Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Fashion Review: SAG Awards 2019

As a veteran awards show viewer, I can't help but have a soft spot for the SAG Awards. The show is super earnest and inside baseball with its union chatter about contracts, but to me, that's part of the charm. The actors always seem truly touched to win, and there are always some very random out-of-left-field award winners. They let everyone talk without too much interruption, they don't really do any silly montages or gimmicks, and the whole thing is over by 10 p.m.

On top of all those virtues, the SAG awards also is blessed to fall somewhere between the Golden Globes and the Independent Spirit Awards on the red carpet scale, delivering fairy princess moments for bit players, edgy experimentation for leading stars and notice-me looks from ingenues. People had some fun with fashion! Let's take a look.

Best Dressed

Susan Kelechi Watson looked like sunshine on a cloudy day in this puff of a yellow gown by Christian Siriano. It's fun — FUN I say — when an ensemble member of a network drama gets a shot at being the Cinderella at the ball. 

Newcomer Laura Harrier ("BlacKkKlansman") displayed some serious style chops in this dramatic, yet simple hot pink off-the-shoulder Loewe gown. What really makes this look sing is the styling: the statement rings on each hand, the dazzling earrings and the megawatt pink smile. 

Rachel Brosnahan hit the jackpot when she was cast in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," granting her basically two years of awards show victories and clearly, a stylist who has the hookups. This pale blue Dior haute couture is a pretty pick, but I'm here to talk about those sparkling ribbon earrings and chrome heels. Somehow this look balances demure with modern in an effortless way.

Jane Fonda's sequined red Valentino is equal parts dragon skin and gingerbread roof and I LOVE it. She looks incredible, and I deeply appreciate her adventurous spirit. Her hair and makeup are flawless. May I be giving zero fucks when I, too, am 81.

Lady Gaga, you guys. She's basically riding as high as a person could be, and I'm loving how she's balancing her role as nominee from a prestige film with her commitment to being a provocateur. I love the frayed edges of her twisted and twirled Dior gown with her goth dark lipstick and nails. She looked like a fallen angel.

I'm a sucker for monochromatic gowns in different fabrics, so it was a given I'd enjoy this elegant and timeless Jenny Packham look on Sandra Oh. With her drop earrings and curly bangs, it almost had a turn-of-the-century vibe, like she was a modern day Gibson Girl.

Melissa McCarthy has never looked better. This Jenny Packham gown is the level of glamour she deserves and I basically want to only see her in disco diva sequins from now on.

Patricia Clarkson looks like a queen of the golden age of cinema, a grand dame of theater, a winner in every book. I'm very on board for this dramatic and detailed cream Zuhair Murad gown with gold embroidery and sequins. It looks like something Bette Davis would wear right before she slaps someone.

In still pictures, I thought Mandy Moore's clean black off-the-shoulder Jason Wu gown with silver sequins was borderline boring, but on camera, it looked truly timeless. Also, her highlighted cheekbones were on point. 

Is it hot in here or is it Catherine Zeta-Jones? The Welsh Wonder continued her sexy red carpet comeback tour with another slinky sequined Zuhair Murad number befitting a queen or Real Housewife. Navy is an underutilized color, in my opinion, and I love the delicate detail on the sleeves.

This Givenchy gown has everything. It's a little bit Ginger Rogers, a little bit futuristic, a little bit 70's. Rachel Weisz's perfect face and regal carriage would likely make a unicorn onesie seem red carpet-ready.

Melanie Liburd is on "This is Us," a show I watch weekly and yet I did not recognize her here. That might be because this Gucci gown is so damn glamorous! It's equally acceptable here or at a 1930s gala. The patterning must have been gorgeous in person, but photographed well, too.

Margot Robbie is very, very hot and don't you forget it. This Chanel dress will wipe away any memories of her thin-haired Queen Elizabeth fright face. Her pearl earrings had a slight Elizabethan vibe, which is a nice tribute.

Speaking of hot people, here is 60-year-old Angela Bassett wearing a finely detailed gray Georges Chakra gown that had the effect of cascading ruffles of origami. She is ageless and powerful and frankly I'd put her in charge of everything. 

Gemma Chan looked like a delicate ruffled peony in this sweet Oscar de la Renta gown. I love the feathery effect of the ruffles and I'm always a sucker for a graphic black sash. This looks fit for Audrey Hepburn, and Gemma is particularly striking.

This Chris Pine look by Zegna was really working on all levels for me. I saw the pic and I think I actually saw the words "Ow! Ow! Ow!" flash through my mind like a comic book.

Darren Criss continued his adventures in blazers with this shiny silver number that I really love. Are we ready for a world of flashy blazers? Are the men in our lives going to be wearing blazers like this to work Christmas parties? Let's hope so.


Stop. the. presses. This marks one of maybe three times that I liked a red carpet look on Elisabeth Moss! This swiss dot Monique Lhuillier gown with a black sash is sweet and simple, but decidedly not black or boring like most of her outfits. It's nice sometimes to just feel pretty.

Nothing to dislike about this glamorous beaded Elie Saab gown trimmed with ostrich feathers. Michelle Yeoh is so elegant and ageless, and her taste seems impeccable. This is not particularly exciting to me, but it's still a winner.

My favorite sexy Russian spies Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell looked fine in their black ensembles. I especially liked the graphic square sequins on Keri's simple dress. It's modern and sexy.

When you're fresh on the scene and this is maybe your first chance to walk a red carpet, you can't really go wrong with a sequined nude gown dripping with baubles and cinched with a burgundy belt.
Sofia Hublitz ("Ozark") looked lovely for her first outing, and really showed the power of a pop of rich color.

Betty Gilpin ("Glow") has had some ups and downs trying to figure out her red carpet style, but this slinky silver ruffled gown is her best showing yet. It has great movement and manages to attract attention without offending. Next, let's work on polishing it off with interesting accessories and a trendsetting make-up look.

Cara Santana (a true Who? I honestly recognize her from nothing) caught my attention with this beautiful sky blue ruffled gown paired with ombre earrings and a youthful topknot. No idea who she is, but this was a good strategic move to get some folks to look her up!

Constance Wu's silver column dress is very simple, but she has a few accessories doing the heavy lifting to make the overall ensemble a winner. The brooch at her hip is a fun touch, and the bangle pushed up her arm is a sexy and surprising choice.

I love a good streamlined and sexy American sportswear moment, and I worship Miriam Shor (a scene-stealer in "Younger" and "The Americans") so this Narcisco Rodriguez look made me smile. 

Make it Fashion

Alison Brie is really trying to make Alison Brie happen. Ever since she's started making the awards circuit for "Glow," she's really been asserting herself as a fashion daredevil, with very mixed results. This Miu Miu gown requires some serious guts, and I appreciate the commitment, but there are a few problems, too. The stretched satin across her thighs looks a little too tight. The dual bows at her waist are...wild. She vaguely looks like a couture interpretation of Mickey Mouse or an angel of death. It's a lot.

A couple weeks ago we were all scratching our heads a bit about Timothee Chalamet's sparkly black harness and then Michael B. Jordan decided he'd do us one better and pop a floral version over a fairly simple double-breasted Wall Street suit. I personally feel like this is incongruous and lacks the polish of Timothee's version, but I can respect the effort.

Yara Shahidi's genre-defying Fendi ensemble has me straight. up. tripping. My knee-jerk reaction was to dislike it. Then the color and detailing won me over — she looks luminous. But it's a little like sparkly athleisure topped with a Victorian nightgown and I'm a bit baffled. She's already a fashion world star and we're just along for the ride.

Listen, I'll spend every day of my life swathed in a coat-length pearl-trimmed black cardigan like Casey Thomas Brown ("The Kominsky Method"). Here for that any day on anyone. Where this falls apart for me a bit is the slightly off-kilter cater waiter tie, the dramatic cummerbund satin PJ pants and what appear to be orthopedic sneakers?

If Lisa Frank designed couture, this gown on Fiona Xie would be her showstopper. I personally would not be drawn to this, but I can appreciate the fun of it and the design itself is actually quite pretty, even if the color scheme is a bit riotous for my taste. 


Amy Adams favors simple. She's never been super into sparkles and feathers. She likes to play with shape and volume and color, which I can appreciate. But this Celine piece really just didn't inspire much of a reaction from me. It's fine.

On one hand, Emily Blunt's bubblegum pink Michael Kors gown is fun, it's different and it is a spectacular color for her complexion. On the other hand, it looks like a big couture vagina.

There's something really grandma to me about Emma Stone's brocade blouse and pant Louis Vuitton ensemble. It's not terrible, and if there's any occasion that merits experimentation, it's the SAG awards. But it's ultimately deeply forgettable.

I love an ostrich feather moment, but the execution on Danai Gurira's Ralph & Russo gown lacks polish. It looks like a dress version of a bubble bath. I wish the feather distribution was a little more restrained. Is that a weird thing to be picky about?

Robin Wright is hot and this Oscar de la Renta is not offensively boring or bad by any means, but the fake tan and kind of brassy blonde hair came off looking a little unintentionally cheap to me.

Lucy Boynton's red carpet forays have been anything but boring, and I appreciate that. I can't quite get there with this Erdem fashion fit for Dark Shadows, though. But kudos for a sense of adventure.

Totally dig Timothee's casual layered look, but that's just it — this felt a bit casual to me. 

This is the first time I can remember not being bowled over by a look on Lupita. I can't shake the feeling there's a little too much going on with this Vera Wang gown and some very simple edits — trim the sleeve length up just a hair; ditch the jacket pockets; scrap the idea to line her inner eye with pink shadow — would make it work a little better.

Worst Dressed

I hesitated for just a moment before I popped Kate Nash into my "worst dressed" category. Maybe it's the fact she is almost ALMOST pulling this wild dress off? Maybe it was the fact she dared to don this? This looks like conservative couture made for Jem and she's wielding that purse like she's about to emulate Gogo Yobari in Kill Bill.

Kimmy Gatewood ("Glow") strapped on what appears to be a sheer nude/gold strapless dress over a sheer nude/gold oxford shirt with French cuffs and it is making my brain hurt. I don't really like any part of this. The fabric has no movement and the thick hemline and seams look amateurish. The color isn't really doing anything for her. Thematically, I don't know what would attract someone to business corsetry. And to top all of that off, it looks more like what I'd expect to be seeing on a much, much older actress.

Rachel Bloom has never had the best red carpet luck. I know she's mentioned in the past that it can be hard to find designer options above a size 6, and I'm sure that's really real, but that doesn't explain this rather blah shade of tan satin crunched with wrinkles and generally ill-fitting. I honestly think she'd find better options on Rent the Runway.

Mens' fashion is WILD this year, and we're seeing some hits and some misses. Let's be clear: Lakeith Stanfield looks cool no matter what he wears. But there is a LOT going on here: a brown velvet bomber jacket over a shirt from the Dwight K. Schrute collection of brown and mustard workwear, with a random cummerbund that looks like an afterthought to dress up some Target gray khakis. It somehow evokes both the Sundance Kid and Sanford & Son. 

That's it! We're getting so close to the Oscars, friends. I'm currently working on catching up with the nominees I haven't seen yet. 

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