Vogue has a video feature where they bring on a celebrity to go through their “life in looks”, revisiting some of their most memorable fashion moments. This is great idea, I wish I had thought of it, because I’m the kind of person who has an outfit brain – I remember outfits, especially celebrity outfits, sometimes I have a better memory of celebrity outfits than basic math. 


Gwyneth Paltrow is a celebrity I’ve been following for a long, long time. And it’s not just me. GP has been a pretty big deal – for better or worse – for over 25 years and many of us who study gossip have so many of her looks branded into our recall. So for her to participate in this feature makes sense, at least to me, because if you’re in the same cohort as I am, it’s a collective experience; these outfits are familiar, instantly identifiable. 

That red velvet Tom Ford for Gucci suit, for example. It’s a classic. It was notable at the time and it’s consistently referred to by fashion insiders even now. Same goes for her Oscar dress. Gwyneth might be annoying as f-ck, but you’ll always know what she wore when she won her Oscar: bubblegum pink, Ralph Lauren. Interestingly, about this dress, it was beloved in its time and then kinda went out of style, didn’t quite appeal to what the trends were a decade later, but I wonder if it’s making a comeback. In the mid-2000s and the 2010s, for example, I didn’t care for it the way I enjoyed it in 1997. Right now though, princess ballgowns are back in favour. So when I was looking at it in this video, as she’s flipping through her look book, I actually don’t mind it. You? 

As for Gwyneth’s polarising Alexander McQueen, the “goth” dress that she wore to the Oscars a few years after her win, I never minded it at the time and it was ahead of its time. That dress isn’t nearly as controversial now as it was then, and even then, I quite liked that she was trying something different. 


Staying with the Oscars…there’s this:

Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California

Yes, G can be annoying AF when she claims to invent or start things. But she’s really not wrong about the glory of this Tom Ford white caped dress from 2012. It’s one of the best ever Oscar dresses. I know we look at it now and it seems not that special, but nine years ago, caped dresses weren’t as all over the place as they are now to the point where we’ve gotten so used to them, it’s taken the shine off of this on Gwyneth. But if you consider it in the context of its time, on that night, that dress was far and away the best one, and when she arrived in it, everyone paid attention. It’s stunning – and the problem isn’t the dress itself, it’s that she’s just so f-cking smug about it, you can’t help but eyeroll. 


As usual, there are a lot of eyeroll moments here, like when she claims to not know how many times she’s covered Vogue. Don’t worry, if you don’t know, you will be told in the video, obviously. 

Before I let you go to watch it though, can we just talk about her skin? Is this allowed? G has a skincare line. About a month ago she also did a skincare video for Vogue which resulted in some backlash because at one point she uses sunscreen sparingly, like as a highlighter – and, well, that’s not the point of sun protection. To be clear, use sunscreen as SUNSCREEN, as in all over, like generously!

While we’re here though, and we’re talking about her improper use of sunscreen… um… you can tell? I’m looking at her in this Vogue life in looks segment and I can see the sun damage. And this may be an unkind thing to say but if you’re someone who’s giving people advice on skincare and your advice is wrong and the effects of your advice being wrong are evident on your skin, isn’t there a case to be made that this is a fair criticism and also… 


How is this good work?! How can you qualify yourself as someone who can make skin product recommendations if I’m not really sure I can see the results of it on your skin?!

Like, I buy Jennifer Lopez telling me her skin secrets because look at JLo. A lot of JLo might be genetic (and she sleeps a lot and generally has a very healthy lifestyle) but at least when I’m watching JLo tell me what to do with my skin by showing me what she does with hers, I’m like… yeah, I want some of that. Gwyneth? Not the same. In fact, maybe the opposite. Whatever G is doing with hers is not what I want to do with mine.