It would only take a glance into my closet to convince anyone on earth that I know nothing about fashion. However, I, like millions, am not above hypocrisy when it comes to judging how celebrities look when they present themselves in public. Whether it’s gasping at Gwyneth Paltrow’s appallingly ill-advised dress at the 2002 Academy Awards or cooing over Nicole Kidman’s almost flawless fashion sense, nearly everybody has something to say about how the famous dress. But few people can say it as well as the hilariously acid-tongued Steven Cojocaru, the fashion correspondent for The Today Show and a style editor at People magazine.
Whether the occasion is the Oscars, the Golden Globes or the People’s Choice Awards, Cojocaru is always armed with an arsenal of quips. His wit and style sense are both prominently on display in his brisk, dishy memoir Red Carpet Diaries: Confessions Of A Glamour Boy. In the book, Cojocaru charts his humble beginnings as the son of a Romanian émigré couple, living in Canada. His mother, a seamstress (whom Cojocaru dubs “the Coco Chanel of Melling Avenue”), was an early style influence, outfitting him in “ventriloquist dummy” ensembles, which he adored. This led to early experiments with, among other things, patterned shirts and bell-bottoms, which Cojocaru claims he wore before they were popular (and was, as a result, ruthlessly mocked by peers who found his fashion statements too girly).
But, of course, he grew up and became one of the country’s premier style gurus, sitting beside Joan Rivers at many of the numerous post-award bull sessions the star hosts on E!, tossing off bon mots such as “With all that collagen, I had to wear a lobster bib to avoid being splattered on.” The book wouldn’t be complete without observations like these, and they are generously peppered throughout. Without a doubt, the memoir’s highlight is an all-too-brief list of the celebs who are worst-behaved on the Red Carpet (this includes former television sweetheart and Oscar-winner Helen Hunt, whom Cojocaru dismisses as “testy, testy, testy.”). Cojocaru also lists the stars who are the most giving and gracious, but really – who reads books like this for positive tidbits about celebrities?
Other juicy anecdotes include Cojocaru’s tale of how success likely spoiled Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his gossip session with Friends girls Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston.
True, Diaries is hardly an intellectual workout, but in times like this, a little well-written fluff is highly appreciated. And Cojocaru is more than willing to oblige.