Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Oscar fashion: the best, the worst, the meh

Add me to the list of cranky-pants fashion critics who think the Oscars red carpet was as boring as ever last night. So few standouts, so few risk takers, so many ill-fitting strapless dresses. While this year's attendees deserve some props for being on trend (red, nude), only a few gowns made me put down my glass of rosé and Tweet words of praise (or vitrol). And so, here are the good, the bad, and the otherwise noteworthy.

Best Dress
Hands down, my favorite dress was Gwyneth Paltrow's Calvin Klein. It fit her like a glove, it was sparkly and glamorous yet interesting (a nod to the minimalism trend for spring), and to put it simply, she looked damn hot. Granted, I am a flag-waving GOOPer (yes, please, tell me more about your organic diaper delivery service and vegan juice cleanses, Gwynnie), but she nailed it.




Honorable Mention
Year after year, I complain about actresses not taking any risks, but I have to hand it to Cate Blanchett, in Givenchy Haute Couture. This dress was another crowd-divider, and, okay, maybe the front cutout was a bit odd, but this was by far the most interesting dress on the red carpet, and that's good enough for me.

Most Age Appropriate
When you are a woman d'un certain age, you want a dress with sleeves. Trust me. Kathryn Bigelow's YSL has them, but it also has mega-sexy cutouts at the shoulder (the one part of a woman's body that never ages/sags/gets fat) and a daring yet tasteful slit. She looked warm and comfortable and, most importantly, hot.

Best Hair
I'm going to refrain from commenting on Scarlett Johansson's Dolce & Gabbana dress and instead focus on her hair. I don't know who her mystery date was, but based on the sexy, disheveled look of her bob, I have an idea of what they were doing in the limo on the way over. Or at least her hair was meant to look like it. Regardless, win.
Best Dressed Man
I admit, I was pulling for Jesse Eisenberg to win best actor--having seen him in Roger Dodger nearly 10 years ago, I was glad to see his angsty-geek act reach its pinnacle in The Social Network. And while winner Colin Firth wore Tom Ford, Eisenberg played to his generation with a tux by Band of Outsiders. Slim young dudes with money to spend, take note: this is one good-looking suit (shaggy hipster hair optional).

Baywatch Award
Jennifer Lawrence is young and talented and looks like she actually eats on occasion-- all good things. She also has a smart stylist: Claire Danes and Emma Stone earned props for their brightly colored minimalist Calvin Klein gowns at the Golden Globes, so putting her in this bold red Calvin probably seemed like a no-brainer. Except for one thing: I saw this and instantly thought Baywatch. All that's missing is a buoy.

Dishonorable Mention
I wondered on Twitter whether any actresses would wear Dior, in light of the recent John Galliano situation; it turns out both Nicole Kidman and Sharon Stone, longtime Dior loyalists, did. Knowing how talented Galliano is, my inner optimist wanted his designs to triumph over his personal problems. Sadly, neither of these gowns are going to help his case.


Worst Dress
She may have dropped an F-bomb during her acceptance speech, but Melissa Leo's Marc Bouwer dress offended me even more. I have no idea what the intent was--vintage? futuristic?--but the execution was stiff, outdated, and just plain weird, kind of like if Liberace put a doily on top of a gold sequined tablecloth. Just yuck.

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