces (“The Shield”), Dania Ramirez (“Heroes”), Lauren Velez (“Dexter”), Judy Reyes (“Scrubs”), Roselyn Sanchez (“Without a Trace”) and Maria Canals-Barrera (“Wizards of Waverly Place”). Tim Gunn of “Project Runway” says of such women: “The sexuality is profound. I love women with a figure and women with curves. It’s refreshing to see. These women look great in clothes, especially when clothes follow their natural shape. Cleavage is the gorgeous part of all women no matter who they are. More women should open themselves up that way. Show the top. Show the skin. Show the clavicle. I wish that there would be more of this at other award events.” Alma is the last big glam awards show prior to the Emmys. “All of these actresses have strong glamour,” says Cameron Silver, of the vintage couture boutique Decades. “They are truly reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour.” The music and entertainment awards show, off the air starting in 2002, was relaunched in 2006 with Longoria Parker as a producer and host. “Eva really upped the fashion game,” says exec producer David Chavez. “Her style created a buzz. Everyone wants to see her and know what she’s wearing. We took advantage of that in 2006 and 2007 when we had her come out in a whole bunch of designer dresses.” The event has become the “it” thing to do, says makeup artist Johnny Saade. “Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Alana De La Garza — all these girls go decked out like they’re going to the Golden Globes or any other big awards show.” This year’s fashion theme, say fashion forecasters, is nudity. “A lot of skin. A lot of cleavage,” says Cojocaru. “Blush is really big. Eva wears it. She does a lot of silvers and off-white.” As the fashion arbiter points out, “Think Marilyn Monroe singing to President Kennedy.” It doesn’t get any sexier than that.