Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscars 2012: Fashion Review

If you read along with my tweets, you know I wasn't super thrilled with this year's show. I like high emotion Oscars...I think it's a given there won't be too many genuine laughs, so why not go for the tears? Plus, my Oscar picks were abysmal. But I will say this, SO many beautiful fashions. And at least one of my Oscar dress suggestions made it to the red carpet, but NOT on who I expected! Let's have some fun and talk fashion!

Best of the Best
There are some actresses who have made a career out of being the best dressed at the Oscars. Jessica Alba, anyone? Well, add Milla Jovovich to that list. I think she just slam-dunked it in this Elie Saab gown. This picture doesn't do the intricate beading justice, but her simple jewelry, the sculptural quality of the one shoulder, the ruby red lip and her marbled plastic clutch were all understated and yet totally Oscar appropriate.

 I know some people weren't sold on the peplum (my friend Bret isn't sold on Michelle, period), but I think this Louis Vuitton gown was so appropriate and unique. Michelle Williams has the right coloring to pull off really bright colors (remember her amazing mustard Vera Wang?) and the dress almost seemed like an homage to Marilyn Monroe. The intricate rushing and pleating looked like something by Jean Desses in the 50s, and I loved the diamond necklace in an oxidized setting.

 On anyone else, I would have decried this as too old, but on Penelope, it was classic Old Hollywood. She looked like a cross between Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly in her Armani Prive.

 Angelina was being a bit obnoxious selling the slit on her Atelier Versace gown, but what can I say? On her, it works. On Lea Michele, it seems desperate. The gown was velvet, which adds so much dimension and harkens back to one of my favorite dresses ever — the one worn in John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Madame X. Also, plus 5 points for smiling.

 I've been waiting for Jessica Chastain to wear a movie star-worthy gown all awards season and she did not disappoint. The intricate Alexander McQueen gown had an Elizabeth I effect that was only complemented by her strawberry hair and simple make-up. She also gets a million points for being the sweetest girl on the red carpet. She was genuinely starstruck to talk to Ryan Seacrest!

 I had to include this shot, didn't I? I mean, I picked this as the dress I would wear to the Oscars if I were the favorite to win! But I gotta say, there is no reason Stacy Keibler should have been wearing my liquid gold Marchesa gown, and on her, it almost looked a little pageant-y. But it's still gorgeous; I can't deny her that!

 Meryl came dressed to win! The minute we saw her in gold, my friend Bret and I knew she was taking this one seriously. Her Lanvin dress was so sparkly and glamorous. She looked like a Roman goddess. She said at a press conference afterward, "It was like I was a kid again. The last time I won was 30 years ago — two of the nominees weren't even conceived!"

Many people were calling Rooney Mara a modern-day Audrey in her Givenchy gown, and I have to admit, it's a fair comparison. What they share, aside from a fondness for the house that Hubert de Givenchy built, is a preference for simplicity and incredible restraint. I would have worn earrings, but good on her for holding back. Perhaps next time, she'll smile more!

Also Great

The red carpet folks were going on and on about how nice it was that Octavia Spencer chose to wear Tadashi Shoji again. I thought it was the best of all their collaborations; it flatters in all the right places and the beading is exquisite. 

People used to say redheads can't wear pink and Emma Stone has been on a mission to change their minds. Her raspberry Giambattista Valli was so beautiful and suited her outgoing personality; my only complaint was that it reminded me too much of this Nicole Kidman Oscar moment.

Most Daring
When I first saw Viola Davis, I didn't recognize her. That's because she decided, on her very biggest night, to go au naturel with her hair and I thought it was so brave, and sweet. No one on the red carpet was saying it, but there is an expectation that black actresses will wear weaves or wigs, and I thought it was nice that on the biggest night of her career thus far, she defied expectation. 

The dress, as well, was daring. I was an eensy bit nervous about her cleavage (when am I not?), but it was a great cap on a great awards season for her.

When I first heard Gwyneth had worn a cape, I think I pictured something different. So when I saw it, I wasn't sure what to think, but after a moment passed, I realized it was so daring and elegant and classy. Leave it to her and Tom Ford to blow our minds in a plain white dress.

The Twitterverse was buzzing over whether J.Lo's Zuhair Murad gown migrated enough to the side to cause a nip slip. If it happened, I missed it. But credit must be given to this woman, who always goes all out for the Oscars and can work the hell out of a sexy dress.

Most Improved
Proud of you, Tina! Apparently Carolina Herrera only wanted to work with her. I'm bummed she stuck to her safe dark colors, but I liked the peplum, the swishy train and her fancy hairsdo. We're getting there, Tina!

 On a night when nearly everyone looked, at the very least, gorgeous and at the most, breathtaking, I am grateful for Melissa Leo and her sequined, floor-length waitress uniform.

 I wanted Glenn Close to wear Zac Posen, who I thought would accentuate her body in all the right ways. Good news: she DID! Bad news: She covered it with a dinner jacket, like a girl wearing her date's jacket on the way to the hotel after prom. Also, I'm not entirely sure what color this dress looked black on TV, but looks green here.

 This dress isn't even really ugly but it enraged me because: 1) Kristen Wiig has a disturbing aversion to color and looking glamorous; 2) I feel like I've seen it so many times before.

Don't believe me? Remember Jennifer Connelly? Or Halle Berry's sorta similar dress? Okay, maybe that's a stretch. I just want to see her own the fact she's skinny and pretty and can wear whatever she wants and it doesn't have to be fancy emergency gauze.

I love Sandy and I like (sometimes love) Marchesa, but who on earth thought this dress was a good idea? She was swimming in it. Her high ponytail didn't help either; it was as though she just finished a two-mile run, got back to the locker room and realized her outfit was gone and she was going to have to wear a mother-of-the-bride dress from Cache.

I want to give Shailene Woodley kudos for trying to be edgy on the red carpet this season, but there were so many missteps. I think she has problems with fit (this sort of hugged in unflattering ways) and age-appropriateness. This dress reminds me of one thing, and it's the "Woman in White" storyline on Days of Our Lives (Am I the only one who remembers that?). 

I feel like if you're 20, and you're at the Oscars for the first time ever and you're in a Best Picture nominee, you need to be bringing the hottness, Jennifer Lawrence-style.  I'm picturing something like this.

Who Wore It Best?
 It's a do-or-die battle for who carries off the bob-and-black sparkle combo the best. Anna Faris here is giving American Horror Story rubber suit-meets-Thoroughly Modern Millie realness, but you could honestly convince me she was a drag queen in this Diane von Furstenberg dress.

Rose Byrne, however, is giving straight-up Bianca Jagger in the Studio 54 days realness, and looks amazing. It's no secret I'm in love with a good bob, and the Vivienne Westwood dress was slinky, sexy and appropriate for her role there, which was as an ensemble member in a well-regarded comedy. She gets my vote!


Kate said...

I'm with you on a lot of your choices - esp. Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain - but I completely disagree about Sandra Bullock and Glenn Close! I thought Sandy looked elegantly understated in her dress. If she was nominated, I might think differently, but she presented! No need to nip and tuck everything into a really uncomfortable gown.

Glenn Close I think ROCKED it! I think she look 10 times better than Meryl Streep! In the picture you posted of Glenn, I'd think she was 20 years younger if I didn't know better! I even like the blazer, I think it's fun. Now, Meryl, her dress was very mother of the bride to me. I think it's just way too expected.

Bret said...

It's true, I'm actually planning a "Revenge"-style revenge plot against her (sadly this will entail hurting Busy Phillips but maybe I can charm her into my plot). I now literally murmer "reveeeeeeenge!" to myself every time I see her. The dress is growing a bit on me, mostly because it's nice to see her in color and I have a soft spot for horrible 50s gowns. I DO HATE the clutch and nude panel in the back.

I'm currently drafting a formal letter thanking Gwennie for wearing a formal cape on what was described as a chilly Oscar afternoon. It's nice that G-Pal choose to spend time with the low hoi polloi at such events. She owns us all. Plus you KNOW her stylist loves her for being willing to take these fashion risks for us all. She truly is doing God's work.

I want to love Rooney and I did in theory, buy c'mon! The dress needs to be fitted a little better. I think earrings would have looked awkward with those blunt bangs. However, I will green-light a remamke of the Audrey Hepburn story starring her. I've got several people on hold as we type.

Rose Bryne is made of hugs and rainbows and kittens and glitter and Dr Pepper. I feel we'd get along famously while shopping for smart sequined lady blazers and sunglasses.

And poor forgetten woe Aunt Sandy. Does no one else send her things? Or was she too busy buying a pony tail at Walgreens? And someone should also tell her that speaking German on national television will only remind us of those nazi Jesse James photos. Uncomfortable fries with awkwad sauce on the side.

Next year Emma Stone and Uggie as co-hosts!!!

Tallulah Bankrobber said...

I LOVED Jessica Chastain's and Gwyneth's gowns the most. Rooney Mara's and Cameron Diaz's were my runners-up. Everyone's drooling over Angelina's pile of velvet, but I think it's a frumpy accompaniment to her right leg. Maybe it looked better on TV.