Fashion Desk: 2012 Oscars Red Carpet

She Said

There were a lot of great fashion moments at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Thank goodness there were! The show really moved and was one of the more recently enjoyable broadcasts. But the 90-minute red carpet before the show started was a little long. And I had already been online to see most of the dresses. I like it when they give you a little time to look at the dresses but an hour and half? Plus, Nina Garcia is not good with a teleprompter, she may be famous for being a good judge on Project Runway but she’s not a great commentator. Let’s get on to the dresses!

My Best Dresses

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Bernice Bejo in Elie Saab

I loved this dress! I thought that the color was so chic. It’s the perfect light celery green color. The long sleeves are lovely and very current and I really like the almost cummerbund waist line, too. It was an elegant dress that was both glamorous and something that an average person might want to actually wear.

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Missi Pyle in Valentina Delfino (winner of 3rd Annual Red Carpet Green Dress)

I think this dress is so lovely! The aqua color is so clean and fresh; it just makes you want to take a deep breath. I love the details of the mermaid bottom and the one draped sleeve. This gown is made of recycled polyester and organic silk and the fact that it’s very green and so stylish is really neat. Her hair and accessories are great, too. This look is very easy and very polished.

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Esperanza Spalding

She looked great! Aside from the fact that she gave an amazing performance of “What a Wonderful World” for the In Memoriam tribute she also looked great on the red carpet. This is such a simple, pretty strapless gown. The contrasting fabrics on the bodice and skirt are lovely and keep the dress modern.

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Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji

She looked so lovely. This dress has a great shape and cut. The color is perfect for her complexion, and it makes her glow! The beading and train are the details that make this dress. It’s such a beautiful color and so well draped it would have been beautiful without the details but they make it stunning.

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Penelope Cruz in Armani Prive

I love this dress! The styling almost makes it a little too retro and like costume but it’s a stunning dress. The neckline and full skirt are beautiful. And I love the smoke blue color!

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Natalie Portman in Vintage Dior

This dress is so cute! And it proves that polka dots can be elegant (a truth I have long known!) which makes me happy. Her makeup, hair and accessories keep this dress looking current.  I think this dress is gorgeous the cut of the bust and skirt is perfect. It’s just the right shade of red and the right size of polka dots.

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Judy Greer in Monique Lhullier

I love this dress! It’s so cool and sleek. Many times when you find a dress that’s cool it’s so over the top that you couldn’t imagine to aspire to it. But I feel like this is aspirational but not out of reach. The dress is so well constructed to be shapely and slimming with the two contrasting fabrics. I love it!

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Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

I love this dress. The color is lovely and the fabric is elegant. I love the cut and drapery of the dress itself but the floor length cape makes it over the top amazing! No one wears capes anymore and I hate that. Maybe this look will bring capes back into fashion again. It’s seriously lovely and even though it’s plain the dress has such a joyful feeling. Wouldn’t it make a lovely wedding dress?

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Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen

This is my official Best DRESS! The black and gold combination is so regal and something that is not seen often enough in evening wear. Well, you don’t see it more often probably because it’s so tricky to pull off and look elegant. Sometimes black and gold can look really tacky and Vegasy but this is almost easy it’s so perfectly done. The gold embroidery, the cut of the strapless bodice and the train are perfectly executed. And her loose, long hairstyle kept the look from being too serious. This look definitely should have won Oscar gold for the red carpet!

My Dress Messes

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Princess Charlene

She looks so sad and so uncomfortable. I don’t think the dress helped her feel more comfortable either. The bust line and the waistline seem to add to her figure and the ivory color pleated shiny fabric looks more like a nightgown. And someone should have steamed it because it’s terribly wrinkled. It just seems like such a sad dress especially when paired with her makeup and hair.

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Sandra Bullock in Marchesa

I usually love Marchesa but I don’t like this dress at all. That giant crystal belt adds heft to a waistline, which isn’t really anything that anyone wants. And it seems cut very much like a mother of the bride dress with the shell top (albeit it did have a lower scooped back than most MOB dresses). This dress just seems totally stoic which makes difficult to enjoy or appreciate.

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Glenn Close in Zac Posen

The color is lovely on her. But I feel like we’ve seen this kind of look on women her age so many times. You have the suit jacket over the structured dress- it’s just so boring! And the train looks like it belongs on a different dress. I’ve seen things that Zac Posen has done for Oprah and other more mature stars and I don’t think just because you are older means that you should be stuck in a box about what to wear.

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Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

I know many people love this dress but I really hate it. The texture of the fabric looks like crepe paper. I don’t like the peplum or the fabric sticking up from the bust line. I don’t like the coral color either, I have seen in her bright colors before but this shade doesn’t work for me.

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Rooney Mara in Givenchy

I really don’t like this dress for two major reasons- fabric and construction. The fabric looks a little like Halloween bunting because of the way it’s draped and I just don’t like the texture. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lace or eyelet that I thought was less attractive. I don’t like the curved cups at the bust line, the placement of the train or the two panels that flow down from the thighs. Everything about this dress seems to be trying so hard to be edgy that it appears amateurish. The yellow zipper in the back of the dress looks like some kind of medical or safety device.

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Stacy Keibler in Marchesa

Something about this dress is actually too sculptural; maybe it’s the metallic fabric and the giant rose on the side. It’s one of those dresses that doesn’t actually look good with someone wearing it in real life.

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Melissa Leo

I really hate when dresses look like a combination of a shirt and a gown. The satin belt doesn’t look polished, it looks haphazard. The amount of beading and the squared cut of this gown make it terribly unflattering.

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Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood

The sequins seem to be fraying all over and the ruching around the hips and waist add paunch not curves. I can’t get over how cheaply constructed this dress looks. It looks like something you could buy at a teen clothing store during homecoming season.

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Viola Davis in Vera Wang

I’m really sad that I hate this dress so much because she was so beautiful. Well, maybe that’s the bigger compliment to her, though. She was glowing and elegant. I just hate that dress; the color and the fabric remind me of a Christmas tree costume. And the structured spilt beaded top is in conflict with the pleated, swirly bottom. I just don’t understand this dress at all.

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Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli

The color of this dress is really pretty but I don’t think it’s a good color for Emma.  Usually I’m a fan of details like bows and things but this doesn’t work it’s just so big and floppy. And you can’t see it in this picture but the top is actually split down the center which I don’t like either. When a slit or split isn’t laid very intentionally it can look like a mistake or a rip.

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Meryl Streep in Lanvin (with fabric from Lidia Firth’s Green Red Carpet Challenge)

I know I’m mad that she won but this really is about the dress. Sure, when I first saw that she was wearing gold I figured that she pretty much knew she was going to win (was I right?) I think the neckline and heaviness of the fabric add bulk to her shape. The drapery folds are so thick that the skinny belt isn’t able to succeed in adding much definition. The color of the fabric is lovely and it’s really cool it’s a green fabric but this dress isn’t a success for me.

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Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

All talk of wardrobe malfunction aside (and I totally think it happened because I was watching live and I freaked out when the incident happened. Ladies, please buy dresses that prove you are a lady- you just said the Edith Head quote. I don’t want to watch the Oscars to see someone bursting out of a dress. I like fashion but I’m not interested in seeing or having my husband see anything like that. ) It’s an ugly dress. The beading looks cheap and it’s very 80’s Vegas style which I don’t find chic. Usually I like a split sleeve but the proportion is off. And don’t even get me started on how badly set the neckline is.

My Dress Questions

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Kelly Osbourne in Badgley Mischka

I want to like this dress and I want to hate it all at once. I’ve decided what I really hate is her lavender hair! Seriously, Kelly and Gaga and everyone with the bad old lady hair- GET OVER IT! It isn’t chic or flattering it’s just sad and makes your clothes not look as attractive as they could. Really this a very well cut dress with some beautiful beadwork but it looks too old for her because of the old lady hair. The dress keeps screaming Bea Arthur at me because of the illusion, modesty and the retro feel. If she had the same hairstyle in any typical color this dress would be a total winner but the hair really takes away from it. I will be so glad when she moves on from this hair color choice.

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Melissa McCarthy in Custom Marina Rinaldi

When I first saw this dress I was struck with how much I didn’t like it and now after some reflection I can say better what bothers me about it. I really don’t like the color. The color looks so much like coffin lining that it actually deadens the look instead of making it livelier. The neckline is interesting and the waistline is very flattering. But something about a draping peach dress seems way too old her and it doesn’t make her look as fresh as I’ve seen her look. This same dress in another younger color would have looked so much more flattering. This dress was a good start but I can’t get past the color.

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Shailene Woodley in Valentino Couture

I love the perfect matte ivory color of this dress. And I love the “of the moment” long sleeve, narrow waist, retro gown. Her styling is very fresh and simple which is good because she’s young and her style should reflect that. But I hate the cutouts. They are terrible. The cutouts really take away from the dress’s luxury and elegance and make it look very arts and crafts.

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Cameron Diaz

This is another dress that I really can’t get past the color on. The tiers at the bottom are very pretty and the shape of the dress is nice. That dusty light peach color paired with the silver beading look almost Western style.  I wonder if I could appreciate this dress more in a different shade or perhaps even on someone with a different complexion?

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Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

The dress is pretty basic- a somewhat asymmetrical strapless black velvet dress with a too high slit. But what was up with her leg? Why did she keep sticking it out so far? It looked really weird and I don’t understand why a person would want to do that. I mean if your legs are a better feature that’s fine, but why keep sticking one leg out so far?

It was a great night of fashion, some good and some bad. Watching this show made me realize how badly I need to really learn to sew ( I can sew little simple things but I want to be able to make gowns!) I really enjoyed it! Who were your picks for best dresses?

He Said Oscar Fashion

I really put my foot in it when we were talking about Grammy fashion and I alluded to how boring I expected Oscar menswear to be this year.  There were some very boring looks, but there were also some daring choices that really made me take notice.

The Good

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George Clooney-George Clooney lands on my best list for being the only to actually carry Giorgio Armani to the awards and wear him on his back.  Did he not really do that?  Oh, he was just being snarky about a question that gets him free tuxes for life.  Got it.  This may be boring, but it’s boring done right.  Nobody wears Armani like George.  I just wish he’d try something else for a change.

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Christopher Plummer- Make way for the Captain!  This tux really looks like a modern version of something Captain Von Trapp would wear.  The velvet looked great, and the button is really unexpected.  The placement is just right and I can’t tell what it’s made of, but it gives a real pop to the whole outfit.  Good Captain, I salute you.

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Jean Dujardin- Jean’s look is pretty standard, but done even better than Clooney.  The secret for anyone who’s paying attention is fit.  I was just amazed how well this fit him.  There’s something about the cut that really leads to the perfect fit.  Hey Jean, who’s your tailor?

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Jonah Hill- Jonah really did this right.  Going with a darker shirt makes this otherwise simple outfit really a scene-stealer.  Much like Jonah himself in Moneyball.

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James Earl Jones-This is really classic menswear.  Again, it’s the little things that can really elevate a look.  Here it’s the vest.  Look how it still shows plenty of the shirt, but still shines.  I really like all the buttons on the vest.

The Bad

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Pharrell Wiliams-Speaking of vests, this is a vest done wrong.  I’m open to the possibility that this outfit looks better in person than it photographs.  Based on what I’m seeing here, the vest blends into the jacket since it has a very similar neckline and is the same color.  It looks like it’s all part of the jacket, and overall the look is very muddy.

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Robert Forester-Not only does this fall under the boring category, it’s also done very poorly.  What I’m hoping is a cummerbund makes it look like he just has very high waisted pants, which is flattering to no one.

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Alexander Payne- The cut of the jacket is the big problem here.  Not only does it not fit very well, but the coat is too open.  I really don’t like when the coat closes too low.  There’s just something I don’t like about it.

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Brad Pitt- What bugs me the most about this is that he didn’t even try.  He’s up for a slew of Oscars this year.  You’d think he could at least wear pants that fit and sit on the proper place on his waist.  I also hate the one button, as the combination shows dress shirt below the button which is one of my biggest pet peeves of menswear.

The Questionable

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Isaac Mizrahi- I really applaud Isaac for stepping outside of the box for Oscar fashion.  I have to say that it does look good.  The problem is that it looks more like something a business man would wear to a meeting, and not something you’d wear to the biggest award show of the season.  It’s just not formal enough.

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Sean Combs-This outfit is fine.  Were it anyone else, I probably wouldn’t mention it, but I’ve come to expect more from Sean Combs.  The man that destroyed the white after labor day rule isn’t bringing anything unique.  The only thing I don’t see on anyone else is the pocket square, which worked better when Bruno Mars wore it at the Grammy’s.

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Billy Crystal-  I really hate to put a host anywhere but on the best list.  And if he’d only had one of his two tuxes, he would have landed on my best list, or my worst list, depending on which one he wore.  That’s the biggest reason I’m calling him questionable.  One great pick, one horrible one.  I’ll start with the bad.  The tails with the white vest and bow tie feel so 1900’s.  At an even that is 84 years old, (that’s right Billy, it’s even older than Christopher Plummer) I think it’s a mistake to wear something so dated.  I  cannot stand tails!  They make any man look like a short penguin.  If that weren’t enough, is there anything that can make a man feel fatter than a jacket that literally cannot close?  Maybe it’s just me.  His other tux was much better, no tails, and darker bow tie and vest.  I like the vest, and this jacket is so much more modern.