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Closet Case: Angelina Jolie, Dumpy or Daring?

January 27, 2009 | 12:00 pm

Angelina jolie 2009 sag awards max azria blue dressI can't stop thinking about the blue Max Azria dress Angelina Jolie wore to the SAG awards over the weekend--you know, the one she had the fashion daring to wear backward, revealing her ink instead of her cleavage? She's worn Azria's gowns to several big events, including Cannes and the VH1 Critic's Choice Awards. Although certainly not inexpensive, his designs are accessible (Max Azria is the runway collection counterpart to BCBG), which seems right for right now. The ink-blue silk georgette SAG awards dress ships in March and will cost $798.

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 makeup and jewelry. Some have criticized the look as dowdy, but I would call it self-aware.

Jolie has to know how difficult it is to take her seriously with all the tabloid drama that follows her around. Which might have something to do with her no-nonsense style. She's using clothing to control her image, telling us she's transcended fashion and won't be at the whims of whatever designer or jeweler happens to be the highest bidder. What she will do is experiment with styling tricks, surprising us by wearing something in a different way, backward even. (Hey, there's a reason Little Edie from "Grey Gardens" became a creative muse for the ages by wearing a tea towel on her head.) That alone sets Jolie apart from the starlet pack, giving her integrity as an actress and mother, instead of just a mannequin.

And even if she didn't know she was wearing the dress backward, something tells me she doesn't really care anyway.

What do you think of Angelina Jolie's style?

-- Booth Moore

Photo: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times