Last night the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences celebrated the 87th Oscar Awards Ceremony. After a whirlwind of Red Carpets, celebrities have one final fashion gauntlet to walk before Awards Season comes to a close. During this particular awards season, everyone from the Twittersphere to The New York Times had much to say not only about the nominees, but also the actual content of the shows and how we chose as a society to celebrate our celebrities. The Red Carpet itself came under fire in several thought-provoking reads that spurned hashtags like #askhermore to battle the incessant, “who are you wearing”-only questioning of the female actors. The men are presumably asked about their work rather than their gowns.
I think people forget that, like it or not, tuxes vary very little (when they do, it’s often with disastrous results —I’m lookin at you, Oyelowo), and there are not only a slew people who earn their living by those Designer dresses, but the general public has shown a sustained interest in Red Carpet looks. Clearly, as Fashion Reviews were the genesis for my own blog, I feel similarly. That said, I think the world would be a better place without the folks at E! Entertainment Television’s coverage of the Red Carpet.
After several actresses refused to “walk” E!’s “mani cam“, the tabloid network saw fit to eliminate it (and the fashion cam 360 as well as other gimmicks) from its broadcast, in favor of a View-Like Panel of fashion “experts” (Um, Khloe Kardashian???) including the ever shrinking Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osborne, to comment on each of the stars choices. Their commentary was so incredibly inane and often off base that the ACTUAL senior fashion editor in attendance from Marie Claire, Zanna Roberts Rassi, was visibly uncomfortable from their analyses.
Sites like Vulture called for more fashion insiders to run the Red Carpet interviews, but when Isaac Mizrahi grabbed Scar Jo’s boob in 2006, well, people were oddly horrified. Frankly, the only one who should have been offended by that was Ms. Johansson. I truly don’t think the Red Carpet and our interest in it will ever wane, and perhaps it was the “let’s all be taken more seriously” drum beat that drove almost every single woman in attendance to wear the most conservative, covered up gowns I have seen in recent history.
You know it’s a conservative Oscars when (other than JLo) Oprah is donning the most decollatage in the room. Both in nude dramatic gowns, as much as they are opposites, I loved how incredibly glamorous both of them looked. Even more fun was the adorable friendship that appeared to have grown out of JLo’s sitting next to the one and only (if in somber black suiting) Meryl Streep. Also in nude was Jennifer Anniston, sans her lucky (or perhaps unlucky?) body chain in a PERFECTLY tailored beaded strapless Versace. It reminded me a bit of Reese’s Golden Globes dress, as well as Jessica Chastain’s Armani in 2013, but it was very beautiful.
So begins our run down of “Perfectly Lovely but a bit Dated” starlets — Anna Kendrick in a salmon colored Thakoon with diamond collar, Zoe Saldana in a pink gown that had somewhat prom-like spaghetti straps, Jessica Chastain in another bridesmaid dress — a navy “layered” draped-front gown. Reese Witherspoon and her half botoxed forehead were in a stiff white and black strapless gown, while Kerry Washington was in a white Miu Miu strapless peplum gown that felt very Mother of the Bride to me.
Also in white strapless were Nicole Kidman in a simple beaded gown with a bold red belt and Juliane Moore in a beautiful beaded Chanel with rows of black beaded flowers. I didn’t love or hate either of these looks. Almost all of the women on the carpet wore their hair up up and away. I always prefer the slightly tousled look of an updo, as seen on the gorgeous Patricia Arquette and Cate Blanchett. Both of these actresses were stunningly themselves in classic gowns one could imagine walking the Carpet years from now easily.
Speaking of being taken seriously, Patricia Arquette’s natural beauty shone right through her reading glasses as she implored the audience to continue the fight for womens’ equality. What better way to walk the walk than in a normal body, non-botoxed face, and with impassioned intellect.
Jewelry was hit or miss for me last night, I loved Cate Blanchett’s dramatic turquoise collar versus Scarlett Johansson’s bizarre green beaded thing. Her green dress fit her PERFECTLY, but the collar was distracting and kerchief like. There were a few giant pendants a la Titanic, including Laura Dern and the stunning Margot Robbie in a black Yves Saint Laurent.
And no matter how much Vogue tries to make me care about Dakota Johnson, I am simply unable to. I felt her eye rolly attitude and sloppy ponytail made what could have been a really beautiful dress look bland. The crazy E! people HATED Sienna Millers black Oscar De La Renta because “it’s all about the picture, not real life” (black doesn’t photograph well). Well I say, shush. That dress is classic Oscar, and Sienna was simultaneously regal and gamine.
As I mentioned earlier, there weren’t a lot of risqué risks on the Carpet last night, so the only real edge we saw came in Scar Jo’s misstep, maybe a bit of skin from behind on Naomi Watts graphic Armani that I wanted to like SO MUCH but just felt like it needed to be on someone taller, and Marion Cotillard’s geisha girl bustle. I felt like this dress was very interesting from the back but wasn’t fitted well in enough in the front to allow for the striking love-it-or-hate-it contrast it was meant to create. Emma Stone wore a head to toe beaded citrus green gown that I adored, and Lady Gaga tried to edge up her white gown with enormous red gloves that read more haz mat dish washer than dramatic.
Lupita Nyong’o is always a favorite of mine, and last night I squealed as I saw the very top of her pearl encrusted gown. I was shocked to learn that this dress was NOT Chanel but rather Frascisco Costa for Calvin Klein. There was something about it that as the camera panned down I wanted to pluck the center pearl away and have the dress itself drape down to a low-cut V-neck. I loved how it looked like she was wearing piles of necklaces that draped down, but then it became a bit Project Runway tortured to me around mid chest.
Gwyenth Paltrow took one of the rosettes from Charlise Theron’s dress in 2010 and stuck it on the shoulder of her own white dress in 2012 and dyed it pink.. I hated this dress and her aggressive bronzer. So much in fact that it pains me to say I would name her as worst dressed of the evening.
Felicity Jones wore a beautiful gray Alexander McQueen ball gown that felt fresh but a bit overwhelming for the petite actress, and Rosamund Pike had a stunning Red Givenchy fitted gown that managed to also look fresh despite many a similar dress having been worn. Faith Hill was modern and mature in a champagne J. Mendel with long diamond pendant, and Viola Davis looked right out of Gone With the Wind in a huge pink ball gown and Barbara Bush pearls Every bit the Mother Earth, Keira Knightley draped her baby bump in a floral, ethereal gown with words written on it and a floral crown. I’ve never been a fan of writing on a dress, but she was glowing.
And leading me to best dressed, well, I can’t quite choose. I suppose it is a tie between none other than Ms.Oprah Winfrey, Sienna Miller and Rosamund Pike. All three of these women were perfectly styled, perfectly tailored, and breathtaking to behold. That’s a wrap, folks!