Academy Awards 2016: Best and Worst Dressed

Welcome to our 2016 Academy Awards fashion roundup! It was a great night for fashion, and a great night for Leonardo DiCaprio, so between those two things we are feeling fantastic today. In fact, everyone looked so wonderful that we had a hard time coming up with some of our worst dressed picks. What a good problem to have!

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton

Here’s what I love: even if actresses say they never thought they were going to win, nominees at least know it’s a possibility. Thus. the picture of them winning their Oscar will be the iconic image of them throughout their whole career. And in this tea length, absolutely cloud-like embellished gown, I think Alicia realized that. Somewhat polarizing because some people thought it was TOO princess-y, I thought it set the tone for the refined-yet-youthful vibe Alicia has in many of her roles.

 

Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein

This made my best dressed list not just for the dress itself – though the combo of sequins and patterns, plus the simple cut and neckline, is fantastic. I also love the symbolism Saoirse sneaked into there. She specifically wanted green to symbolize Ireland, since it’s not just her country but also the focus of her nominated film. It’s the same color she wore for her first nomination for Atonement – a nice, non-obnoxious way to remind us this isn’t her first Oscar nod. And it sends a clear message that, at 21, Saoirse’s no longer a child actor. Plus her skin looks amazing with that color.

Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney

Between that color, the off-shoulder cape, and the snake bracelet, Olivia perfectly hit that line between a bold look and something a bit more over-the-top. The sleek column silhouette suits her so well!

Olivia Wilde in Valentino

Maybe my favorite gowns are the ones that land on half of the best dressed lists and half of the worst dressed lists: it means they at least aren’t too boring. The tidy ivory micro-pleats are sort of Grecian-meets-angelic, and the back of the dress is so pretty, too (a dress with a nice back is like the Awards show version of “AND it has pockets!”). Maybe I don’t love the choker but maybe I’m also starting to come around to the choker revival.

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

My favorite part: the violet-blue-pink gradient on the bodice, that is subtle enough that’ it’s not “OMG ombre.” I must be part magpie because I cannot stop looking at all of those sequins. Loving that touch of Old Hollywood with the Bulgari necklace, and the non-overdone – but not overly beachy – hair.

Honorable Mention: Jacob Tremblay in his darling little suit; Brie Larson, who like Alicia Vikander seems to have chosen a dress KNOWING that it was going to be the picture you’ll see of her for the rest of her career.

Traci’s Picks

Charlize Theron in Dior

Frankly, it’s quite annoying how naturally gorgeous Charlize is. She’s the type of person that can make anything look good, and on top of that, she is always so freaking classy. And sexy. This dress looks like it was made just for Charlize’s frame, and perfectly draped on her. The train is not too long and photographs great, and I love the pairing of the long diamond necklace.

Daisy Ridley in Chanel Haute Couture

Daisy Ridley made her debut at the Oscars and it definitely won’t be her last. If you followed her on the Star Wars press tour, you already know she’s been killing it on the red carpet and even giving Lupita a run for her money. This silver embellished gown has so much detail, and all I want to do is look at it up close and look at it in awe. Plus those silver heels are everything.

Margot Robbie in Tom Ford

Margot was a presenter at the show, but she dressed like a literal winner aka human Oscar. And I love it. A sparking gold dress like this is already a statement on its own, so I love that she kept her hair and her makeup toned down. She looks even more gorgeous than usual, since it’s a mix of glamour and casual that works so well together. Plus I’m a big fan of black and gold together, so the black clutch is a good match.

Rooney Mara in Givenchy Haute Couture

There’s something oddly satisfying about a dress that’s symmetrical as this one, especially since it’s incredibly detailed. Like Daisy’s dress, I could pour over this for a while just staring at the design. Rooney’s complexion is always perfect for a dark lip, and the combo with her hair in a high bun is totally working for me.

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

This bitch continues her Gagaissance by wearing a jumpsuit/pantsuit/cape ? to the red carpet and I am HERE FOR IT. Her hair is channelling classic Hollywood and the make-up isn’t over the top either. Love her.

Honorable Mention: Common because heLLLOOOOO SMOKESHOW ❤ ❤

Worst Dressed

Molly’s Picks
Kerry Washington in Versace

Between the slit, the leather, and the dominatrix-y stirrup thingies, I just don’t like this. Which brings me to: maybe we should call this something other than “worst dressed,” because this isn’t necessarily BAD, I just don’t care for it. As always, Kerry’s hair and makeup are perfect.

Sandy Powell

I’m not sure if this belongs on worst dressed, because this is a costume designer paying tribute to the off-the-wall costuming of the patron saint of individualism in fashion, David Bowie. So let’s say that it’s questionably red carpet appropriate, but her heart is in the right place.

Kate Winslet in Ralph Lauren

Look no further for evidence that everyone looked really great last night: there were few dresses that I disliked that I was forced to put Kate Winslet on my worst dressed list. Her hair and makeup are nice, the silhouette of the gown is good, and my only qualm is that fabric. I’ve mentioned a few times that I wish Melissa McCarthy wouldn’t wear that garbage bag fabric so often, and here it is on Kate Winslet. Call it a pet peeve.

Mindy Kaling in Elizabeth Kennedy

See what I mean about not having any dresses I dislike?  Mindy Kaling? I LOVE Mindy Kaling! I don’t even hate this dress! I just don’t love it as much as some of the other gowns from last night. It’s a pretty good dress! The back of it is amazing! The tailoring just feels a bit off, and that’s not even Mindy’s fault. I love Mindy Kaling! Ugh. That felt gross. I hated doing that.

Rachel McAdams in August Getty

Now I’m not even pretending to pick bad dresses. I love this color, I love this cut, her eyes pop, the simple earrings are amazing, I’m glad her hair is back. It’s just one of those terribly disappointing moments when you (Rachel McAdams) realize that the otherwise perfect dress you’re wearing wrinkles when you sit. I hate when that happens!

Dishonorable mention: Heidi Klum, who at this point is probably just trolling us that she can wear this puffy tulle thing and STILL look better than most of us could possibly look on our best day.

Traci’s Picks

Heidi Klum in Marchesa

It’s just so bad I had to put it on here twice.

Jacqueline West

If you’re wondering who this is, Jacqueline is a costume designer who was nominated for The Revenant. Like Sandy Powell, I just don’t understand why costume designers wear unflattering things like this. You can see her slip – but is it meant to do that? Maybe I just don’t get the *art* of it.

Reese Witherspoon in Oscar de la Renta

I love Reese like every other American. But this top is just not working for me. It makes her boobs look lumpy and I don’t like that the boning is kind of outlined on the corset. And I’m not feeling the color. It also reminds me of the Louis Vuitton dress she wore to the 2013 Oscars that’s kind of similar to this. Except that gown was better.

Sofia Vergara in Marchesa

Again, I love Sofia Vergara. She is an American treasure. And you have to appreciate someone who knows their body so well that they know what dresses look great on them. Sofia is constantly in a strapless gown, which can kind of get old, but she still looks gorgeous. However, this gown has too much fabric around the waist and I’m not feeling the embellishments scattered throughout. Bring back more like this pink number at the SAGs , pls.

Gwen Stefani in Yanina Couture

Ok, this is technically at the Vanity Fair after party, but still Oscars related. Gwen. What in the fresh hell is this? Apparently sheer dresses with designs/floral covering the private bits is a trend as of late, but ugh. This is too much.

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Academy Awards 2014: Best and Worst Dressed

Happy post-Oscar day! The 2014 Academy Awards were sort of amazing in that almost everyone who we all thought would win actually won. The winners were deserved and everyone looked amazing! So, for those of us who got 4-5 hours of sleep because of this fiasco asking if last night was really worth it, I think it was. Here are our picks for Best and Worst dressed, because we couldn’t each pick Lupita Nyong’o five times for Best Dressed and Liza Minnelli five times for Worst Dressed. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t want to!

Traci’s Picks

Best Dressed

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada

Ever since she showed up lookin FIERCE at the Golden Globes with the red cape situation, all eyes have been on Lupita on the red carpet. Somehow, she never disappoints. This particular dress is Prada, and she said she picked it because it reminded her of Nairobi, her hometown in Kenya. It already has sentimental value to it, so you can’t go wrong. And whoever her stylist is, you deserve your own Oscar, because I almost teared up seeing her on the red carpet for the first time at the Academy Awards. Maybe it’s because I’m overly emotional and cry at anything, but you know how some actresses just have a dress that makes it look like they’re going to win that night? It was JLaw’s Dior cloud dress from last year, Julia Roberts’ black and white Valentino, Halle Berry’s Elie Saab gown in ’02, these are iconic dresses that you remember forever. And we’ll aways remember Lupita, not only for her excellent acting, but her excellent style choices, especially the ones that land her in the record books.

Kate Hudson In Atelier Versace

Speaking of fierce capes – well this isn’t really a cape, it’s more of a fierce shawl. Kate took it off when she presented (right?) but I so prefer this look over sans shawl. She looks so old school Hollywood glam, and what better place to do it at the Oscars?!

Charlize Theron in Dior

Glam bam thank you ma’am. I mean Charlize is already beautiful but this silhouette gown? Beyond.

Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein

Apparently the night’s theme was ‘Frozen’ in multiple ways. Of course Frozen won twice but on the red carpet, white and light colors were in. But Naomi Watts did it best. I love love love everything about this: the gown, the Bulgari jewels, the two-toned clutch. To die. Judging by the close up pix, I feel like it would look even more stunning in person.

Portia de Rossi In Naeem Khan

Whoooaaaa Portia! This screams: my wife is hosting the Oscars and I’m so proud and sexy so haters to the left. I’ve never really considered Portia an expert in style per se, so I guess that makes this look all the more amazing. Again, she’s in the white/off white ‘color’ of the night, and the detail in the dress is EXQUISITE (sorry for the douchebaggery). I had a hard time not staring at the patterns because it’s just ridiculous.

Honorable Mention: Calista Flockhart in Andrew Gn. As the Plus one to hubs Harrison, it was the perfect dress to stand out yet make sure it wasn’t all about her. Just like Naomi, I bet this dress looked stunning up close.

Worst Dressed

Liza Minnelli in Vintage Halston

Oh dear. This picture pretty much sums up Liza’s Oscars night.

Lady Gaga in Atelier Versace Couture

My frustration with Gaga is that I like her. I think she has a great voice, I appreciate she goes balls to the wall with her creativity, even if it’s super weird and slightly scary, but the bottom line is she’s talented and that’s why she deserved all the attention, fame, adoration, etc. However, I also know she’s a pretty girl. She is legit wearing a weave here, and even though this is a very conservative outfit for Gaga, it doesn’t really match her personality or style.

Anne Hathaway in Gucci

No. Last year, no. After party last year, no too. This year’s after party – girl you should’ve worn this gown in 2013 AND 2014.

Elsa Pataky In Elie Saab

Mrs. Chris Hemsworth is pregnant with twins, which explains the protruding belly. But lest us all take a page out of Kerry Washington’s pregnancy style bible and remember that while you should embrace your new curves, you shouldn’t flaunt them to excess.

Pharrell in Lanvin

Imma be real with you. I didn’t think there were a lot of horrible dresses this year. Many were amazing and many were meh. Which is why Pharrell is on here. I get that he’s a superstar musician and can do whatever da fuq he wants, but these shorts are more Grammys style. Honestly, I’d rather have you wear the hat all night, because that’s your thing.

Molly’s Picks

Best Dressed

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada

Everyone looked so wonderful last night that there’s no need for repeats on our Best Dressed lists – but I HAD to talk about Lupita Nyong’o. Lupita actually helped design this dress, inspired by champagne bubbles and Nairobi. So, whatever it is you’re best at in life, I’m pretty sure Lupita Nyong’o could do it better and more beautifully than you. It must have been a lot of pressure being expected to be the best dressed of the night, but this was better than I could have even imagined. As a fellow bony-chested lady, I cannot tell you how delighted I was by that plunging neckline – a real victory for us gals with scrawny sternums. As we said in the live blog, Lupita is an Audrey Hepburn in a Hollywood full of Tori Spellings.

Cate Blanchett in Georgio Armani

The real trend this year was nude-colored dresses with beading and like … fluffy things. There’s a lot of texture going on in 2014, and Cate Blanchett wore the trend perfectly. As her effortless acceptance speech showed, Blanchett is an old pro at this. She picked a fantastic silhouette, went with her standby designer, and managed to look both perfectly modern and perfectly classic.

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior

There wasn’t a lot of color on the red carpet last night, and this orange number was a delight. I don’t care what mean internet people say, I think that short hair really suits J.Law. My only complaint is that this dress looked a LITTLE less beautiful when falling than her other dress did.

Amy Adams in Gucci

There was a split reaction on this dress, with some people thinking it was sort of a yawn. But I’m of the mind that elegance is refusal — see also Bullock, Sandra. I especially loved the pops of color in Amy’s earrings and bracelet.

Matthew McConaughey in Dolce & Gabbana

Men’s fashion is just not as exciting as women’s fashion, and there’s only so much you can do — any attempt you make to step outside the box will leave you wearing a rumpled colored tux or stupid shorts. This is an example of Creative Black Tie done well, in my opinion. The well-fitted white jacket over the crisp formal vest, shirt and tie wouldn’t look out of place at a 1920s dinner party or 1940s jazz club. Well done, Pastor Matt of the Church Of McConaughey.

Honorable Mention: Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein Collection. As I said, I’m trying to avoid repeats, but I at least have to mention this. She looks like a beautiful glittering snow queen, for goodness sakes.

Speaking of snow queens, Kristen Bell deserves a mention for the best accessory of the night – a purse with a burrito in it. Bless. Oh, she looked lovely, as well.

Worst Dressed

Jared Leto in Saint Laurent

I’m told I’m supposed to like this, but sorry, I’m not feeling it. The look does fit Leto – forever Jordan Catalano, but also frontman of 30 Seconds To Mars. A more clean-cut look probably wouldn’t suit him. Still, the jacket was a little too cream-colored and the shirt a little too white for my taste, and the red tie and pocket square didn’t work for me either. I gotta hand it to him, though: Leto has gorgeous hair and beautiful eyes and just like… a great general face area.

Christian Bale

Theodore Lawrence, what happened? This is what I mean about creative black tie – it’s like guys have to choose between looking boring yet appropriate, or just kind of … off. I’ve never been a fan of black on black male formalwear, but it’s not just that. The whole thing looks rumply and ill-fitted. The shirt looks stretched and the pants look too big. Get thee to a tailor, Bale.

Liza Minnelli in Halston

As with Lupita, I’m trying not to do repeats here but I’d be an idiot not to address this. Between Liza and Gaga last night, does the gay community even have a true fashion icon left? It’s not Johnny Weir, is it? Oh, gosh. It’s Johnny Weir.

Whoopi Goldberg

This look was stupid when Julia Roberts wore it at the Golden Globes, and it’s still stupid now – but now it’s stupid AND uninspired. The knotted pearl necklace from Costume Warehouse’s flapper outfit isn’t helping.

Penelope Cruz in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture

The good: that soft pink color, the pretty draping. The bad: I think if this dress existed without the back panel draped over her arms, I might love it. Was it just how she was posing? Close but no cigar, here.

Honorable Mentions: Charlize Theron – I loved everything about this except the shoulder strap situation. It doesn’t really belong on my worst dressed, but I just wanted to point out that the top of it looks like someone was dressing a paper doll, but didn’t know they had to fold the tabs over its shoulder.

Also, while not worst by any means, sometimes Kerry Washington’s dress looked like it was a cruddy taupe color, but in still shots you could tell it was a muted lavender/mauve. Blame the lighting, not the dress. Kerry was, of course, stunning even when I thought she was wearing that boring terra cotta color that everyone painted their family room in 2001.

This is neither best nor worst, here nor there, but I just found out that Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski were there and I felt like I had to share this information with everyone. Johnny Weir is dressed as Liberace dressed as a matador dressed as an old-timey oil baron, because of course.

And finally… Kim Novak’s face. Yes, she’s clearly had some plastic surg, but I want everyone who’s ever criticized a celebrity for starting to look old to take a good, hard look at themselves and say “I caused this.”