Live your fashion fantasy

It's Oscar time once more. That means parties and pools - with those elaborate sheets demanding predictions for practically everything, from best picture to best sound editing.

If the traditional Oscar fare feels tired, or you just don't care much about sound editors (no offense), play the game a little differently this year: Guess what the stars will be wearing on the red carpet - arguably the best part of the awards, anyway - and avoid enduring the four-hour show.

Fantasy Fashion League (fantasyfashionleague.com) is the brainchild of Erica Salmon, a New Jersey mom who got the idea from watching her fantasy-football-obsessed husband.

The Oscars are the culmination of the Fantasy Fashion season - yes, "the Super Bowl of Fashion." So the Monitor invited W magazine senior editor Marshall Heyman, and Tina Sutton, fashion writer for the Boston Globe Magazine, to go head-to-head to predict which designers the stars will wear Sunday evening.

The rules are simple. Ms. Sutton and Mr. Heyman each drafted a team of 10 comprised of three celebrities, three clothing designers, one jewelry designer, one shoe designer, one handbag designer ("Does anyone actually bring a handbag to the Oscars?" quipped Heyman), and one celebrity designer. They'll earn points each time their designers' clothes make a red-carpet appearance. Additional points are awarded if their celebs take home a gold statuette. As it turns out, the game, while diverting, has little to do with fashion expertise or insight. Points aren't awarded for matching celebrity with designer or highlighting the unexpected, but for recognizing designers with mass appeal.

Heyman predicts nominee Michelle Williams, whose style he says is more eclectic, will show up in something like lesser-known Givenchy or Proenza Schouler. "But I was strategic here, because the men count, too," he says. "So I tried to pick designers that would cover the most ground."

Sutton took a similar tack. "I chose Armani," she says, "not because he's particularly cutting edge these days, but because his dresses are flattering to a variety of figure types. Also, he makes wonderful men's tuxedos, which ups the number possibilities."

Who will score the fashion touchdown? Check back next week for our results.

Our experts' picks

Marshall Heyman, W Magazine

Celebrities: Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Weisz

Designers: Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren

Jewelry: Neil Lane

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Handbag: Kate Spade

Celebrity Designer: Sean John

Tina Sutton, Boston Globe Magazine

Celebrities: George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Weisz

Designers: Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Christian Dior

Jewelry: Fred Leighton

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Handbag: Judith Leiber

Celebrity Designer: Sean John

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