ACTOR HOLLY HUNTER has a long list of credits (“Broadcast News,” “Thirteen,” TV’s “Saving Grace,” and most famously, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her role as a mute piano player in the 1993 film “The Piano.”
Most recently, the 59-year-old Hunter is winning praise for her outspoken role as a mother who’s skeptical about her daughter’s choice of boyfriend in “The Big Sick.” For her film wardrobe, Hunter, who holds vigil for her very ill daughter, wears protective big sweaters and pants. In her offscreen life, the 5-foot-2-inch Hunter is mindful of her petite frame. Some takeaways from her choices:
JANET: This dress does Hunter no favors. The midi-length doesn’t flatter all figures, especially not the slight in stature. And those glittery, ‘4o’s style ankle-strap platform sandals are just wrong. The effect is to make her lower legs and ankles look stumpy. That long necklace adds to the overall droopy look. Messy hair doesn’t help hair either.
NANCY: This is a very odd style dress, which we’ve seen elsewhere. The way the fabric falls against your body probably feels wonderful, and the view when you’re gazing down at yourself no doubt reinforces that, but for us looking right at ya, not so great. The overall effect might have been mitigated, though, if her hair hadn’t taken the same rambling course downward. An upswept, more severe hair style would have been better. A lesson I once took from a Bloomingdale’s saleswoman was: Not everything in an outfit can be loose and flowy; something has to be pinched in or form-fitting for the oversize stuff to make sense.
KATHY: I admit I don’t really understand this dress, but I’m willing to give it a chance. Though I’d be interested in seeing it in profile and curious to see how those gathers look from a side angle. I get what Janet is saying about midi-length and slight stature and don’t disagree. However I’m guessing what appears to be an asymmetrical opening at the hem may reveal just enough leg to up the glamour factor. Usually I’m the LittleBird always squawking about long messy hair, but in this case I’d give anything to have Holly’s colorist.
JANET: The big pattern on this winter coat works for Hunter here because she keeps everything else to a bare minimum with a black top, trousers and dark-colored oxfords. Moreover, the coat is tailored. An oversize topper would dwarf her. She looks comfortable and natural here like she’s just in the neighborhood to attend a play.
NANCY: I agree that she looks terrific. But I guess I keep getting hung up on hair: I just don’t find that loose locks are all that attractive after a certain age (that age may be 14, but this thought, mind you, is held dearly by someone enduring a lifetime of short, curly hair).
KATHY: Nice coat. Wonderful tailoring. I like this look. A lot. Easy to wear. Easy to shrug off. Very warm and comfy-looking. And it works for her. She’s so petite, I can see where bold patterns easily might overwhelm her tiny frame, but even though this plaid really stands out, she holds her own.
JANET: Lace and floral are trending, yes, but this top qualifies as one of those Glamour Don’ts (remember those?). If this was your stylist’s choice, Holly, you may need to scout for a replacement. Also, those flared pants need a trim top, not this busy one.
NANCY: The outfit’s a bit of a mixed message. Yes, there’s a whole lot of lace out there, but these appliqué pieces seem too big for Hunter. Then there are the pants, with those military-looking buttons running down the side. What’s that about? (Maybe nothing.)
KATHY: She looks like she’s wearing her big sister’s clothes.
NANCY: That’s exactly what she looks like!
NANCY: Again with the buttons on the trouser legs! Is that a thing? On second glance, they appear to be snaps, so maybe you’re supposed to unsnap a few and let your ankles loose? But I’m being picky: I think the outfit looks great—casual but tailored. And with everything else so simple, Hunter’s hair can show off its nice, shiny waves.
JANET: Don’t know if there’s a reason for those snaps but maybe easier for slipping boots on and off? I like the color combination of magenta sweater and the checked gray pants. The sweater is slim enough to wear under a jacket and then layer under a coat. A sensible, good-looking outfit choice for January in Utah.
KATHY: Now this is my kind of dressing; simple, comfortable and classy. I’m all for those snaps, buttons, whatever. They’re a nice touch that, to my eye, updates an otherwise run-of-the-mill pair of trousers. She looks totally at ease here, and so do her clothes.
Holly Hunter at the Los Angeles premiere of the documentary “Spielberg,” September 26, 2017. / Photo by Matt Baron/Rex/Shutterstock.
JANET: I’m not a fan of asymmetry in clothing, but it’s subtle in this cropped-sleeve dress with off-center zipper and slight ruffle of the skirt. The black belt cinches the look, drawing attention to the thinnest part of the body. The matching black tights and heels anchor it all. And, Nancy, I know you’ll like those tamed, expertly waved locks.
KATHY: This is an interesting choice, especially for an LA premiere. It strikes me as something you would wear to the office, not to a premiere. But then, I’ve never been to a movie premiere, so what do I know? It’s a handsome dress with that little bit of flounce that keeps it from looking too schoolmarm-ish. However, I’m a bit concerned about that man looking over her shoulder.
NANCY: LittleBird Kathy always cracks me up. I think this look is . . . perfect! (And yes, Janet, I do like her hair here!)