There were some jaw dropping fashions at this year’s Oscar’s, but for the most part, there were just yawns. So, first here are my choices for the the jaw droppers. When Mila Jovovich became the first star to saunter onto the runway, I thought we were in for a night of red carpet worthy glam. She set the bar high and very few that followed measured up. She looked every bit the glamourous Hollywood star from her soft curls and red lips to her one-shouldered Elie Saab silver gown. Elegant and glamourous, it’s hard to pull off, but Mila did it perfectly.
George Clooney had his golden stature – on his arm. Stacy Keibler in a golden, off-the-shoulder draped Marchesa gown was beyond perfection. This is what red carpet looks like and her gown will go down as one of the best ever. The soft folds of the fabric were draped just right and did not overwhelm Stacy’s small frame.
Octavia Spencer hit another homerun with her Tadashi Shoji beaded ivory gown. Soft pleats radiating from her waistline resulted in a figure flattering hourglass efffect. Her “Help” co-star, Viola Davis, however didn’t fare as well. The bright green Vera Wang gown was on target as far as new spring 2012 colors, but the pleated and cut out skirt structurally did not work with the topless fitted torso. The propotion was all wrong. Too stiff on top, too flowing on bottom.
Even though she wasn’t nominated, Gwyneth Paltrow looked like a Grecian goddess in her columnar Tom Ford gown with cape draped across her shoulders. Sometime less is more. Jennifer Lopez also looked liked a Grecian goddess in her Zuhair Murad custom made gown, but with more fabric interest in the form of alternating white and beige stripes, cutout shoulders, plunging neck and back. JoLo’s gown was a contrast to Gwyneth’s minimalist style, but both a reflection of their fashion personalities.
When I saw Jessica Chastain’s dress, my first reaction was negative , but the more I looked at the black and gold embroidered Alexander McQueen strapless gown, the more I was impressed. She looked like a Renaissance dream straight from a Botticelli painting from her gown to her glowing red hair.
E Network’s Guiliana Rancic was on the red carpet, not as a nominated star, she was working, but her gown was one of the bests of the best. Her fitted, beaded gown with tulle skirt was one of the most beautiful of the evening. Somebody give her a best dressed Oscar.
“The Artist” star, Missi Pyle, artistically dressed in a seafoam strapless gown, made an eco-friendly statement as well as a fashion statement. The dress, a contest winner by Valentina Delfino, was made entirely of recycled polyester and silk from cruelty-free silkworms. Who says you can’t be eco-friendly and fashionable?
Cameron Diaz “bared it all” in her nude toned, strapless form-fitting gown by Gucci. Her skin tone and blonde hair shimmered against the the pale, monochromatic gown. It’s hard to pull off pale monochromatic with pale skin and blonde hair, but Cameron did. The fitted torso transitioned to a softly draped hem accented with sequins. This silhouette worked when Viola Davis’ didn’t.
And now the yawns. Tina Fey played it safe with a navy, strapless Carolina Herrera gown with peplum. Structually, the gown was stunning, but the navy color was a blah. The gown would have been more eye popping in a bright color, or even black.
Speaking of black, Angelina Jolie stuck with her “go to” red carpet color. While she would look stunning in a sack, her strapless black velvet Atelier Versace gown was not a “wow” this year for her. Of all the awards shows this year, she saved the least photogenic for last.
Shailene Woodley’s long sleeved, white Valentino couture gown was too dowdy for her age and made her look boring. The sophisticated gown would work much better on an older, elegant frame. She may have been warm, but she wasn’t red carpet ready.
Rooney Mara. I know, I know she got best dressed kudo’s for her white Givenchy flowing gown. The gown may have looked stunning on the red carpet, but on television, it was lost, especially against her pale skin. Yawn.
Oscar winner Natalie Portman, in a 1954 vintage Haute Couture Christian Dior red polka dot gown, missed the chance to really glam it up. An upswept hairdo would have helped to really make this look a “wow.”
Best Supporting Actress nominee Berenice Bejo who glowed onsreen in “The Artist”, was a disappointment in an Elie Saab sequined gown. Her lovely face almost disappeared in the pale mint green gown and severe upswept hairstyle.
Glenn Close and Meryl Streep are two of Hollywood’s best actresses, but when it comes to the red carpet, they usually are not one of the best dressed. Glenn Close’s green Zach Posen strapless form-fitting gown with fishtail hem was a wow, but not paired with the matching tuxedo style jacket which made a sexy outfit not so sexy. A matching shrug or no jacket at all with a statement necklace would have made the gown a “wow.” Meryl Streep in an asymetrically wrapped gold gown looked more frumpy than a Best Actress nominee. She always seems to choose ill-fitting, flowing gowns with lots of fabric when she would look stunning in sophisticated, more tailored attire.
Sandra Bullock, who usually stands out on the red carpet, was a disappointment in a schizophrenic Marchesa black and white gown. The blousey, ill-fitting top was visually and literally cut-off from the black trained skirt by what looked like gold, boney hands grasping her waist. Visually it just didn’t work.
Penelope Cruz, who wore one of the all-time most beautiful gowns at the 2007 Oscars, was definitely a yawn this year. Nothing worked for her, from the blue color to the ball gown style skirt. She needs to stick to more form fitting gowns.
Some say Emma Stone’s red Giambattista Valli Louis gown was too similar to Kicole Kidman’s Balenciaga gown from 2007. The bow was too much and overwhelmed her face. Without the bow, the halter top gown may have worked for her.
Michelle Williams also got high marks for her strapless, tangerine colored Louis Vuitton gown with peplum and diamond bow accent at the waist. While the color is right on target for spring 2012 (tangerine is the “it” color for spring), I wasn’t wowed by this dress on her. Maybe it was the necklace or the pleated, ruffled fabric. A fabric without so much visual and textural quality may have made this gown a “wow”.
And finally, Melissa McCarthy. She missed the fashion target while fellow full-figured actress, Octavia Spencer was spot on. Octavia’s gown accentuated her curves while Melissa’s seemed to make her look even larger. Both gowns had pleats radiating from the waist, but Octavia’s more structed gown was flattering. Melissa’s just overwhelmed her frame.
There were some standouts on this year’s red carpet, but overall it wasn’t a stellar year for Oscar fashion. And the winners are: Best Dressed: Stacy Keibler; Worst Dressed: Sandra Bullock.