Tag Archives: oscars

red carpet recap: the oscars!

that was some serious oscar fashion last night. i remember being so bummed about last year’s red carpet – everyone was being so restrained and overly conscious of not being excessive (stupid recession, ruining our fashion fun!). fortunately, it was all out the window this year. this year’s dresses were unbelievably over-the-top, not to mention oversized – there were impossibly huge ball skirts absolutely everywhere you turned! i fully expected an on-stage wardrobe malfunction, but i was sadly disappointed.

naturally, the awards are totally secondary to the commentary going on in my house about the fashion. i’m usually commenting so loudly about the presenters that i barely even hear the names of the nominees. and so, without further adieu, my list of the good, the bad, and the positively heinous.

first, the good (all photos, by the way, are from yahoo!’s completely excellent oscar photo coverage – definitely the place you want to stop to see the full looks!):

i thought penelope cruz was stunning in her pleated ruby ballgown from donna karan- a dress simply couldn’t be more flattering or elegant. and i adored the dreamy abstract print on rachel mcadams‘ almost-ethereal elie saab gown.

cameron diaz looked better than i think i’ve ever seen her (oscar de la renta can have that effect) – that silver gown is simply perfect. and even if maggie gyllenhaal could have picked something a bit more flattering to her beautiful figure, her dries van noten dress was gorgeous. i might have sacrificed some tummy camouflage for the chance to wear that beauty too.

kate winslet just owns a permanent spot on this list – i love every single thing that woman puts on, and last night’s sleek silver sheath by yves saint laurent was no exception. but the one who’s most likely to be overlooked is queen latifah, who i thought looked unbelievably gorgeous, and showed off her figure so perfectly. and last, but not least, honorary props to tom ford, because he’s just always beyond impeccable. we should all dress our men so well.

next up, a little ranting about some of the unfortunate “bad” that showed up on the red carpet:

for all that sarah jessica parker loves fashion, it makes me crazy that she continues to show up on the red carpet with these bizarre choices. this year’s choice from chanel isn’t the worst, but it just doesn’t do it for me. if i’m being honest, she might have escaped my “bad” list (i’d have just chalked it up to her generally unwise fashion sense), but for that awful tan and the fact that she was chewing gum when the cameras panned to her in the audience. really? gum? at the oscars? i have no words.

people seem sort of split about vera farmiga‘s gown, and i understand the dilemma. it is interesting to look at. sadly, however interesting, it’s hideously unflattering – the woman has a rockin’ body, and this just made her look twice her normal size.

charlize theron, i generally adore you, so i hate to say anything too harsh, but…boob rosettes? it’s hard to look any less than fabulous when you look like her, and yet she managed it. better luck next year, ladies.

and now, last – but most certainly, not least – my award for the truly, heinously ugly (drum roll, please…):

there’s one every year: that dress that just makes you wonder what someone was thinking when they spotted it and said “oh yes! that’s the dress! i definitely want to have my photo taken, viewed by millions and judged by critics for years while i’m wearing that.” zoe saldana (from avatar) really knocked it out of the ugly park with this tiered, ruffled, multitoned, glittery….whatever it is (by givenchy). when she showed up on the red carpet, i believe my comment was something along the lines of her needing to have someone remove the muppet clinging to her knees. part can-can, part showgirl, and one hundred percent deserving of the worst dressed award.

so, how’d i do? did we agree on the red carpet recap? what were your favorite hits and misses last night?

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the good, the bad and the fugly: oscar fashion 2009

first, a little confession:  i’m actually writing this before the actual awards show has even started.  as a style writer, for me, the awards are beyond secondary – it’s all about the pre-game red-carpet festivities.  while the filmgoer in me is rooting loudly for kate winslet and sean penn to win (update:  they did!), the fashion critic in me really cares only about the looks strolling down the red carpet.

this year’s fashions provided much less fodder for complaint than in years past.  there were some really amazing looks, and only a handful that caused my inner fashion police siren to start screaming.  the vast majority of the looks were understated and classic – a nod, i’m sure, to the drama in the economy.  fortunately, a few stunning stars took it upon themselves to remind us of what we love about hollywood:  the escapsim and glamour.  

picture-41      sjp

my favorite look of the evening was kate winslet, a perennial favorite of mine.  she never fails to deliver hollywood glamour in spades, and tonight was no exception.  her stunning gunmetal gown, by yves saint laurent, boasted an asymmetrical one-shouldered bodice, crisp belting at the waist, and then dripped drama with a delicate and detailed black lace overlay.  i loved that she let the dress speak for itself – her only jewelry was a pair of classic drop earrings and a diamond bangle.

sarah jessica parker’s gown ran a very close second in my book.  her gown, by dior haute couture, was everything we’d expect from this fashion icon.  referring to the color of her gown as “barely mint,” parker simply radiated style and stardom.  the gold accents in the fabric, that fantastic belt, and the extravagant, floaty ball skirt were a perfect combination.  in a perfect world, i’d have covered her decolletage a bit more, but…

other winners in my book:  amy adams took the prize for best accessory, with her stunning fred leighton choker, and marisa tomei‘s gown was museum-worthy in its gorgeous origami detailing (though i didn’t love how she carried it off).  and i loved the subtle detail on taraji p. henson‘s gown – it was the perfect blend of elegance and drama.

freida-pinto      jessica-biel

of course, there’s nothing like a night of glitz and glamour to bring out the cattiness in fashion critics everywhere…present company included.  i freely admit i used to feel so badly for the stars who end up battered and bruised in the hindsight commentary from the fashion police.  but the more i’ve learned about this incredible industry, the more i realize that with all of the hours of planning, shopping, prepping and primping that go into putting a star on the red carpet, there’s just no excuse for the worst of the worst.

i was so excited to see what freida pinto would do with her oscar look – her lovely skin tone makes her an ideal candidate for bold, bright color, and showing off a little skin.  sadly, while the color was there, the skin wasn’t…and the asymmetrical bodice just didn’t work for me.  the whole thing was made worse by a single long sleeve made entirely of lace….just far too dowdy and old-fashioned for her hip, sexy vibe.

jessica biel’s was another look that really disappointed me.  with a figure like hers, the possibilities are endless.  so, unless she’s hiding a baby bump, there was little to explain away the gratuitous draping on the front of her gown.  but the real crime was her footwear – a black closed-toe pump with a cream column gown?  i would have loved to see a metallic shoe, and open-toe seems so obvious…i just have no idea what she was thinking.  add on a very lackluster half-up hairstyle, and the look just fell flat.

as for other misses, i wasn’t thrilled about miley cyrus‘ over-the-top style, which just seemed to completely overpower her.  ditto for beyonce‘s look, which i wanted to love at first glance.  but it’s no small feat to overpower someone like her (not to mention the fact that the gown was completely unflattering, adding at least a couple of hours to her hourglass figure).  and then there was mickey rourke…but really, i think the photo just speaks for itself.  just as well, as i was left speechless.  

ultimately, this just wasn’t a year for shock and drama at the oscars.  but if you’re looking for trends to take to the bank, there was clear evidence that classic glamour is back, statement jewelry can make even a lackluster gown fabulous, and when in doubt – a belt provides instant structure and style to nearly any ensemble.  nothing we didn’t know before…but sometimes, a little validation is all you need.

*all photos courtesy AP and eonline.com


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oscar sighs…

this year wasn’t as fun for fashionistas as in years past, but i do have to give a few sighs of admiration:

one for helen mirren. if i am 1/10 as fashionable at her age as she is, i’ll consider myself incredibly lucky. her gown (george chakra) fit her figure, her style, and the occasion just perfectly – i honestly think she was the best-dressed woman at the oscars.

much as my feelings about rachel zoe are very mixed, she styled jennifer garner for last night’s red carpet. not sure whether it’s her darling personality or that knockout black gown (oscar de la renta), but i just couldn’t get enough.

the gown (balenciaga) is lovely, but i spent most of the evening desperately coveting nicole kidman’s necklace. woke up this morning & found out why i loved it – 1,399 carats of diamonds. hello, sailor!

katherine heigl can really do just about no wrong in my eyes these days, and her fabulous red ensemble (escada) was perfect, as always.

and i had to share heidi klum’s dress (john galliano), only because it was probably the most striking gown that hit the carpet – really extraordinary.

so, what did i miss? what did you all love (or hate)?

all pics lovingly borrowed from people.com – thank you!

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