2016 Oscar Fashions

We can’t talk Oscars without first applauding that opening monologue. Wowza, talk about not skirting the issue, Mr Rock. (I believe Fight the Power played as he walked onto the stage.) Chris Rock managed to be funny while putting things in perspective and just flat out saying Hollywood is racist. Very high energy. I felt a bit bad for some presenters who appeared staid and stiff next to him.

Of course, I couldn’t watch to the end, sleep being more important to me than Hollywood. But I saw ALL the clothes. So onto to the frou frou — let’s talk style!

Professional goddess Cate Blanchett in Armani. (Source: New York Magazine)

Professional goddess Cate Blanchett in Armani. (Source: New York Magazine)


Metallics, again, though they seem to be on the wane. Is anyone else tired of sparkly silver gowns? I don’t know why gold still looks fresh, while silver has me yawning. The biggest trend was bold solid colour. And there is a bit of a retro art nouveau/art deco vibe starting which I am totally behind. As well, high necks and long sleeves are creeping in, but also the opposite — spaghetti straps and plunging necks. Trains were a thing this year too. I’d say, overall, there was a romantic feel to many of the looks, plus lots of sheer bits.

In hair and makeup, nothing really stood out except that more ladies were letting their hair loose and centre parts are making a comeback. Red lips were hot… but also nude lips. And eyes were generally soft and sultry.

Style Superstars

Winner no.1! Cate Blanchett is a goddess. She wore one of my favourite colours, a fresh light turquoise, with ethereal flower appliqués. The detail on the dress was stunning. The overall effect was both feminine and structured. Just drop dead gorgeous. Plus, her skin is from heaven; it almost makes me want to buy that expensive Japanese skin care line she peddles (except they use parabens!). Smokey mauve for the eyes + a pretty neutral lip = perfection.

Winner no.2! Rooney Mara is weird and interesting. I loved this off-white covered-up lacy dress with a sharp diamond cut-out and slit. The colour is so hard to pin down, it almost looks to have a lilac cast, and the intricate delicate detail is, again, quite romantic. I did think her hair was a bit too slick, but she pulled it off with the strong lip and eye.

Winner no.3! Charlize Theron is another woman from whatever planet goddesses are born on. She went the ultra vixen route with a strappy plunging red trumpet gown accented with major bling swooping down into the decolleté.

Winner no.4! Saoirse Ronan represented the emerald isle to maximum effect in a shimmery strappy green number that was a little sexy, but sweet too. I also loved her smokey eye and loose romantic hair. And I just have to say — Brooklyn is a great film and she was perfect in it.

Winner no.6! Amy Poehler, yesss. I seriously need this dress. She looked chic and a little eccentric in a modest black gown with retro flower and butterfly embroidery. It was a little bit Japanese, a little bit Victorian, and all gorgeousness. The red hair is a hit also.

Amy Poehler in Andrew Ng (Source: New York Magazine)

Amy Poehler in Andrew Ng (Source: New York Magazine)

Winner no.7! Olivia Munn wore a simple off-the-shoulder gown in the boldest, most awesome orange. She really nailed it. I only wish her makeup had been a bit softer.

Winner no.8! Jared Leto always makes my best dressed list. And that’s because he brings it. This charcoal and red ensemble was stylish from head to toe (I mean, check out the black slippers with silver snakes!). Why aren’t all men wearing red carnation neckties?

Winner no.9! Naomi Watt looked like a moody sparkly sunset. Also, she seemed really grumpy (maybe she was hungry?), but the dress was fantastic.

Winner no.10! Charlotte Rampling. I feel conflicted; I shouldn’t like this. There were beaded breast squares happening here! But she just looked so at ease, so breezy and chic. I love that she wore a really low heel. Comfort, sister. I loved it all.

Not-so-super style

No no no! Heidi Klum should know better. If a designer on Project Runway had come up with this design, she would have said, “I don’t know who would wear this? It’s sort of like a crazy grandmother pleated nightgown on one side, with a peekaboo boob on the other. And it’s just not flattering, I don’t get it.” I’m sorry Heidi, you’re out. (On another note, this gown was Marchesa, as were two other dresses I didn’t love — those of Sofia Vergara and Isla Fisher. Maybe I’m just not a Marchesa kind of gal. Though, admittedly, Chrissie Teigen‘s was good despite an overabundance of illusion netting.)

Heidi Klum in Marchesa

Heidi Klum in Marchesa (Source: New York Magazine)

No no! Olivia Wilde‘s dress was unfortunate. It was those two pleated strips of fabric going up the front then jutting out over the shoulders. I know it was supposed to be reminiscent of Grecian draping, all goddess-like, but it just made the viewer focus on an expanse of smooshed-down chest. You couldn’t look anywhere else. What was her makeup like? I don’t know!

Just no! There is always one person who wears armour to the Oscars and this year it was Kerry Washington. This time the breastplate was a sort of harness in black leather with straps. I do appreciate her attempt at being a bit edgy, a little rock ‘n roll (and I really liked her solid black eyeliner), but it looked awkward.

Sadly, no. This opinion will not be popular but I genuinely hated Brie Larson‘s blue dress. There was something about the shape of that bodice with the spaghetti straps, the sheer bits along the edges, and that huge beddazled Say Yes to the Dress style belt that really annoyed my eyes. Also, the pulled back hair with the middle part were too harsh for her. I wish she had made different choices.

No, this is sad. I hear Sophie Turner is an actress on Game of Thrones. Maybe the blah colour and fit of this gown was supposed to be evocative of a hopeless shapeless existence? I don’t know, I don’t watch the show. But I know she would have been much cuter in something else.

Colour Blocks

Green runner-up: Saoirse wasn’t the only fancy leprechaun on the red carpet, Canadian Rachel McAdams really rocked it in a sleek high-necked green dress avec slit.

Blue and the blues: I really loved Patricia Arquette‘s deep blue gown with the asymmetrical neckline. Nothing crazy here, but the fit was perfect and she looked great. Mindy Kaling, on the other hand, wore a tight black number with giant blue accent that started as sleeves and turned into a bow/train. Listen, I love Mindy so much. And I know she can look a million times more fun. Especially with the rather severe pulled-back hair, I thought she looked too traditional. Too old, really.

Yellows and golds, oh my: I have no special feelings about the much talked about “Belle” dress that Alicia Vikander wore. But I have very strong feelings about Margot Robbie‘s gold number — happy ones! We see a version of this strong-shouldered plunging V metallic dress pretty much every year, but here it worked 100%. I also loved her flowing hair. And I thought JK Simmon’s wife, Michelle Schumacher, pulled it off too.

A tale of 2 purples: Tina Fey looked classic. Reese Witherspoon looked like… she had more important things to do than pick dresses, which I’m sure she did, but this was uninspired.

So white: Hello Common! The man looks good in a white tuxedo. I don’t know Priyanka Chopra but I must say she has the sexiest voice. The dress was ok, and I like that she wore the hottest lip colour of the year, that dark neutral made famous by one young Jenner. In other news, I expect a lot from Lady Gaga, always. The two white structured pantsuits she wore were on the safe side, though she does look good in a pant. And her performance was very moving.

So black: Black is always popular, I get it. But if you’re going to go that route, you have to try to up the game. This young person who is apparently called Dorith Mous showed up looking like a fantastical gothic princess (Jennifer Lawrence, that is what you should’ve worn!). Kate Winslet’s divisive gown was interesting. The way the silk caught the light was quite amazing! Was it the best for her? No. But it was cool. Pharrell Williams forgot his big boy pants at home. Everyone else looked acceptable, even Whoopi Goldberg, sort of.

Special Awards

Plastic fantastic: Wow, I should be used to it by now, but sometimes the altered faces/bodies of celebrities still shock me. See Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin.

Cutest pregnant lady: Aw, Emily Blunt just seemed so happy.

As always, I would love to know what you thought of the show, the outfits, the whole thing. What were some of your favourites? Did I forget any you especially loved/loathed?


  1. Great wrap up! I love the Oscar fashions, too. The other day I was reading an article about pre-stylist fashion – it’s here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/02/28/in_praise_of_1970s_and_1980s_oscar_style_when_there_were_no_stylists_and.html – worth a read. So much better today!

    My favourites were by far Cate Blanchett (SO GORGEOUS) and Emily Blunt. I agree with you in most other places except maybe Brie Larson – I agree about the hair, but I did like the flowy dress. Kate Winslet I think could have looked better, though.

    • Oooo, thanks for that link! Remember when there was one best and worst dressed list for the year?! I think it was in People. Times have changed… and created employ for countless stylists and makeup and hair people.

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