Oscar Fashion 2015: Best and Worst

With a usual bedtime of 9:30, I knew watching the Academy Awards would be a challenge. Quite frankly though, this year’s were so uninspiring that I never even made it to 10 o’clock (thereby missing the “equal work for equal pay” speech which should be totally irrelevant in 2015, but there you have it). Thanks to social media and relentless online coverage, I’d had a good look at all of the outfits before the awards had even started. Furthermore, I was able to catch up on the highlights (Glory!) and lowlights (lock box jokes) on Monday. Now I’m up to speed and ready to bring forth my judgement.

The bold Lady Gaga in an Alaïa gown with volume and red rubber accents.

The bold Lady Gaga in an Alaïa gown with volume and red rubber accents. (Hollywood Reporter)

Let’s dive right in — In this era of instant Twitter disdain, I no longer expect anyone to be outrageously attired on the red carpet (my kingdom for a swan dress!). I get it, people are mean and everyone with a wifi connection is a critic (ahem). And so I am able to enjoy the staid Hollywood conventions while appreciating the occasional oddity (unless it involves John Travolta’s gropy hands), and letting my inner goddess do a chacha for a fun frock (oh Anastasia, such mommy issues you have).

Trends

For the third year in a row, metallics were de rigueur. This time they were subdued or pearly, rather than bold silvers and golds. Colours were scarce, except for red. I love red so I won’t say “yet again.” It provided a break from all the champagnes and oyster shells. In hair, the low side swept bun was it; there was really nothing to get excited about. And lips got much lighter and pinker this year, while eye makeup remained neutral. Big lashes were the thing. I declare this the Year of Lashes.

And the winner is…

Lady Gaga!!! Now that’s what I’m talking about. Lady Gaga managed to hit most trends (metallic, red, sleek hair) while still being 100% Gaga. She pushed the fashion envelope with a voluminous gown in white and silver accented with red (rubber gloves, yes!), but left the coo-coo at home. Amen Gaga, the night would have been way lamer without you. I wasn’t thrilled with her performance gown, but I’m glad the world got to hear her amazing voice (the lady has range).

Runners up: metallics category

Jennifer Lopez: I was loving ballgowns this year. It’s the Oscars, chica. Might as well go for it and a column dress is too understated. Not an issue for J.Lo — she owned it in a boobtastic bronzed sparkly Saab number with poof. I liked her bubblegum pink lips too, just fun.

Felicity Jones: Another ballgown! This one had a high-neck pearl-encrusted bodice in a sort of cement-toned silver: intriguing. And the skirt was enormous. I also enjoyed the fact that Ms Jones appeared not to have starved herself in preparation for the show. I like a healthy starlet.

Lupita Nyong’o: Last year, I thought her decolleté was a bit off, but this year the peak-a-boo neck was perfect for her. I’m not even sure I like this dress, but with her royal bearing, plus the contrasting effect of 6000 pearls against her skin, she totally pulled it off.
Bonus: Best Hair — Her teensy dreadlocks were cute, fresh, and so unfussy compared to everyone else’s do.

Emma Stone in a chartreuse Saab gown with sparkle and sheer bits and sleeves, oh my. (Hollywood Reporter)

Emma Stone in a chartreuse Saab gown with sparkle and sheer bits and sleeves, oh my. (Hollywood Reporter)

Runners up: technicolour category

Scarlett Johansson: I was stunned to read commenters saying her necklace was too much. How could they? When you’re going for a killer poison ivy look, a pointy sparkly necklace in sharp geometric contrast to your dress is exactly what’s needed. And the haircut was a surprise — shaved on both sides yet still feminine. Well played, ScarJo.

Emma Stone: A redhead in chartreuse? Hell yes. Not only was the colour divine, but, sweet heaven, it also had sleeves! As well, there were sparkly patterns and some sheer netting: sexy, yet classy.
Bonus: Best Makeup — I appreciate that she went for an orange lip where everyone else chose pinks and reds.

Rosamund Pike: I would like to wear this, please. It was a serious shade of red, there were ruffles in a flattering hourglass pattern, and some fancy scalloping along the neckline. It’s not a gown to shatter anyone’s design world, but it was simply beautiful.

Anna Kendrick: Well, someone had to wear coral! Again, this dress was not groundbreaking in any way, but in a sea of neutrals, Little Ms Kendrick really stood out.

Jennifer Hudson: The shape of this dress was borderline boring, but the half-peplum rescued it. And of course the colour! Tweet tweet, canary yellow to perfection.

Honourable mention: The winner for best documentary short wore a black dress with fluffy pom-poms that set Twitter ablaze. Good job.

Boys boys boys: I really enjoyed seeing the men take risks and getting all decked out in unusual suits. David Oyelowo looked super cute his red tux, I mean really really sweet. Jared Leto was still rocking some questionable hair, but you couldn’t argue with that lavender suit — hello! And, ok, I admit to having a little crush on Common. He looked very dapper with that white bow, and he has the cutest smile.

Va-voom: I’m not sure how I feel about Mrs John Legend (Chrissy Teigen) and her down-to-here up-to-there (sheer braless!) pale blue dress. I Googled her and learned that she is a swimsuit model which explains things. Nevertheless, there’s a time and a place, you know? I do have to fête Zoe Saldana‘s new shape. The dress wasn’t anything spectacular, but it hugged her just so.

Keira Knightley baffles as a paper bag princess (The Guardian)

Keira Knightley baffles as a paper bag princess (The Guardian)

And now for… The Worst

Keira Knightley!!! Perhaps the idea was to appear as an ethereal woodland fairy floating about the red carpet. To me she looked like a rumpled beige mess. That dress was Valentino? Ugh, I can hardly believe it. Apparently, she is pregnant, but I’d never have guessed with the layers of tule and distracting scrawl pattern. If camo was the aim, then she succeeded… but it was no triumph.

Runners up (runners down?):

Naomi Watt: She wore a metallic brick-patterned bib-front frock with a bedazzled bandeau bra underneath. Neither daring nor elegant, it was a strange choice. Maybe it was really comfortable, who knows.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I think she may have been trying to recapture Camila Alves’s pink one-shoulder magic from last year’s Oscars. But it looked awkward with the asymmetrical no sleeve/giant flower combo, and the fit was off too. It reminded me of another pink gown she wore that seemed all wrong…

Jessica Chastain: She wins the Mother of the Bride Award this year. Why a fair redhead would drape herself in grape is beyond me. The colour looked harsh, and the cut of the dress was anything but contemporary.

The Puzzler: I love Marion Cotillard and she’s always très chic. Last night was no exception, but… the detail at the back of that Dior dress seemed really unnecessary. It was a distraction, one she didn’t need.

The Fabulous Borings: There was a trio of fantastic women last night wearing lovely, yet too safe outfits. Reese Witherspoon in black and white, Patricia Arquette in… black and white, and Meryl Streep in black and, ooo, off-white. I support the #AskHerMore campaign and I know that frocks are the not what it’s all about. And still, I wanted more glitz from these gals.

Who were your faves, and not so favourites?

Comments

  1. I watched the next day, on the PVR, with my daughters, and I was surprised at how much they disliked Jennifer Lopez’ dress. I can’t imagine wearing it myself, but man, she looked amazing in it. Also loved Zoe Saldana – she looked so great! Have to disagree with you about Meryl, though – I thought she looked amazing, totally pulled together and sharp and yet comfortable and sassy too.

    Glad to hear you also didn’t like Naomi Watts’ outfit – I just thought it was too awkward and complicated. Another that I didn’t like was Chloe Grace Moritz – possibly it would have been better if she took her hands out of her pockets for a second!

    • I have no idea who Chloe Grace Moritz is, but I thought she looked like a little girl in that poofy floral dress… which may be appropriate cause she looks very young. I’m glad her dress was different, we’ll see what she comes up with when she’s all grown up.

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