Monday, February 23, 2015

Fashion Review: Oscars 2015

The big joke was that this was the whitest Oscars in years (at least in the acting/directing categories), and I feel like some of the Hollywood stylists misheard that and decided every actress of note had to wear white. We had some hits, some losers and quite a few that were just disappointingly not hits OR losses. But first, let's start with those delicious hits.

Best Dressed

Oops, Lupita did it again! She wasn't nominated for a damn thing and she still stepped onto that red carpet dripping in 6,000 pearls like she was walking straight down from heaven and just gracing us with her glowing beauty. I saw her step onto the red carpet in her custom Calvin Klein gown and immediately tweeted, "That's the dress I want to be buried in." It was luminous, sexy, intriguing and elegant. Instant classic.

I think some of the subtlety of the color of Emma Stone's Elie Saab gown was lost with the flashes, but it was still one of my favorites of the night. I have a weakness for Saab's flashy runway confections and I had actually hoped someone might wear one of his acidic gold gowns. The bateau neckline is super flattering, the matching shoe feels both old-school and daring at the same time and her hair and make-up were ON POINT. She looks like she's glowing. It's her first nomination and it will just be more fun to watch her rack up more as the years go by.

Cate Blanchett is a true original, knowing just how and when to break some rules. Who else would pair winter-perfect velvet by Maison Margiela with summer staple turquoise and look like perfection? She also stuck to her role of previous winner and presenter perfectly. No stealing the spotlight, unless you consider matching a necklace perfectly to your water-blue eyes a distraction (and it's a welcome one). I also want to give her extra special kudos for not being one of these actresses who wears only one designer ever because they've gotten locked into some kind of crazy sponsorship deal that forces them to wear iffy gowns everywhere.

Most of us spent the weekend becoming very intimately acquainted with Dakota Johnson, so I'd say there was a little pressure to make sure her outfit delivered on the promise of her new stardom. Success! Her sleek Saint Laurent gown's bejeweled strap is such a lovely detail, her dark nails and messy hair are a great counterpoint and she just generally looked like the newly minted star she is. Now, if we can just improve her red carpet banter...maybe less time spent with her mom next time?

The moment I saw Julianne Moore I knew she had made sure to dress like a winner. Her sparkly Chanel couture was lovely, and looked VERY Chanel, which I appreciate. It's not my favorite dress she's ever worn by a long shot, but she won't be embarrassed by it 15 years from now. It's classic and elegant. Also, her earrings were beautiful and I was so touched by how emotional she seemed to be all night. Precious!

Rosamund Pike has had many missteps during this particular awards season cycle, so it was a delight to see her turn up in this perfectly tailored Givenchy red dress. It's just barely eked its way into my best dressed though; I do feel like I've seen it before, and the styling was lacking. Magpie me would always like to see a little more jewelry or a more daring makeup/hair look. Still, she looked amazing.

Jennifer Hudson's sunflower yellow Romona Keveza gown is amazing with her complexion, beautifully tailored and architecturally interesting. I didn't see her on the red carpet, but when I saw this picture, I thought the accessorizing was brilliant. She looks radiant and I bet she wishes she was wearing this when she won her Oscar.

This might be a little bit of a controversial choice, but in the battle of the sparkly tulle confections, I preferred the one worn by Luciana Pedraza (wife of Robert Duvall) over that of Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo looked great, don't get me wrong; I just get tired of nude frou frous and was pumped to see pretty coral. Also, this is a GREAT showing by the date of a nominee who happens to be a legend who might end up on camera a lot. Shrewd move, Luciana.

I flip flopped a few times on this one, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. At first, this Saint Laurent gown seemed a little like something Morticia Adams would wear to a disco, but then I started to really appreciate what the necklace was doing for the look as a whole and I do love a Halston-inspired disco moment. Also, I want to give Margot Robbie my most improved award; this is vastly better than her red carpet turn last year.

Good, But Not Ah-mazing

Reese is all about sweet simplicity these days, and though I can appreciate that, I'm also finding it sorta blah. This reminded me of a twinsie of her 2011 dress, which I also thought was a little boring bridesmaid. She looks very elegant in her Tom Ford, which seemed to be a subtle blue on camera, but it didn't feel Oscar-worthy (or particularly like something I'd expect from Tom Ford, king of sex).

Khloe Kardashian, of all people, was saying on E! that this color didn't strike her as "Oscars" and that this dress seemed like something you'd wear to a summer wedding. For the record, I love this color and Khloe is an idiot. BUT this Thakoon gown is missing a certain something that elevates it past your regular prom gown or sexy wedding guest outfit. Still, I appreciate Anna's efforts to play with color.

Jennifer Aniston's cream beaded Atelier Versace was va va va voom and had one of the best boob-area situations I've ever seen on a strapless gown. She looked super hot...just not quite enough going on here to land in my best dressed. 

I was REALLY close to bumping Laura Dern into my Best Dressed list. Her sparkly pewter Alberta Ferretti is art deco and futuristic all in one, and she had fun with jewelry, which I love. I just couldn't decide if it was really special enough to be an Oscar gown, you know? Maybe I'm being picky. She's great.

My girl Oprah looked fabulous in her Vera Wang. I was feeling a little unimpressed with the color, though, but the fit is praise-worthy. 

Kerry Washington also deserves some kind of award for reminding me why I used to love her on the red carpet before she started dressing like a crazy schizophrenic person. Her Miu Miu gown is packed with interesting details, from the embroidery and beading on the peplum, reminding me of a kimono, to the beading on the skirt. Her jewelry was also killer. The only thing keeping it off my Best Dressed list is that it still doesn't strike me as very special; just a vast improvement for HER.

Patricia Arquette has had a successful red carpet run, which is awesome. In the past, she's worn a lot of dresses that made her look either very busty or very stumpy, but this Rosetta Getty gown was elegant, made her look lean and classic, and was a much more interesting take on black and white than any of Reese's various gowns on that theme.

I'm On the Fence

I love Felicity Jones and I had really high hopes for her scoring a slam dunk on the red carpet, but I just couldn't fall in love with her oyster gray Alexander McQueen. It's not bad, per se, but it does feel like two separate dresses that would have been gorgeous individually. Imagine it as just a beaded sheath continuation of the top dress, or with an elegant satin top to the bottom. Don't those imaginary dresses look better? I'm a little pre-disposed to not like necklines like this, generally. It looks like it's choking her.

I have to always give Gwyneth kudos for wearing the unexpected and pushing the fashion game that much more out of its boring zone. Her delicate pink Ralph & Russo gown was a modern take on an 80's vibe and the rose sleeve is constructed very well. But on camera, the fluffiness of the sleeve + her blue eyeshadow + her giant earrings felt like a LOT of look.

Kelly Osbourne was gushing on E! that we'll see everyone wearing dresses like Marion Cotillard's Dior gown in the next year. I'm not really sure why. From the front, it's elegant enough and very French. The cutouts feel sporty and mod at the same time. But I also can't get the image of a laundry hamper out of my head and when she turned around...

Oof. That looks like someone used gaffer tape to create a diaper out of a shower curtain. I can't imagine it cast a very elegant silhouette.

I inexplicably didn't hate Naomi Watts' super sporty Armani Prive look, even though my friend Bret said it looked like overalls on top of a sports bra. That it did, and maybe even looks like something from a line of TLC-inspired couture designed by T-Boz. But it was weirdly working for me! I like that she takes calculated risks and she's very good at selling a vibe, like slightly goth girl at the prom. 

Jessica Chastain's navy Givenchy gown was super meh. The cut and fit are great, and I can't entirely fault it, but it just reminds me of something you'd see on Raquel Welch or Sophia feels a little mature.

Worst Dressed

Poor Gina Rodriguez got roped into wearing this year's "green dress" by designer Manon Gabard. These fashion challenges always sound so nice in theory, but always seem to be completed by designers who maybe aren't really ready for prime time glory. The color is super unremarkable, the cut is loose and unflattering and the fabric looks cheap. I hate to even compare it to a David's Bridal bridesmaid gown because their dresses are much prettier than this. Her hair also seems super formal and low-key at the same time. This girl is having a breakout year and unfortunately, this dress isn't going to make her a household name. 

My first reaction is that this is the most understated Zoe Saldana has ever been, and thank God for that. Then my friend Bret reminded me that this blush Atelier Versace gown truly looks like formal Spanx and I couldn't unsee it. Change the color and we might have had a slam dunk.

Selma director Ava DuVernay seems to be giving the stank face here, and I can't tell if it's because her movie got practically shut out or because her Prada gown looks like a nun's habit redesigned for Vegas, as if the plot of Sister Act were told in reverse. That cut around her chest area is just so weird.

If this were based on dress alone, Gaga might actually be in my BEST dressed. Her sparkly Alaia was high fashion AND glamour and the skirt looked gorgeous from every angle. But her dishwashing gloves, as pointed out by the Twittersphere, are just too much to take. It's amazing how just that one accessorizing choice completely distracts from the construction of the gown. If the gloves were even just normal tight gloves the look would be 100% better. The glittery coral sticks in her hair, too...ugh.

Shut up, this is so ugly and stupid. I have a weird dislike for plucky old Chloe Grace Moretz anyway, so seeing her show up in a frumpy gown made from everyone's grandma's couch pattern in the 70s was just further validation. I LOVE pockets on a gown, but her insistence on keeping her hands in her pockets the entire time seemed insane. What does she have in there that's so much more delightful than being free to walk like a normal person? Is she sneaking candy? Is she squeezing some kind of stress ball? Is she making sure she still has all the junk that she apparently didn't want to put in a clutch? Totally weird. Kerry Washington must be so glad she wasn't sent this Miu Miu dress.

Oh Keira. This is a classic example of a runway yes that's a red carpet no. What looked romantic and pretty and fit perfectly in Valentino's Shakespeare and Dante-themed couture show just seemed like a twee wedding Pinterest board come to life on the red carpet. It feels more appropriate for her future baby shower than the Oscars.

Director Richard Linklater's daughter Lorelai has been serving April Ludgate realness on every red carpet. Everything about her body language seems to say she is profoundly uncomfortable and possibly uninterested in this experience. It's funny to me, then, that she would choose to wear such a sexy (and frankly trampy) Gabriela Cadena gown, when she seems completely uncomfortable in it. This feels like what the high school tramp wears to the dance right before she gets kicked out for smoking pot.

JK Simmons and his wife Michelle Schumacher are adorable, but neither of them were looking particularly great. His hat, while practical on a rainy day, seemed way too informal and her dress looks like a recycled formal gown she wore to a fireman's ball in the 80s.

When I first saw Nicole Kidman on TV, I asked Ashleigh if I liked this. She said NO. And in the light of day, when I can see that it appears her dog took a piss all over her Louis Vuitton disco ball dress, I see she was right. The red sash is frankly incongruous with the rest of the design and the raggedy hem is maybe supposed to be artful but just looks like a bloody mess. Her haircut was kinda cute, but skewed a little toward The Good Wife and even Alicia Florrick does fancy hair when she goes to a ball.

Octavia Spencer was famously well-tailored during her winning Oscar season by Tadashi, but I thought this Icecapades gown was an unfortunate case of ruching gone wrong. If a woman is amply blessed in the chestal region, you do NOT, I repeat DO NOT, add ruching across the chest on the horizontal. That's just rude. The sleeves also look tight and uncomfortable and my girl Octavia deserves better, especially after being forced to be Neil Patrick Harris' accomplice in one of the least funny Oscar gags I've ever seen.

Scarlett Johansson's entire Versace look seems to be a fashion representation and tribute to Ellen Ripley in Alien, combining the style and sheen of the alien itself with the tough girl haircut of my least favorite Aliens character, Private Vasquez. Her neckline literally reminds me of mold. Kudos on the fit, though.

Sienna Miller's dress is ostensibly not that bad but it's also far from Oscar-worthy. This Oscar de la Renta gown feels like one of the throwaway extra dresses you see in his runway shows right BEFORE the good stuff comes out. The tight bodice makes her look squished and gives her bad posture, and the bows came off as constricting rather than demure. It all around felt somber and not celebratory and she should sure as hell be celebrating because she was in danger of being forgotten and just crawled her way back into the spotlight in one of the highest-grossing movies of the year.

Solange wore a Christian Siriano parachute fit for a modern dance tribute to Martha Graham and you almost have to love her for it until you look at the terrible things it's doing to her chest and just have to shake your head. SMH, Solange. SMH.

SOOO, do you agree? Do you disagree? Who did I leave out that you loved or hated?

No comments: