When you think of Oscar dress controversies, you probably think of boob tape malfunctioning, hems tripping heels, or seams ripping — you don't necessarily think of designers printing lies about record-breaking actresses. Unfortunately, Meryl Streep's Oscar dress controversy appears to be about just that.
It all started on Feb. 23, when Karl Lagerfeld, who is Chanel's creative director, told Women's Wear Daily that Streep opted not to wear a Chanel dress this year on the red carpet or the ceremony because she was not going to get paid to wear it. Bustle has reached out to a representative for Lagerfeld, but has not heard back at this time.
"The designer told Women’s Wear Daily that the couture house was actually in the midst of adjusting an embroidered gray silk gown for Streep to wear to the awards ceremony. Days after Lagerfeld says he made a sketch and work began on the dress, Streep’s team contacted the house to cancel the order," Vulture reported.
Lagerfeld's subsequent barbed comment added to the entire controversy, ostensibly adding fuel to the fire. "A genius actress, but cheapness also, no?” he told Women's Wear Daily.
To be clear, the dress was originally in the works of being tailor-made for the actress, but her reps called the couture house to cancel its production. However, Lagerfeld assuming that they went with a different option because there was money involved was refuted as his opinion, not fact. A representative for Streep explained to Vulture that it was against the actress' ethics to accept money to wear a gown.
Since the story broke on Feb. 25, both Chanel and Lagerfeld have retreated from the claim.
“Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep’s stylist, on her request, to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards,” reads a statement from Lagerfeld, sent to both Streep and WWD. “After an informal conversation, I misunderstood that Ms. Streep may have chosen another designer due to remuneration, which Ms. Streep’s team has confirmed is not the case. I regret this controversy and wish Ms. Streep well with her 20th Academy Award nomination.”
Despite his words, Streep still had a strong message for Lagerfeld and Chanel.
“In reference to Mr. Lagerfeld’s ‘statement,’ there is no ‘controversy’: Karl Lagerfeld, a prominent designer, defamed me, my stylist, and the illustrious designer whose dress I chose to wear, in an important industry publication,” Streep said in a statement. “That publication printed this defamation, unchecked. Subsequently, the story was picked up globally, and continues, globally, to overwhelm my appearance at the Oscars, on the occasion of my record breaking 20th nomination, and to eclipse this honor in the eyes of the media, my colleagues and the audience."
The back-and-forth accusations are certainly damaging, and it's clear that there's probably no way Streep will be wearing Chanel to the 2017 Oscars. Streep also made it clear that this was not to be treated as a simple mistake or passing remark. "I do not take this lightly, and Mr. Lagerfeld’s generic ‘statement’ of regret for this ‘controversy’ was not an apology. He lied, they printed the lie, and I am still waiting.”