Best Dressed at the 2017 Oscars

We’ve been blogging about the Oscars for four years now and watching them for about 20 – and that was hands-down the nuttiest night in our Academy Awards memory. From Denzel’s shocking loss to Viola’s triumphant win, Auli’i Cravalho’s otherwordly poise and composure to Lin’s endearing joy, culminating in the most INSANE deus ex machina ending we’ve ever seen – when the wrong envelope was opened and La La Land was announced the winner, only to have producers come out and confirm that the rightful winner as Moonlight – there was a whole lot going on. It’s almost enough to make you forget that it was an amazing night for fashion, too. Key word: Almost. Because no matter what insanity went on with the envelopes, we feel pretty confident about who the winners of our Best Dressed prizes should be.

Molly’s Picks

Janelle Monae in Elie Saab
I've been a Janelle Monae stan since The ArchAndroid, and I am having SUCH an

I’ve been a Janelle Monae stan since The ArchAndroid, and I am having SUCH an “I’ve been telling you all” moment right now. Things to know about Janelle’s fashion choices: for quite some time she only appeared in black and white tuxedos, but she has relaxed her “uniform” and now wears gowns, always in her signature black and white. Her albums center around a futuristic sci-fi mythology, a world populated by androids with lots of cool space allusions. I could see this look flopping on somebody else, but knowing Janelle’s penchant for black and white, and her fusion of sci-fi and soul, an Oscar gown where she looks like an intergalactic android empress is the best and, honestly, only appropriate choice. Also: that short hair and grecian headband: excellent.

Emma Stone in Givenchy
Like with Janelle Monae's look, I love Emma Stone's gown as much for what it represents as for how it looks. For a lot of us, Givenchy will always be synonymous with Audrey Hepburn, and in fact Emma is the first person to win Best Actress in Givenchy since Audrey. As I've said other years, I always love when nominated actresses dress with an eye towards the fact that this may be THE dress for them: the image that will be called up throughout their career and used in stories about them when they're old ladies. And with La La Land so glitzy and classic, this Old Hollywood look is a symbolic choice - a gown that could have been featured in one of the classic films Emma's character Mia grew up checking out of the library. A note about makeup: every single time I see Emma in a lip color, I think that it's HER color. Coral: her color. Bright pink: her color. This brick red: her color. She has a complexion for lipstick, which I didn't realize was a thing until just now.

Like with Janelle Monae’s dress, I love Emma Stone’s gown as much for what it represents as for how it looks. For a lot of us, Givenchy will always be synonymous with Audrey Hepburn, and in fact Emma is the first person to win Best Actress in Givenchy since Audrey. As I’ve said other years, I always love when nominated actresses dress with an eye towards the fact that this may be THE dress for them: the image that will be called up throughout their career and used in stories about them when they’re old ladies. And with La La Land so glitzy and classic, this Old Hollywood look is a symbolic choice – a gown that could have been featured in one of the classic films Emma’s character Mia grew up checking out of the library. A note about makeup: every single time I see Emma in a lip color, I think that it’s HER color. Coral: her color. Bright pink: her color. This brick red: her color. She has a complexion for lipstick, which I didn’t realize was a thing until just now. Also of note, Emma is sporting a small Planned Parenthood pin.

Ruth Negga in Valentino
Evidently the inspiration for this look was

Evidently the inspiration for this look was “pagan goddess.” I was going to say a more streamlined take on a demure Victorian look, but either way. I wouldn’t love the high neck and long sleeves on just anybody, but Ruth has such long, straight lines and I think it complements her perfectly. I love the contrast of the brighter, orange-y red with the deeper ruby on her headpiece and earrings. I find this dress to be a great example of dressing FOR your type (Ruth is this year’s pixie-like ethereal Irish nominee, after all), instead of against it. My only very minor gripe is that red dresses always look odd on the red carpet because of the contrasting tones. Note the blue ribbon for the ACLU.

Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive
Love the pillar dress, love the embellishments, actually love that this whole look is basically monochrome except for her lip color.

Love the pillar dress, love the embellishments, actually love that this whole look is basically monochrome except for her lip color.

Mahershala Ali in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture
Because we have to acknowledge that the men tried, too. Sometimes black-on-black can look kitschy, but the way this pulls together is pure elegance. I love that he went with a waistcoat and shirt, stayed black with the bow tie, and splashed it out a bit with the pocket square. And the shirt studs, besides? He is killing me. It's just so great to see a man having fun with accessorizing. Elegant, indeed.

Because we have to acknowledge that the men tried, too. Sometimes black-on-black can look kitschy, but the way this pulls together is pure elegance. I love that he went with a waistcoat and shirt, stayed black with the bow tie, and splashed it out a bit with the pocket square. And the shirt studs, besides? He is killing me. It’s just so great to see a man having fun with accessorizing. Elegant, indeed.

Brie Larson in Oscar De La Renta
Brie looks pristine and icy and beautiful, exactly how you should look while forking over an award with a pursed-lip smile while gently seething. The length is fantastic, I love the train and I don't always love trains, and the architectural structuring on the front of this is perfectly matched with the contrasting fabric finishes.

Brie looks pristine and icy and beautiful, exactly how you should look while forking over an award with a pursed-lip smile while gently seething [Annual reminder that Brie Larson is a Good Person]. The length is fantastic, I love the train and I don’t always love trains, and the architectural structuring on the front of this is perfectly paired with the contrasting fabric finishes.

Traci’s Picks

Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti

Taraji kept it classic and cool in a gown fit for Hollywood royalty. The neckline cut is perfect, the slit on the leg isn’t too high, and the best part is that this velour dress isn’t black – it’s navy blue.

Auli’i Cravalho in Rubin Singer

Like Moana coming out from the sea, Auli’i stepped into the spotlight and straight to our hearts. In addition to her outstanding performance with our boy Lin-Manuel during the show, this SIXTEEN YEAR OLD wore this gorge flowing gown on the red carpet. The white dress with gold accents was classy but just unique enough to stand out from the crowd. It also reminds me of water, but maybe I’m too into Moana.

Ava DuVernay in Ashi Studio

Ava might not have walked away with the gold last night (we’re of the mindset that she should have won, but whatever), but she sure did make a statement with this stunning gown by Ashi Studio, a designer based in Lebanon. The country is 54% Muslim, and Ava chose them specifically as a “small sign of solidarity.” We need people like you, Ava.

Isabelle Huppert in Armani Privé

I haven’t even seen Elle, nor have I seen anything Isabelle Huppert has been in, but she looks like Hollywood royalty in this gown. The 63 year old donned a dress perfect for her age, with just enough sparkle to shine in a sea of youngins.

David Oyelowo in Dolce & Gabbana

More and more men are taking risks with color on the red carpet, and David Oyelowo is rocking a black and white suit coat with modern details, and we are all for it.

 

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Academy Awards 2015: Best and Worst Dressed

The 2015 Awards Season finally came to an end last night as Neil Patrick Harris sang and danced his way into our homes, Birdman “flew high” with a lot of awards and all the punny headlines, and Adele Dazeem finally got back at Glom Gazingo, who managed to be even creepier than ever before.

So as we take one last look at last night’s Oscars (which you can relive with our live blog here), we break down our favorite and not-so-favorite looks from Hollywood’s big night. Did your faves make the cut? Or were they snubbed like The Lego Movie and everything is actually not awesome?

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent

Usually a black dress wouldn’t make my list, but we were seeing so much white and color last night that it was refreshing. This was like a modern take on the 1930s vamp look, and the red lip and vintage ’30s tassel necklace added just enough color. Sometimes loose hair can look too undone at the Oscars, but at this length it’s perfect.

Rosamund Pike in Givenchy

I’m in the fashion minority, but I don’t really like contour dresses. They always make me think of wearing a dress that has an outline of where a skinnier person could fit. But that’s when they do a full-body effect. The satin inserts draw her waist in, but it’s not obvious. I keep zooming in to look at the texture. They always say it’s hard to wear red on the red carpet, but it was a gamble worth taking here.

Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein Collection

Only Lupita is so lovely and precious that she would wear a dress made entirely of pearls. You know, because she’s a pearl of a girl. Hi. I’m your grandpa. The light hit this beautifully. One article called this a Josephine Baker look and it totally is – 1920s but not a full flapper getup or anything. Also I cannot imagine how uncomfortable it must be to wear a dress made of 6,000 pearls.

Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford

In some lights this was white, in others ice blue. Anyone want to weigh in? I’m on the “ever so slightly blue” side myself, but not in this photo. In any event, on a night when beading and tulle seemed to be the order of the day (not complaining!) this simple look was a nice change of pace. Witherspoon was promoting the #AskHerMore campaign last night, by the way, so for once we actually got to hear more questions about her portrayal of the awesome Cheryl Strayed and fewer questions about her ensemble.

Jennifer Lopez in Elie Saab

The rest of my true Top 5 is covered in Traci’s list below, so why not cover someone who ALMOST made the cut? J.Lo always looks like some sort of modern princess, but the asymmetrical beading/accent work keeps her from looking too Cinderella/Belle/Whatever. If I had a magic wand I’d lose about an inch of fabric from the bottom – the pooling is nice but it was hard for her to walk in. And I’d put that inch of fabric on the inside of the neckline – the plunge is fantastic but it’s just thatmuch too bare on the inside.

 

Traci’s Picks

Anna Kendrick in Thakoon

Oh goddess that is Anna Kendrick. This is one of my favorite looks from her – ever. The coral color is a perfect compliment to her paler complexion and the halter/keyhole combo is simple yet elegant and on point for the Oscars. She really is a princess.

Jennifer Aniston in Versace

Just call this Jen’s ‘Suck it for not nominating me’ gown. Despite the fact she got left out of the running this year, she still managed to look better than a lot of the other nominees in this stunning gold beaded gown. It’s a simple strapless dress, but the swooping lines and shiny touches are just enough to make you admire in awe.

Emma Stone in Elie Saab

OSCAR NOMINEE Gemma Skrones (I honestly can’t stop saying her name like that ever since Andrew Garfield called her that) is looking divine in this lime green *backless* number from Elie Saab. Paired with her gorge hair, it’s a great modern day take on old school Hollywood glamour, and I’m into it.

David Oyelowo in Dolce & Gabanna

The men’s trend this year was Not Black Tuxes, there were a handful of white suits (see Grand Budapest Hotel contingent) and Jared Leto Lavender, but nothing compared to David Oyelowo. Like Jennifer Aniston before him, David opted to wear his ‘suck it’ suit, and went with a bold dark red (crimson?) suit by Dolce & Gabbana that made him stand out from the crowd, despite the fact he didn’t get a nomination. But listen, I think Selma and everyone involved won the moment John Legend and Common stepped on the stage. So win/win.

Zoe Saldana in Atelier Versace

This champagne dress is beautifully made on its own, but add that to the fact that Zoe produced two – TWO – humans a mere three months ago and she managed to go on the red carpet and look like this. Hot freaking mama.

Honorable Mentions: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka in hot couple suits and Faith Hill in J. Mendel (I still can’t get over how well accessorized she is with that necklace)

Worst Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Marion Cotillard in Dior

I really loved this until she turned around and I saw the butt-panel, too.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph & Russo

Apparently Gwyneth is 42, which is not at all old, but I always think of her as a 20-something because she imprinted in my head during the Shakespeare In Love era. This dress is the same color as her iconic pink Oscar gown, and I almost really like it except that the shoulder reminds me of cabbage. Otherwise flawless.

Lady Gaga in Alaia

First of all, I know that it’s Lady Gaga so we aren’t really judging her on the same criteria as everyone else. Still, I saw this and my heart sank a little. You haven’t been hearing that much about her, and then she shows up in dishwashing gloves. I was never a superfan but I always thought she seemed like such a nice gal and I was hoping for a career reboot. Then she KILLED the Sound Of Music tribute and this look faded to the recesses of my memory.

Keira Knightley in Valentino

She’s pregnant, so it doesn’t even seem fair to place her on this list. If I’m ever pregnant I’m probably going to be dressed in sweatpants and frustration from the moment my clothes stop fitting. But the scalloped bodice and floaty florals look like a maternity flower girl dress. Knightley looked gorge at the Vanity Fair party, so she ended the evening on a high note. And dress aside, holy cow, she really IS glowing.

Scarlett Johansson in Versace

I have relatives who STILL buy me things in green because when I was a kid it was my favorite color. It’s weird to have a favorite color as an adult, but I still love it. And this dress is the perfect shade for ScarJo, and it’s really well-tailored, too. But then that necklace looks like it was poached from a Muppet’s neck-ruff or something. So close/so far.

 

Traci’s Picks

Julianne Moore in Chanel

I’d like to preface this by saying I adore Julianne Moore and think she deserves all the accolades and praise she’s received over the years, especially with her first Oscar last night. But. Woof. It’s not an ‘Oscar-winning dress’ and it’s really not a dress that anyone should wear. ever. The beading is impressive, however the design itself is no bueno. She should’ve gone with a green dress like from the SAGs earlier this year.

Laura Dern in Alberta Ferretti

Once a Gladiator, Always a Gladiator. In a literal suit of armor.

Felicity Jones in Alexander McQueen

Felicity seems like a delightful, British gal, but it’s almost as if she took one of those fashion design stencil plates and mix and matched a top and bottom that don’t actually go together. A for effort though, I guess.

Behati Prinsloo in Armani Prive

I never get how models can just not hit the mark on the red carpet. It’s their actually job to sell clothes, but when they wear a dress like this, it’s hard to sell. And the thing is that she’s a beautiful girl, but with that weird large necklace and slicked back hair, none of it is working for her.

Blanca Blanco

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I don’t really know who this is. I don’t know who designed her dress. But this is like Cinna’s first draft of Katniss’ Girl on Fire gown but decided it was too disgusting for the Games.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: John Travolta in this chain necklace. What in the world.