Tag: Academy Awards

2016 Oscars Gown Rundown

“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.

 photo toast_zpser3lkdmi.gif

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.


The Good

Cate Blanchett

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.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Brie Larson attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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

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…


HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Kerry Washington attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

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.


51982684 Celebrities arriving at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California on February 28, 2016. Celebrities arriving at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California on February 28, 2016. Pictured: Naomi Watts FameFlynet, Inc - Beverly Hills, CA, USA - +1 (310) 505-9876 RESTRICTIONS APPLY: NO FRANCE

Naomi Watts in Armani is a gorgeous, mythical mermaid and there is precisely nothing you can do about it.


Julianne More

Julianne Moore in Chanel. Fierce.


The Question Mark

Lady Gaga

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.


Alicia Vikander

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.


attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

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?


51982674 Celebrities arriving at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California on February 28, 2016. Celebrities arriving at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California on February 28, 2016. Pictured: Charlize Theron FameFlynet, Inc - Beverly Hills, CA, USA - +1 (310) 505-9876 RESTRICTIONS APPLY: NO FRANCE

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

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.



The Bad

Olivia Wilde

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.

Mindy Kaling

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

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?


Rooney Mara

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.


Jennifer Lawrence

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.


Rache McAdam

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

Heidi Klum

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

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Saoirse Ronan attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

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!

Who Are You Wearing?

“Fashion is made to become unfashionable.”
– Coco Chanel

Alright, darlings, did anyone else get a slight feeling of “meh” watching the Academy Awards’ red carpet?  Just me?  Don’t get me wrong, there were some good and some bad and we shall judge them momentarily, but I thought many of them just sort of fell somewhere in the middle.  In recognition of the so-so gowns, we’ve added a new category this year, for your reading pleasure.

The trends this year seemed to be cap sleeves, red, purple, and nude-ish colors, and there were a lot of successes – I’m feeling the cap sleeves particularly for some reason, I like the lady-like vibe of it all.  Also!  Did anyone notice the emeralds everywhere.  Loving the green!  Thoughts?  Raging disagreement?  Let me know.

The Good

– Bow down, mortals!  Cate Blanchett is here and she’s wearing a Givenchy dress that no other woman on earth could possibly pull off.  Seriously, name one other woman alive who could wear that dress and make it look half as stunning, I dare you.
– Mila Kunis in Elie Saab.  She gets points for being on-trend and bringing some much-needed oomph.

– Amy Adams in L’Wren Scott, we’re judging this ensemble separately.  The jewels (emeralds!) are fabulous and the dress is as well, but let’s face it, that necklace and that neckline should not have been paired.  Still, I love the silhouette and the navy.  Also, I want that bracelet!
– Annette Bening in Naeem Khan.  Still showing the love for the cap sleeves and emeralds, so I’ve got to show her some love right on back.  Plus I think grays are undervalued hues and she’s rocking this one.

– Dame Helen Mirren in Vivienne Westwood.  Bow down again, mortals, you will never be this fabulous at any age.
– Jennifer Hudson brought color in Versace.  Best.  Weightwatchers Ad.  Ever.

The Meh – (a new category, born of desperation)

– Did anyone else think that this Valentino wasn’t all that great on Anne Hathaway?  I liked it from the waist up, but the bunches seemed dated…I just didn’t like it.  I thought some of her actual ceremony gowns much better.  Cue the rage-fest, I’ve already ducked.
– I can hear you from here.  “Why, C.,” you say, “if you liked the cap sleeves so much, why is Michele Williams – in Chanel no less – ranked here?”  For a number of reasons.  First she always looks identical on the red carpet: blonde pixie cut, really pale color dress, a bit of a tween look, and for some reason this gown does nothing for her figure.

– Reese Witherspoon, currently campaigning for Miss America (darling, what exactly was the though process behind your pageant hair?) in Armani Prive.  Nice dress, nothing truly spectacular, but she does get some Small Dog emerald love.
– An increasingly pregnant Natalie Portman in Rodarte – naturally.  Her earrings looked like something she picked up at a street vendor’s kiosk, somewhere where tourists converge in startling numbers to do crass things in loud voices and take pictures of themselves.

The Bad

– Scarlett Johansson in Dolce and Gabanna.  Good.  Bleeding.  Grief.  Someone’s grandmother’s doily sprouted a head and decided to go the Kodak Theatre.  More remarkably, somebody let it inside and took pictures of it.
– Nicole Kidman.  Oh, Nicky.  Like unto Charlize Theron last year, you picked a predatory Dior gown, and it accosted you in public.  However, we loved the red shoes.

– Penelope Cruz in L’Wren Scott.  Last year she was wearing a dress that I wanted to rip from her back, run away with, and play Miss Havisham with for the rest of my life.  This year my disappointment knows no bounds.  On the upside, she acquired a sexy husband so here’s a tip o’ my hat to you, madame.
– I don’t even know who Sharon Stone is wearing, and I can’t care.  Because any second now she’s going to morph into something mythical and ravenous, and she’s going to come after you.  And you will die.  Run.

The Ugly

– Melissa Leo in Marc Bouwer.  See Scarlett Johansson.
– Florence Welch in Valentino.  Words fail me.

Best Dressed

– Hailee Steinfeld in a lovely, age-appropriate, and uniformly pretty Marchesa.  The shoes, the headband, the hair, all of it, I was very impressed.  This girl is here to stay, fashionably and theatrically.  Also, J. would like it recognized that he thinks she deserved the Oscar and is extremely bitter that she didn’t get it.

Some notes on the evening’s entertainment:
– Melissa Leo drops more F-bombs than the King’s Speech.  Luckily the censors weren’t napping, well done.
– Anne Hathaway can sing.  Who knew?
– James Franco as Marilyn Monroe.  Try sleeping tonight.
– Christian Bale forgets his stunning and talented wife’s name.  Oops.
– J. blames John Williams’ musical genius for the horrendous Star Wars prequels.
– Cate Blanchett.  So fabulous it hurts.
– What the heck?!  President Obama?
– What the heck?!  Oprah Winfrey?!
– Oh Robert Downey Jr., you’re so witty.  And charming.
– I don’t care that she sings country, I still find Gwyneth Paltrow unbearable.
– Also, apparently she can’t sing very well.
– Too many P-words in a row for Hale Berry.  Better than Melissa Leo’s faux pas.
– Annual Hilary Swank debate: Hot or Not?  (J. says no.)
– “The Triangle of Man Love” is a phrase that probably should not be uttered on basic cable
– Anyone surprised Natalie Portman won?
– I was fully prepare to riot if Colin Firth didn’t win Best Actor, but it’s all right.  Stand down, minions!
– The King’s Speech won!

Dressing Up/Dressing Down

“Fashion is like the id.  It makes you desire things you shouldn’t.”
– Bob Morris

Well well, it was the night of Marchesa, Armani Prive,  and Elie Saab!  There were some good, some bad, and some ugly.  Metallics, ruffles blush/nude/pale colors, thigh-high slits, and jeweled shoulder accents gave a good showing and though perhaps not as daring as last year, I was still impressed.  Heck, even Kristen Stewart cleaned up!

The Good

Vera Farmiga  and Sandra Bullock in Marchesa.  Bullock gets top marks for classy hair and the pop of red lips.

Elizabeth Banks and Demi Moore in Versace.  Banks is better here though both are on point with the ruffles, gray is an undervauled color in my opinion.

The fabulous Meryl Streep in Chris March and Kristen Stewart (surprisingly washed and coiffed) in Monique Lhullier.

Anna Kendrick and Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab.  Kendrick’s isn’t the best of the best, but she’s on point and the blush goes good with the dark hair.  McAdams was my favorite dress of the night.  Way to rock a print at the Oscars, only you and Maggie did it and both pulled it off.  Ah, Elie Saab, my love affair with you continues…

Queen Latifa in Mischka Badgley, showing how you’re supposed to dress luscious curves: right color, right accents.  Carey Mulligan in Prada, doing another cut-away-in-the-front dress.  Works!

The Bad

Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Lopez’s stylists obviously aren’t BFFs, otherwise they might have warned one another that their clients would both be rocking Armani Prive in basically the same material.  This is purely fabric dislike on my part.  And though Lopez gets points for daring, I’m still not loving the bunch on her hip.  In Seyfried’s case, the color washes her out.

In Gabourey Sidibe’s case, I wanted to like her gown, after all it’s another Marchesa and a fantastic color but I really dislike the applique florals.  They bring down the dress for me, to a crazy nursing home belle.  If she had stuck with just this gorgeous draped blue fabric with just the sparkles on her wrist and ears it would have been classed up.  Charlize Theron, in Dior, was bad.  No one should have a perverted Miss America sash groping you.  Period.

Anika Noni Rose in (didn’t catch the designer) and Zoe Saldana in Givenchy.  Both these girls had the same problem: their bejeweled bustiers made an appearance.  The bottom of Saldana’s gown is interesting, but I’m going to have to give both of these a thumbs down.

The Ugly

Diane Kruger and Sara Jessica Parker both bombed in Chanel (impossible, you say?  This is Chanel after all.  Yes).  There were good elements in both gowns, but neither translated on the wearers, I thought.  The first is Eliza Doolittle Goes to the Races, and the second is a sack. 

Congratulations, Mariah Carey, you managed to make Valentino look bad.  The proportions here are just all wrong.  And, Miley sweetie, better than last year but you join Saldana with underwear as outerwear for a top.  And you’re tiny but you looked so cinched in you might as well have been wearing Spanx.  Keep trying, you’re getting there.

And the dress I wanted to take home for myself (I don’t think I could pull off the McAdams dress, unfortunately, but this one would more than compensate): Penelope Cruz’s Donna Karan.

Thoughts?  Compare to last year, what do you think?  


And the Award Goes To…

“That’s a bingo!  …Is that the way you say it?  ‘That’s a bingo?'”
“You just say bingo.”
“Ah!  Bingo!  How fun!  But I digress.  Where were we?”
– Inglorious Basterds

Today has been a lovely Sunday, it’s sunny and gorgeous outside, you can smell Spring in the air in spite of the snow on the mountains, J. and I made a to-die-for mac and cheese recipe that had pretentious enough ingredients to make it seem much more difficult than it actually was, and I’m whipping up cookies (plus snacking on kettlecorn as I dash back and forth between the kitchen and the red-carpet interviews, my dedication is being tested…).

I’ll be doing my annual Oscar dress review tomorrow, but let me just say this now:

If Christoph Waltz doesn’t win best supporting actor, I shall be extremely vexed.  And if Avatar wins Best Picture I will lose all faith in Hollywood.  J. wants The Cove to win best documentary.  I want the fabulous Carey Mulligan or divine Sandra Bullock to win best actress but Helen Miren (aka The Queen), the precious Gabourey Sidibe, and the goddess that is Meryl Streep will give them stiff competition.  I think Mo’nique will win best supporting actress (indeed that seems to be the real story of this Oscar Award Season).  I pick Up for best animated feature, The Young Victoria for costume design (might be wistful thinking, I wouldn’t mind Coco Avant Chanel either again based on personal prejudice for Chanel and Audrey Tautou), I pick Katheryn Bigelow for best director for The Hurt Locker (go women!).  The Hurt Locker seems to be the frontrunner for Best Picture.  And I can’t pick a best actor, I’d love to see Morgan Freeman win in this category after a career of famous supporting rolls, and who doesn’t have a soft spot for Mr. Darcy…er…Colin Firth.  And again, not to harp, but GO CHRISTOPH WALTZ!

Any last minute pics out there?  Raging debate?  Big bets?  Do share!

Remember this scene? Better than that whole "plot" of Avatar's.