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How Gwyneth Paltrow Got Her Groove Back

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She never really had a groove to speak of, really. You just have to watch her attempt at a dance move in her outings on Glee to see what I mean. So I use the term loosely. Maybe mojo is more apt, but it lacks the elan one often equates with a thoroughbred like Miss Paltrow.

Make no mistake, though, I am a fan of Gwyneth, especially during her Brad Pitt years. Though she was a good actress, I was more taken by her style. To me, she -- along with Carolyn Bessette Kennedy -- was the epitome of '90s minimalism. You know the look: leather pencil skirts, linear sheath dresses, slim turtlenecks, crisp white men's shirts and stick straight blond hair. I started paying attention to fashion during the height of minimalism, at the heyday of Helmut Lang and Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez. And Gwyneth wore their designs flawlessly. Think of her in Great Expectations or A Perfect Murder. She was effortless, modern and fresh.

I don't need to go over the trajectory of her career, because that's been reported countless times. She was at the height of a glorious profession, and then her Hollywood star sort of faded. I think it has a lot to do with that silly movie, View From The Top. She got married, moved to England, had kids, went on a gastronomic tour of Spain with Mario Batali and tried to look sexy while promoting Iron Man.

I never really saw Gwyneth as the vamp vixen. She was more of this untouchable goddess of poise and elegance. I don't think that whole va va voom image, with her over-the-top stilettos and short hemlines, went over well with many of her fans. At least that's what I think. The last Gwyneth movie I saw that I liked was Sylvia, and that was more than seven years ago.

But recently, I have been paying a lot of attention to Gwyneth again. Part of it is her cameo role in Glee. I like how she is able to make fun of herself and how she doesn't see television as something beneath her Oscar-winning acting prowess. I also liked how she nervously sang at the recent Academy Awards. I looked at it as reminder that she's human, like us. That she gets the jitters, too. But more importantly, I am casting the spotlight on Gwyneth again because no one looks as stunning as she in the minimalist revival clothes that have been all the rage these past two seasons.

Who else could pull off that column dress, that looks like liquid silver, from Calvin Klein, that she wore to this year's Oscars? Or the white sleeveless shift dress from Stella McCartney she wore to the launch of her cookbook, My Father's Daughter, in New York City? On lesser women, these dresses would make Joan Rivers cringe.

She looks her best in streamlined silhouettes in popping colors, like the mid thigh-length long-sleeved tangerine dress from Calvin Klein she sported for Elle magazine's Women In Hollywood tribute and the electric yellow cap-sleeved dress from Rachel Roy for the LA launch of her cookbook.

And didn't she just look like perfection personified in that nude beaded long-sleeved gown with a high slit from Stella McCartney at this year's Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Costume Institute gala?

Seeing Gwyneth in her element once again is such a treat. And it's making me wish that minimalism would be here to stay, if only for the sake of Gwyneth-watching. But a season or two from now, when fashion swings to another trend yet again, minimalism will be démodé. A thing of the past. And I'm hoping that Gwyneth won't be shelved with it.

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