This is it, folks. The 84th Annual Academy Awards. If you’re talking Awards Shows, this is the creme de la creme, also known as The One That Everyone Watches. It is for that reason that we find that celebrities will pull out all the fashion stops for the Oscars, and we can truly see what the Stylists can do.
We can begin by noting some VERY subtle overall trends on the Red Carpet last night. Perhaps trends that don’t necessarily scream at you to go buy at the mall, but rather nuanced trends that show the direction of Designers collections. Sleeves were everywhere last night, and as starlets spoke on the carpet about how “chilly” it was (as a New Yorker this made me chuckle), perhaps this was less a trend than a necessity, but I have never not seen so much shoulder! Year after year it’s been a veritable parade of strapless, this year was all about coverage. My probelm with said sleeves is that they were wack-a-do (technical term).
Melissa McCarthy wore a dress she had a heavy hand in designing by Marina Rinaldi that had two swathes of fabric tacked onto each arm in a very hanky-like manner. I thought this ruined what could have been a stunner. First and foremost, I thought the dress was Marchesa. Secondly, I thought the dress was overworked (see: sleeves), and did not flatter her figure at all. She looks better when she goes for simple, clean lines in a jewel tone. Also armed with strangeness was Jennifer Lopez. Now the blogosphere is all a buzz regarding whether or not it was a shadow or a nipple we saw last night, the confusion of which delights me. I LOVED this dress on her, with its mitered stripes highlighting her famous curves, but the sleeves with the diamond shaped cutout were distracting. Without them, it would have been perfect.
Maya Rudolph wore a HORRBILY plain purple gown with rhinestone cap sleeves and belt stuck on like iron-on patches. Again, the sleeve detail should have been left off. I adored Gwyneth’s Tom Ford clean and simple creation and its accompanying cape, but was so very sad when the cape came off and there were two foam shoulder pads atop each of her shoulders, ruining the entire line of the dress. A simple one shoulder or sleeveless top and that entire look would have gotten my vote for best dressed.
The second trend that isn’t really a trend were dresses that did not look like they were designed by the Designers who designed them on stars who did not look like themselves wearing them. Case in point was the aforementioned Melissa McCarthy, and add to this Tina Fey, who was damn near unrecognizable in Carolina Herrera, Rose Byrne in a black sequined SIMPLE dress by Vivienne Westwood (she never does simple), Viola Davis in a green Vera Wang (she never does green), and Shailene Woodley in Valentino (he never does cream geometric).
I love Viola Davis. As a person, as an actress, and as a Fashion risk taker. I thought this color was VERY strange on her. She hit it out of the park at the SAG awards in a white Marchesa, but this green on her with her orange toned hair (which she notably wore natural — love that, hated the color) had a St. Patrick’s vibe. I also specifically didnt like where the sequins met the satin on her bustline. It seemed to cut her breasts in half horizontallly at the wrong point. Green earrings to match the green dress really were upsetting. Her co-star Octavia Spencer wore Tadashi Shoji again that I heard people RAVING about. For me it was fine. She has done this starburst Tadashi thing too often, and I would have liked a more open/lower neckline for a change on her. A little cleavage, perhaps?
Stacy Keibler wore a gold Marchesa gown that stylists were fighting over for their clients. It made her look like an Oscar, and was PERFECTION on her six foot frame. That she wasn’t nominated, never will be, and I’m not even quite sure what she does for a living hardly matters. This dress was literally made for her. It AMOST had me saying, “George who?” Almost.
Berenice Bejo, Kristen Wiig and Rooney Mara all wore colors that I felt washed them out. Pale on pale is a tough trick to pull off and not disappear. I didn’t hate Rooney Mara in Not Black, but this was SO pale, her dark and heavy bangs seemed to float independently of her body down the carpet.
Emma Store wore a Giambattista Valli red dress that Cameron or Charlize could have rocked. I felt like it was a bit too old for her, and it wasn’t until she presented did I see that it had a slit down the center chest area. The large bow by her head/neck was distracting, but I thought the dress on its own was beautiful. I loved Michelle Williams in a coral Louis Vuitton strapless dress. I was happy to see her in color, and happy to see her happy.
I hated Sandra Bullock in Marchesa, although I understood it. I loved the back of the dress, and the blouson top wasn’t for everyone, but the neckline was WAY too high and closed up with the short sleeves. This same dress with a drapey low neckline would have been unique and beautiful. Jessica Chastain wore an Alexander McQueen ebroidered dress that was beautiful, but I feel like I’ve seen it before. On Beyonce. Twice. For some reason this incredible creation bored me.
I wanted Glen Close to take off her husband’s tux jacket in that Zac Posen ensemble, and I thought Ellie Kemper looked way cool in a Copper color (don’t call it Rust, honey, call it Copper!) sequin stunner from Armani. Her hair was the exact color and as heavy as the dress — this was where she missed the mark for me.
Angelina looked emmaciated and stunning at the same time (depends on what picture you see online) in a black velvet Versace. I loved this dress, but when she walked and worked the leg reveal, it felt like her tiny frame was dragging a load of hotel draperies that got stuck in her heel. A bit laborious for me. And please woman, EAT, EAT!
Which leads me to my Penelope. My girl crush did me proud in a stunning blue Armani Prive. After a few post-baby fashion slip-ups last year, I was thrilled to see her back on the carpet looking every bit the Hollywood Star that she is. I loved the hair, the dress, the color, all of it. Best Dressed, Mrs. Bardem!