One Oscar Day More

Written by Lindsay Scouras
My love/hate relationship with Oscar fashion runs deep. It’s the biggest night in the entertainment industry, and I’m a firm believer that one should pull out all the stops, whether you’re nominated, presenting, or even if you’re just one of those people with the head sets that have been doomed to attend to starlet’s trains all evening. You just have to work it, and there is no excuse for looking like a hot mess. 

But that didn’t stop some people for making a mockery of the holy grail that is the red carpet. A few others managed to respect the sanctimony of such an event. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
charlize theron, sally field, jane fonda, reese witherspoon
These four women were some of my favorites of the evening- and notice that not one of them is a young “up and coming” starlet. These ladies have been around the block and know not only what works for them, but what is appropriate for an event of this level. I find it ironic that Charlize Theron showed up in almost a carbon copy of what Anne Hathaway wore to the Golden Globes and rocked it ten times harder than she ever could (and with shorter hair!). I thought she looked like a svelte beautiful robot. Like she’s gorgeous but I’m also a little afraid of her, and I like that juxtaposition. And Sally Field– who knew it was possible to get cuter with age? I loved the color of her gown, and the fact that it had sleeves but it wasn’t matronly. This was the perfect dress for her in every way. Which brings me to Jane Fonda. This dress looked like it is straight out of the Dynasty collection from Big Bird. But I effin love it. I think on anyone else it would have looked like a Liberache cast off, but she carries herself so well that it just worked for her. And last but not least, my girl Reese Witherspoon can almost do no wrong in my book. I always think back to that vintage Christian Dior bejeweled gown she wore when she won her Oscar as like the epitome of how a Best Actress winner is supposed to look. I don’t normally love black and blue together, but I’m glad that she worked a new color. Plus her hair was so good she could have worn a 90’s prom gown with super unflattering darts (side eye… we’ll get to that later) and she still would have looked like a million bucks. Congrats, ladies. You are all winners to me.
naomi watts, halle berry, jennifer hudson
It’s no secret that I love sparkles at award shows. I think when in doubt, just throw some glitter on and call it a day. And I’m not talking a few rhinestones- all over bejeweled-ness is the way to go. It took a little while to grow on me, but I thought Naomi Watts dress was gorgeous. Like a sexy female Terminator. It was different but not ridiculous. Halle Berry is another one that I didn’t have an immediate positive reaction to. I get why people were comparing her to the likes of Beetlejuice. But upon closer look, I realized how ridiculously well made this dress is and what it did for her body (not that she needs that much assistance there). Plus the girl is taking a risk- rocking those beaded stripes and some serious shoulder pads? I’d rather see that than some of the bores that show up in the same thing year after year. Jennifer Hudson is definitely not boring in this Avatar inspired number, but I think it looked really cool and fun on her. It’s almost like liquid glitter was coating her entire body. It can be difficult to make sleeves look sexy, but she owned that extra fabric. Plus she’s got bonus points for her awesome performance look too. 
jennifer aniston, helen hunt, jennifer garner
Do you think Jennifer Aniston even has a hairdresser anymore? I swear I cannot tell you the last time I saw her wearing even so much as a bobby pin. I’ve always thought that she played it too safe, consistently only donning the colors black, navy and white. I should have been excited by this red flouncy ball gown, but let’s just call it like it is. She may have been America’s sweetheart, but she’s forty four. This dress was not appropriate for her. Helen Hunt is another actress that seems to be getting better with age, and as a crazy bargain hunter I was of course excited to hear that her navy dress was from H&M (you know, with thousands of dollars in jewels adorning it). But it’s no matter how much your dress costs if it’s a wrinkled mess when you get out of the limo. I was also a little underwhelmed with Jennifer Garner‘s dress. I get that she’s just a plus one in this situation, but the front of her gown was so plain and then just EXPLODED in the back. I wish that some of the ruffle detailing could have been more visible in the front. I think the color was fabulous and the necklace too. But her hair is so limp looking, and she always has those curly pieces just hanging in her face, which is very 90’s to me (tendril curls and an updo were all the rage at 8th grade graduation).
zoe saldana, quvenzhané wallis, kerry washington

You know that expression that before you leave the house, you should take off one thing? Clearly Zoe Saldana has never heard that. She could have definitely done without a few of the details adorning her gown. Between the choppy crumbcatcher, the belt, the thingy on the belt, and the ombre layers of fabric, there’s just a few too many things happening here. And is this purple? Or is it gray? Purpley gray? Like, what color is that? Well there’s no denying what Quvenzhan√© Wallis was wearing, and that was an effin dog purse. I’m sorry, I can’t. I don’t care if she is nine years old- some adult in her life should have told her that this it was not an appropriate accessory for a nominee at the Academy Awards. I mean, I wanted to wear a tiara to my middle school graduation ceremony and my mother put the kabosh on that one but quick. I was crushed- until many years later when I realized that there should be a legal ban on wearing tiaras in public unless you are in fact, a member of the royal family or winning a pageant. Parents just don’t understand, but unfortunately, they’re usually right. Kerry Washington got major props from me for working this kind of cherry colored sheath, but I’m still a bit conflicted about the top. I’m not a huge fan of paillettes, or the poor man’s sequin as I know them, and I just don’t understand why they didn’t come all the way down to the belt. What was the purpose of that extra half a square of embellishment in the front? 

octavia spencer, jennifer lawrence, kristen stewart
This is where things started to get a little iffy for me. Octavia Spencer was fresh off a win from last year, so as far as I am concerned, she should still have enough pull in the industry to get a good dress. I thought she was the only one that this beigy peach color kind of looked good on, but that thing around her shoulders was so, so stupid. It took it to a Disney princess dress up costume in five seconds flat. Loved the bangs, though. It seems that the true princess of the evening was Jennifer Lawrence. She’s like the hottest young thing in Hollywood, a two time nominee (and now winner) at age 22, and already starring in one the industry’s biggest franchises. I know that she’s a spokesperson for Dior, so it was no surprise for her to show up in another haute couture creation. But I’m sorry, I did not love this. I thought she looked like she belonged on top of a wedding cake. The fabric I’m sure is exquisite, but to me it reminded me of a rental table cloth at a function hall. The backwards necklace thing has to be my most hated trend of the year. And I hate hate hate the explosion of fabric. I’m all for a good mermaid, but this drop waist/trumpet skirt combo just hit in all the wrong places. There’s too much of it- it looked like she was sitting atop the fabric as it carried her across the carpet. Someone who could have used some carrying was the always lovely Kristen Stewart. Did I say lovely? I meant miserable. For anyone else you could be like, “oh she cut her foot, she doesn’t feel well…” NO. She always looks like this, so therefore, no sympathy from me. This girl just cannot wear a dress, and she definitely cannot wear a girly dress. But would it have killed her to brush her hair
adele, salma hayek, samantha barks

Have I ever mentioned that I’m kinda bored over black dresses at award shows? Yawn. Poor Adele. I think we scared her with all the talk about her couch dress at the Grammys, and girl reverted right back to her old ways. She’s so powerful and beautiful and she always shows up looking like such a marm. I thought she looked much better when she let her hair down a little while performing. Salma Hayek couldn’t have let anything down, as she was literally being strangled by her dress. Also, did velvet come back and I missed it?! Whatever, I don’t even care. I have no desire to revisit the many dresses of childhood Christmas’ past. The last of our ladies in black is newcomer Samantha Barks, who made the stage to screen jump in Les Mis. Too bad I was more intrigued by her performance as Eponine than I was of her gown choice. I didn’t like it when Katharine McPhee wore it at the Globes, and I’m still bored with it now. Deep cleavage does not an interesting dress make. 

amy adams, jessica chastain, amanda seyfried

I want to start off by saying that I am in full support of owning your paleness and embracing it. I think it’s awesome and we should all wear sunscreen everyday, like that weird talking song that came out in 1999 said we should. But wearing a dress that is equally unsaturated with color doesn’t seem like it would do you any favors. The first thing I thought when I saw Amy Adams was that she looked drained, and I’m referring to both her hair and the dress. I liked her hair when it was a more red red, and this dress to me looks like it was supposed to be more of an ocean blue and it got run through the wash too many times. Same thing for Jessica Chastain. If there was a paint chip called “Drainwater,” this is what color it would be. I cannot believe the glowing reviews she is getting for this. I do think the cut and style looked beautiful on her, especially compared to that loosey goosey number from the Golden Globes, but I think she looked like something that got left out overnight to rust. The nondescript color trend continues with Amanda Seyfried’s high necked number. I swear, this had to be one of my least favorite trends. Also, I’m pretty sure she wore a completely similar dress at the Golden Globes- same drab color, same restricted airway passage.  

catherine zeta-jones, norah jones, renee zellweger, nicole kidman
So metallic is being touted as one of the major trends of the evening. As much as I love a little sparkle, I think there’s a difference between good bead work and a Vegas-style suit of armor. Catherine Zeta-Jones looked like she was preparing for a role in a highly stylized epic about the Trojan war. Norah Jones… oh God, I don’t even know. I was so distracted by her ridiculous bouffant to even notice what she was wearing. When I held my hand over her head, the dress turned out to be just as bad. Renee Zellweger showed up in a dress that I swear had been hidden in her closet since Jerry Maguire– serious, where did all these high-necked halters come from all of a sudden?! And as for Nicole Kidman… well I guess she didn’t look terrible, but I think the dress would have looked much better with silver accents as opposed to copper. Also, if you look closely enough, the design on the bottom is a bunch of little spirals just like dumped all over her. It looks like she dropped a bowl of SpaghettiO’s on herself. 
melissa mccarthy, anne hathaway, brandi glanville
And at long last, we’ve arrived. My worst of the worst. I don’t want to hate what Melissa McCarthy was wearing, but I just did. Her hair was terrible and her dress looked like it was made out of a jersey knit sweatshirt material. It’s just so, so unfortunate. You want to see someone like her look amazing, and she always makes me like, frightened when I see her. Speaking of being frightened, {insert Anne Hathaway nipple joke here}. I mean, what a clown. I can’t believe she knew (say what you will- when you looked at her face all night, you could just tell, she knew) she was going to win an Oscar and she showed up in this. It’s just like… ah… I have no words. Like I’m literally angry inside looking at this dress. The halter! The color! THE DARTS! And then to throw on that necklace on top of all of it?! What an insult to Valentino. And fashion. AND OUR EYES. I don’t care what her other dress looked like. She should have worn ANYTHING other than this. And last but not least, Brandi Glanville. I didn’t even want to acknowledge her presence with commentary, but she was just one of the worst. Right off the bat, this dress is inappropriate. But for some reason, I’m wasn’t so much offended by her breasts as I was by the fact that she attended the Oscars. It’s not just that she’s a member of the Housewives franchise. I mean I wouldn’t have been so shocked to see Camille or Nene or even Bethenny in attendance (after all, Skinnygirl was sponsoring the E! after party). But her, ugh. The most classless and famewhorey member of any of the casts. Oh yeah, and her dress is disgusting. 

Well people, we did it. We made it through another season. Personally, I enjoyed the few surprises every now and then, but overall I was underwhelmed with most of the fashion. Next year I call for more color, less 90’s trends, and to never hear the phrase “old Hollywood glamour” uttered again. Thanks for following along with all the updates. What do you say- same time, next year? Until then…

~L

(Just kidding. Please check in again before next year. I promise we’ll have other things to talk about.)

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