“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
― Coco Chanel
It’s that time again, ducklings! Sharpen your opinions and your claws and let’s prepare to violently disagree with one another in the comments section: the Oscars Gown Rundown has arrived.
Leo (finally) won an Academy Award and now tumblr will have to make a new level of memes to compensate for their pop culture loss. Seriously, though, I’m thrilled a movie about journalists reporting on religion won best picture–let’s face it, it’s my bag. But Mad Max also won for costuming, Thomas Cromwell–beg pardon, Mark Rylance got a well earned award, and Inside Out took home the animated category. I don’t have major objections to the lineup this year, minus the hugely valid #OscarsSoWhite conversation, worth noting. And so, to the judging.
Let’s get this one out of the way because I somewhat expect to be shouted at for it, but I don’t care. Cate is Queen. This is not the first time she has worn a gown that would look awful on any other, lesser mortal and pulled it off, and it will not be the last. For that alone this Armani gown deserves love.
Brie Larson has already made a bit of a reputation for interesting red carpet looks. Some of them work, some are noble failures, but she is never boring. This custom Gucci suited her eclectic style perfectly. I don’t love the neckline (in fact I think the whole bust area looks a bit odd…which will be one of our themes for today’s reading from the Book of Style) but the color is beautiful and she won me over when her amazing belt demanded I bow down to it. So I did, and so I do.
Margot Robbie has decided she is the second coming of Michelle Pfeiffer, and I have decided I am here for that shtick. She’s found a look (late 80s and early 90s to be specific) and she is working the heck out of it thanks to Mr. Tom Ford. That being said, the hair really brings this look down…
Kerry Washington in Versace. Yell at me, sue me, I don’t care. The slit ends just south of the law from the wrong angle, the hair is not great, and Versace is a brand that often flirts with (or downright wallows in) tacky. It’s also a mix of couture, Wonder Woman, and operatic Valkyrie and I will defend that combo to the bloody death.
Naomi Watts in Armani is a gorgeous, mythical mermaid and there is precisely nothing you can do about it.
Julianne Moore in Chanel. Fierce.
The Question Mark
I don’t…hate this Brandon Maxwell design. Should I? I think out of the box dressing should be rewarded on red carpets (and in real life) far more than it actually is, so I personally am all for the use of lady-trousers on the RC. But, alas, Weird Boob Syndrome struck again and I would have preferred to see a pair of killer shoes, which we all know Stefani can fully deliver. I really love her retro Hollywood style phase and think it serves her far better than the Meat Dress period of her…being alive and in public(?)…career, but this could have used a bit more and better styling.
Another girl experimental in her style, I should like her choice, right? Sorry. While I cannot relegate Alicia Vikaander to the Bad or Ugly category, I can say that I do not like or support that Louis Vuitton OR its hemline in the slightest and find the color a bad one for her complexion. The jewelry and shoes, however, can be handed over. Now.
I like Daisey Ridley. I like Chanel. I cannot for the life of me decide if I like them combined on the Oscars RC. Make up my mind for me, darlings?
Another year, another Charlize Theron + Dior = Boob Situation. The only thing that saves this for me is an absolutely expertly deployed use of some major jewels, but I’m willing to throw it out to the Minion Coterie: tacky as hell, or sexy as hell?
Amy Poehler in Andrew Ng. Come at me, bros! It’s different and I like it! We can step outside if you want! …Or, maybe I don’t like it as much the more I look at it? Take it to a vote, guys, I’m confused.
Bad Busts (also the name of my new punk rock band) strike again. Behold a particularly egregious deployment thereof. This Valentino gown is doing a gorgeous woman precisely zero favors, and the gym-hair and Edwardian choker are not helping. A major pass for me.
I LOVE Mindy Kaling, but this Elizabeth Kennedy dress looked matronly and dull when she is manifestly neither one of those things! I like a salute to Old Hollywood as much as the next girl, but the fabric is too stiff and bulky here and the black looks dull. If she had opted for a full gown in that same shade of blue, she would have looked amazing.
Charlotte Riley is a genuinely beautiful and interesting looking woman. This gown is neither of these things. It is aggressively bad. And again, a woman’s chest area is under assault–who did Anna Wintour snap at to make bad necklines A Thing this year? Was she angry? Are boobs “out” now?
I know, I know. It’s Rooney Mara in Givenchy. This is her look, that is her designer, and I admire her for developing a red carpet persona that delights in the weird and strange. But I didn’t like this at all, the cutout wounded me.
Despite her contract with Dior, I manage to recoil from a surprising chunk of her RC picks–although let the record show that she has appeared on my best dressed lists in the past as well. None of this works for me, though, from the hair to the makeup to the Victoriana of it all.
Silk and green, if history is any indicator, I should like this look, but this August Getty gown looked bad on Rachel McAdams. It was wrinkled, it’s lines were too long, meaning instead of slinking it sort of slopped as it moved, and overall just managed to look like a sheet. Pass.
The Downright Ugly
There is but one entrant in this category this year for reasons that should be self evident. Let us set aside the recurring cleavage problem and pause to reflect that Heidi Klum is an international supermodel with TV shows, businesses, and a portfolio of work that most lanky, doe-eyed teenagers dreaming of fifteen minutes of fame in a tweet-length-attention-span world can only dream of. And this Marchesa is what she either was 1) given or worse, 2) chose to wear to one of the most watched fashion events of the year. In internet parlance, I am unable to even.
My Best Dressed Pick
The gown is Calvin Klein and sheer gorgeousness. The color (besides my obvious bias) nods to Saorise Ronan’s own background as well as the movie she starred in, it is on trend and still visually interesting (the back is stunning, see here) and she is styled beautifully. The overall look is so gorgeous that I can’t even be bugged by the deliberately color contrast earrings, which would normally make my eyes twitch. Hands down, this the dress I want to run away with from this year’s lineup.
Your turn, kittens! Which looks did you love, hate, or still not yet made up your minds about? And if you want to sling some opinions about the nominees and winners too, it’s a free for all!