Oh, there are so many places to begin. From my early perusals of the fashion round-ups, I’ve come to the conclusion that either the paid fashionistas have far better taste than I do, or they’re blind. Because the gowns I love are uniformly winding up on the Worst-Dressed lists and the ones I find myself going “WTF?!?” over are on the Best-Dressed lists.
But yanno, my blog, my opinion, so here we go.
Oh, and let’s get this out of the way– James Franco… not during a major awards telecast, man! Seriously.
I know everyone was wondering what Helena was going to wear. She went with a slightly Elizabethan all black number with a Union Jack garter and what I’m guessing was a Lulu Guinness purse. But while she looked fairly well put together (for her) I simply don’t care. Because this was just the cutest picture I saw all evening:
Now, co-host Anne Hathaway sported an array of looks during the telecast from gold fringe to stunning burgundy to an inexplicable blue foil, but my favorite look of hers during the evening was in vintage Valentino. I mean, this is a gown you can take one look at and know that hours of work went into crafting it, probably by little Italian ladies named Philomena and Giuletta and Carmela who will cut you if you don’t stand up straight. Anne played it right with her lipstick taking center stage with the makeup. And she wasn’t orange, bless her!
Anne certainly wasn’t the only one sporting shades of red on the carpet. Sandy Bullock looked absolutely smokin’ and all “Jesse James, who?” in a beautifully fitted Vera Wang.
Now, for a new mother, Penelope Cruz looks amazing. The color was spectacular on her. The gown itself, however? Oh, sweetheart. Just… no. The sequins drew attention to areas where you really didn’t want the attention wandering. And the Girls are a bit more bodacious than usual– you came close to a couple of wardrobe malfunctions walking down the red carpet just because the strap wasn’t fitted quite snugly enough. I will reiterate again, though– we should all look so good a little over a month after giving birth. (Of course, she also had quite the nice accessory as well…)
Jennifer Lawrence was also in red, but it was boring. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, it was just sort of… there. Apropos for a country club party in Florida, not the Oscars, IMO.
Now, I’ll freely admit, I don’t like Jennifer Hudson. She grates on my nerves and every time I see her Weight Watchers commercial where she’s torturing “Feelin’ Good,” I imagine Nina lunging out of her grave and slapping her stupid.
That’s besides the point. I think she does look fabulous and the color of this gown is tremendous on her. And the fit was mostly good. Mostly. Because oh, God, I could not stop staring at her boobs and flinching. The Girls just shouldn’t be put through that. There are so many seamstress tricks that could have helped with that and no one did anything? Once again (like the year she won the Oscar), I have to think she pissed someone off. They let her go out the door saying, “Yeah, girl, you look bangin’,” while laughing quietly in the background.
Moving to the purple end of the spectrum, oh, ScarJo. And this is one of the ones where I’m seeing various lists putting her on the Best Dressed side of things while I’m going, “huh?” Because seriously, it’s a tablecloth. Or drapes. It’s just wretched. I’ll freely admit I’m way, WAY picky about my lace, but this is just wrong. And I won’t even touch her hair. Apparently, no one else did, either. The one saving grace for this gown was the open back. I’m a sucker for the beautiful open back and this one is framed beautifully.
Now, wearing the same color and finally looking comfortable is Natalie Portman. It’s graceful and flowing– a gorgeous color and it looks like it might have actually been comfortable for the pregnant lady. And unlike most, I loved her tassled earrings. I also thought the ruched and beaded detailing on the neckline was stunning, showcasing her lovely shoulders.
Also in a shade of purple, albeit toward the lighter lavender end of the spectrum, was Mila Kunis. This was half a dress. In a lot of respects. Again, unlike many, I loved the peekaboo bodice, but I thought that the boudoir look went too far with the skirt. It should’ve ditched the lace panels in favor of all chiffon and it would have made the bodice that much more striking. Otherwise, I thought the color was fabulous with her coloring (and again, no spray tan look there, thank goodness).
Also in a very pale lavender/pink shade with a healthy dose of WTF is the normally incomparable Cate Blanchett. I know she’s fearless with fashion and normally, I applaud that and God knows, she can wear things that mere mortals simply can’t, but in this case, I have to wonder if she lost a bet. Because I just can’t imagine any scenario where she thinks wearing this cross between a Viking maiden & a Mr. Bubble ad campaign costume would be a good idea. Oh, and let’s not forget the horseshoes on the hips.
Another one that’s going to be on every Best Dressed list and that I’m going to be left lukewarm on is Gwyneth Paltrow. Like Jennifer Lawrence, I don’t hate it or love it, it’s just kind of there. It’s classic Calvin Klein, but just didn’t work for me. Interestingly enough, I think Cate could’ve pulled this sleek minimalist look off with major panache, but Gwyneth just missed it.
However, I think one of my biggest WTF moments was reserved for Melissa Leo. Who was utterly charming and fabulous when she won and I’m so glad she did, but holy cats, did she have to win in this gown? Again, a tablecloth, but in this case, it was a tablecloth draped over Jiffy-Pop foil. With short sleeves. (What was up with that trend? I hate it.) And a big, stiff collar. And a plunging neckline. Just too much going on and none of it working really well for me. But she gave a F*%#in’ awesome acceptance speech.
Amy Adams was an “almost” for me. Love the color. So much. I wish her hair had been a deeper red. Love the jewelry because I’m a sucker for green against that deep deep blue. Love the fitted column. Loathe the cap sleeves. A lot. So much, that it distracts me from the good things.
Almost, Amy. Almost.
Most people are going to hate Nicole Kidman’s gown, but I don’t. I don’t love it, either, but in terms of being a couture, off-the-runway look, I much prefer hers to Cate’s. What I noticed about Nicole’s was that it was a gown that looked better from some angles than others. (Looked terrible from the side, but lovely from the front and three-quarters, I thought.) I also really loved the fun pop of the red/orange shoes. So not quite a win, but not quite as head-scratching as Cate.
So, some of my favorite looks of the night…
While I’m not much for feathers as a general rule, I really liked Hilary Swank’s gown. Again, the ombré shading is something I’m always going to be a sucker for and I liked the silver to deep, pewter gray shading. I also liked that it was sleek but growing to some volume which gave the gown some movement without being completely over the top. Well played, Hilary.
Marisa Tomei rockin’ the navy blue 1950 vintage Charles James Couture. Yes, I love it. Yes, I’d totally wear it.
And winning the totally appropriate gorgeous look, 14-year-old Haillee Steinfeld in a gorgeous tea-length gown that was totally Audrey Hepburn/Grace Kelly inspired and just looked lovely on her.
(Pics via HuffPo & WireImage.)