Oscar (and pretty much any other show that requires some sort of formal carpet) are always a mixed bag in the fashion department. Some people look effortless, while others look like they couldn’t decide on an overall look and opted for all the things. It’s rare that the people ‘off’ the carpet manage to outdo the people ‘on’ the carpet at any given awards show. But the local network regulars outdid themselves this year. Dear local Los Angeles hosts: please get some sleep and drink lots of water… maybe get a peel before the big day. HD sees everything and will make a point of showing everyone that you partied last night, didn’t see your esthetician about those pimples, forgot to powder your nose, or forgot to make good use of your razor or hairbrush. If you’re going to criticize fashion, please at least make a point of looking… GROOMED. Please don’t show up in front of an HD camera looking like you need friends. And mirrors.
Fortunately the national network (YAAAAAAS to Robin Roberts) did a little better in the hosting department, as did the actual stars who graced the red carpet. Most of them showed up looking like they spent the weekend lounging in a spa, before effortlessly sliding into a gorgeous frock and stepping out. Statue or no statue, there were some serious wins on the Oscar Red Carpet.
Priyanka Chopra managed to be both opulent and understated in a stunning strapless number that read more elegant than overdone. Saoirse Ronan managed to look both innocent and daring in an emerald gown with thin straps and a plunging neckline. And the incomparable Alicia Vikander (sporting her natural skin tone. See her Vogue interview about avoiding sun and wearing SPF 100 to satisfy studios) was bright and sweet in a strapless yellow number with just the right amount of embellishments and an interesting bubble hem.
Charlize Theron just stays WINNING. She knows her strengths and she dresses them effortlessly and elegantly. Theron consistently has more red carpet hits than misses, and this year is no different. The plunging red number she wore was only slightly upstaged by the massive jewel that danced just above her belly button. The strong color of the dress was gorgeously complemented with bronzed smokey eyes and a soft shimmering lip. Theron was simply stunning from head to toe, and she wore the entire look with confidence and grace.
Rooney Mara dared to be different, and I dare say it worked. She wore a dress that was not quite business, not quite party, but an interesting hybrid of both. The high buttoned neckline was disrupted by a midriff baring parting and a high center slit from inner thigh to the carpet. What really made this dress work was the hair and makeup. Mara’s hair was pulled up and back into multiple tiny buns, and her makeup made a statement with a strong brow and dark lips.
Some of the rest were a mixed bag. I loved Kerry Washington’s hair and makeup (the dramatic eyeliner was incredible), but her dress looked confused and uncomfortable. Julianne Moore looked amazing in her Chanel dress, but seemed to forget to pay attention to her hair and makeup.
And honorable mention goes to Cate Blanchett, which should have been a slam dunk, but ended up doing the most in all the wrong ways. Her embellished dress should have looked like wearable art (particularly since she was presenting for best costume), but ended up looking overdone. There were too many things hanging on her… including earrings, and that hair. Blanchett has the figure to carry off such an opulent dress. She might have actually done it if maybe she ditched the earrings and didn’t feel the need to show us that she cut her hair. Then we’d be able to see the gorgeous shimmering orchid eyeshadow she wore to complement the seafoam color of her dress.