Let’s Play Dress Up

“You don’t make pictures for Oscars.”
– Martin Scorsese

I’m going to say it, I was blown away by how little I was blown away this year.  Once again, I was surprised to see how many of the presenters were better frocked than than the stars up for awards, quelle horreur!  As we speak stylists and assistants are cringing and bracing themselves for the Louboutins to come sailing at them.  Too many of the gowns were relatively colorless, and frankly more than a few people had major fit and styling issues – which means we have so much to talk about.  Grab your junk food of choice and tell me what you thought of the frocks!

The Good

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
Nicole Kidman in L’Wren Scott

Darkness and light!  The Dior was early in a long list of white, pale, blush, nude, and pastel dresses, but I think this was by far the best.  The fabric pattern give it some texture, and she looks as tall as an Amazon.  I personally loved the backwards necklace, very Old Hollywood.  Kidman brought some much needed va va voom to an otherwise fairly tame RC.

Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen
Jessica Chastain in Armani

The pale frocks just keep rolling on.  The McQeen was actually a lovely lavender and the only issue I have with her is that her makeup matched the gown too much.  Chastain makes the cut because she frankly struggles on the RC (her baby blue boob monstrosity at the Golden Globes anyone?), and while I don’t love the color on her per se, I do love the color.  Hair and jewels are flawless.

Charlize Theron in Dior
Naomi Watts in Armani

“I’m sorry, did those other ladies forget to bring the drama?” I imagine Theron said to Watts as they stepped from their limos.  “That’s just fine, darling, because we’re here,” Watts said with a fabulous shoulder toss that nearly decapitated a wayward assistant.  Let’s just all be grateful that finally Dior came through because we all remember the assault in dress form Theron sported a couple years ago, finally la Dior juste!

Fan Bing Bing in Marchesa
Jennifer Aniston in Maison Valentino

Oh thank heavens, this thing was filmed after the invention of technicolor!  I have a couple of quibbles about the fit, but Fan Bing Bing is a glorious creature who wear things that mere mortals can’t – her chinoiserie inspired Cannes dress was magnificent, and she looks equally stunning her.  The styling is really lovely.  As for Aniston, I hated her hair but that deep red gown was really gorgeous.

The Meh

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta
Samantha Barks in Maison Valentino

Oh look…another pale gown…goody…  I foresee this being a debate dress: I don’t hate it but I don’t think it’s anything special at all.  Barks’ gown really is beautiful, and you can seldom go wrong with a good black gown…but it just seems a bit too (dare I say) dressed down?  I want it in my closet, but I don’t think I want it on the Academy Awards RC.

Adele in Jenny Packham
Sandra Bullock

Adele has a specific aesthetic that she seldom deviates from, with good reason, but I don’t think this is one of its best incarnations.  Sandra is wearing a vertical mullet, business on the top…what exactly is happening on the bottom?

Anne Hathaway in Prada

Anyone else surprised?  I was surprised.  She’s worn much better in her endless appearances running up to this shindig and her styling has been much better than this.  The detailing of the back, which you can’t see here unfortunately, bag and jewels are lustworthy but let’s run through the list of grievances: first of all another blush tone, second the hair just is not looking its best, and worst of all that seaming.  Anne Hathaway’s chest will be the Angelina Jolie’s leg of 2013, I fear.  As I understand, it already has a twitter account.

The Bad

Reese Witherspoon in Louis Vuitton
Helen Hunt in H&M USA

I’ve got the blues, minions.  I hate the side panels in the Vuitton, with a fiery passion.  And Helen…H&M belongs in the mall not on the RC.  Period.  The jewels are lovely but she looks badly fitted and rumpled.


Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji
Kristen Stewart in Reem Acra

And now I’ve got the nudes – which isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds.  Octavia Spencer has a history and relationship with this house, but I think it they let her down a bit here.  Her gown last year was gorgeous, but frankly I’m getting mother of the bride now.  Doilies should never make it past the front door.  And I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a waterfall of tulle down Stewart’s backside, which I decidedly disapprove of.

Jennifer Hudson in Roberto Cavalli

Hudson – NO.  Whoever did you hair needs to drummed out of the guild immediately.  I can see nothing else until that is fixed!

And the Ugly


Jane Fonda in MaisonValentino
Sally Field in Maison Valentino.

You two clearly have some commiserating to do do over how your stylists should be sacked.  We’ll leave you to it.  Valentino committed more than a few atrocities this year, in my opinion, and no amount of Samantha Barks can redeem these.

Melissa McCarthy in David Meister

Kill it with fire!  I think gray is an undervalued color and actually makes her skin and hair color look great, but the fit is really not good, she needed something much more tailored to her figure.  And, darling, your hair stylist has a grudge against you.

My Personal Favorite:

Stacy Kiebler in Naeem Khan

That is some fabulous art deco going on and I approve mightily.

7 thoughts on “Let’s Play Dress Up”

  1. Agree agree agree! But what? No mention of Brandi Glanville’s boob-strosity or Kelly Rowland’s crooked nightmare? Also, I quite liked Selma Hayek’s look.

    Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect human being.

  2. Holy smokes! I find myself disagreeing heartily to most of this! I thought that Jennifer Lawrence looked like she was wearing a bed quilt. Not to mention that any dress that results in you tripping up the stairs to retrieve your Oscar counts as a failure.

    I also thought Nicole Kidman was ALMOST there. But that splash of gold right above her belly button creates a faux belly bump that does her statuesque figure zero justice.

    And Naomi Watts little boob circle? Jokes were abounding in our house about how it didn’t matter what words came out of her mouth that night – no one was doing anything but staring at her awkward boob cutout. It was just a classed up version of Lil’ Kim’s MTV Music Awards getup in 2011

    And where are Zoe Saldana and Selma Hayek on your list? Selma looked absolutely stunning and, aside from a belt that should have been left off, Zoe looked just about perfect.

    And, you may shun me for saying this, but I think Jane Fonda looks fab-u-lous. I think that the yellow is a color few women could pull off and I love the structure and age-appropriateness of it all.

    1. Oscars night, the most controversial blog post of the year! 😉 And I agree, the ability to actually walk in your dress should be the paramount decision factor, but practicality seems to take a backseat to most of these events. Last year Rooney Mara could barely put one foot in front of the other!

      I enjoyed the drama of Watt’s gown, but now all I can see is Lil’ Kim! I didn’t love Zoe Saldana’s gown, honestly, I thought there were too many elements – I loved the hemline, but thought the appliques and the belt and the bow-like detail were just too much. I agree about Selma Hayek’s belt, the gown would have been improved without it. A lot of people loved Jane Fonda’s gown, but I’m afraid I just don’t like the color. The cut and structure are fabulous, but the color just didn’t work for me

  3. I liked Sandra’s dress, but that’s just me. Jane Fonda looks like she pulled a dress out of the closet that was several decades old because she forgot that the Oscars was tonight (crap!) and had to scrounge. Melissa McCarthy looked awful, which I don’t normally think of her. And Anne’s boobs…. oh, the boobs! Nooooo!

  4. Have to agree with the bed quilt comment, which is a shame, because it is the waste of a gorgous figure. Bing Bing’s dress looks like it is an unfinished draping of a manequin, made by a fashion design student, ala Project Runway.

    Jennifer Aniston’s dress is gorgeous, but I agree that, now she is over 40, she needs to do something more sophisticated with her hair. And Chastain in the Armani is stunning; the only thing lacking is some drop-dead earrings.

    Jane Fonda’s choice seems stuck in the ’80’s, and Sally Field’s makes her look like Mrs. Lincoln without her hoops. One would think that decades of practice would have honed these ladies’ sense of fashion, but the reality is, it becomes more and more difficult, over time, to look spectacular because the choices of what one can appropriately wear, narrow considerably. Not very many people are able to pull it off over the very long haul.

    And as for Anne, she looks stunning, as usual, (she seems to be going for a Audrey Hepburn look) but is strangely under dressed for the Oscars–her choice is more appropriate for a posh dinner. She also seems bent on exposing herself in inappropriate ways. It’s too bad, because it detracts from her talent.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.