Waking up the morning after the Oscars is usually a flurry of checking Twitter, Vogue, and the various opinions of the fashion world on who soared and who tanked on the red carpet. It’s exciting, but it’s more of a sip-my-coffee-and-observe sort of excitement. This year, since we happened to be here in Israel, I was waking up just as the other side of the world was watching the biggest flub in Oscars history. It was like a bomb had gone off in the States, and I was watching Jimmy Kimmel and Warren Beatty try to salvage the 2017 Oscars wreckage from thousands of miles away. Bizarre, to say the least, and not an awards show moment I think any of us will soon forget. But of course, in addition to the winners and the losers, we were all treated to a sartorial feast last night, and some offerings had spoiled while others delighted my palate. Below are my picks for the best and worst of the evening! Let’s begin with the bad news, before we move on to happier times.
Ay yi yi Michelle. Usually you can be counted upon to deliver some interesting cuts, gleaming haute couture, or at the very least a dress that makes us think. This Louis Vuitton frock just put me to sleep. The top half attempted a daring low cut, but the bottom half reminds me of the scratchy blanket your grandmother always kept folded over the top of the couch. There’s just nothing to write home about, and that’s usually not the case with your red carpet picks.
Dakota Johnson is never afraid to mix things up at an awards ceremony, but I’m tired of seeing pretty young things dressed as dowdy pioneer women. Maybe if we take away the giant bow, maybe if we add some shimmering diamond cuffs, but much as I try I can’t make this work. Such a disappointment from Gucci who has been rocking the red carpet as of late.
Here we have the second iteration of “Dowdy Pioneer Woman” in the form of Ruth Negga’s Valentino choice. I actually love the color and the lace, but the styling screwed this up entirely for me. The hair piece, the eyes, the lips, even the nail polish all tried to add to the red effect and it backfired tremendously. That blue ribbon, though, that I’m all for, and I applaud the celebrities who were brave enough to don one.
This is the definition of “she didn’t wear the dress, the dress wore her”. I love Cynthia Erivo’s hair, makeup, and jewelry, but this Paolo Sebastian simply swallows her petite frame whole. Add to that poor tailoring and a busy print and it just didn’t work. Perhaps a different silhouette or a simple black silk backdrop for the floral pattern instead of lace would have saved it, but as it is my senses are on overload. And not in a good way.
Oh Emma. You had your pick of the litter when it came to gowns. You could have called any designer in the entire world, and they would have fallen over themselves to give you whatever your heart desired. And this Givenchy flapper dud is what you go with? The color is so off-putting, but then to pair it with matronly makeup that reminds me of the horrific 90’s beauty trends is just wrong. The only thing I can say I approve of here is your glamorous Old Hollywood curls, and the Tiffany earrings. Other than that, this was depressingly sad.
I feel as though I may have put Nicole Kidman on my Worst Dressed list every year I’ve made my Oscar picks. She just consistently picks colors that wash her out, silhouettes that aren’t interesting, and when she does take a risk she can’t quite seem to pull it off. The horrendous doily pattern on this Armani column gown would pair nicely with Michelle William’s grandma blanket in the first look, but they should both stay at Grandma’s house and not find their way to the 2018 Oscars red carpet next year. Nicole is one of the most famous actresses of our time, I just desperately want her style to reflect that level of glamour and luxury.
I don’t particularly hate Naomie Harris’ Calvin Klein dress, but that’s the problem. It’s just a dress. They may have added a train and thrown in some interesting shoes, but strip that away and it was a cocktail dress I could easily find on a night out in every city in America. This is the Oscars, girl, GO FOR IT. Holding back just makes you look out of place, and you were meant to do anything but. Again, I would totally wear this, but that statement says it all. I’m not an A-List actress, and I tune into the Oscars to see a world of fashion and fabulousness I can barely imagine.
Ok, now on to more pleasant subjects! I realize Janelle Monáe in Elie Saab Couture is probably going to end up on as many best dressed as worst dressed lists, but for me she was a shining emblem of hope for the night. This is COUTURE, my friends, this is not supposed to be something you can picture yourself wearing to a charity gala next month. For me it was a risk that paid off in the form of dramatic flairs of metallic, tulle, and beading. Just imagine the HOURS it must have taken for the Elie Saab team to create such a masterpiece. And her tiara on top of a perfectly coiffed pixie cut? Swoon. I love it. Head to toe, I was obsessed. Would I wear it to go grocery shopping? No. Would I keep it in my closet on the off chance I get invited to Cher’s funeral someday? Absolutely.
What do you wear to the Oscars when your husband is arguably one of the most famous men on the planet? You make them forget his name with this Kaufman Franco stunner and a Tiffany & Co. collar necklace I would cut off my own arm to own. This is high fashion, people. This is a look worth remembering. Bravo, Jessica Biel, bravo. Who would have thought that innocent little 7th Heaven girl would grow up to be such a BABE? I am ridiculously jealous of her good looks and rockin’ mom bod, yet I also kind of want to be her best friend.
I had to give my favorite happy man Pharrell Williams a shout out because, for all the notoriety the women receive on Oscars night, he always manages to snag at least a little of the spotlight. Leave it to Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld to give us something more than just your standard suit and tie. It’s not his obnoxious Grammys hat, but it is a fashion statement that men can demand our attention, too. I hope we see more designers giving the gentleman a shot at sartorial stardom in the years to come.
America’s sweetheart du jour, Chrissy Teigen, picked up on the white and cape trends to rock this Zuhair Murad Couture ensemble. I adore the beading, I would kill for those structured shoulders, and I am honestly amazed that she managed to strut her stuff in a completely sheer front panel with no “nip slip” to speak of. She is not human. We are not worthy. And can I just get a smidge of her cheekbones? Please?
Was Taraji P. Henson born knowing how to make her eyes smolder like that or is there a class we mortals can take to learn? The Hidden Figures star shone in custom Alberta Ferretti with a slit up to there and cleavage down to there. Typically I lust for a ton of beading and fabric in an Oscars gown, but somehow the simplicity of this blue velvet seemed just as glamorous and noteworthy. And who does her eyebrows? Who?!
Normally when models walk the red carpet I have a bit of an eyeroll reflex. Of COURSE they look smashing, that’s their JOB. But Karlie Kloss pulled off a posh and political statement with her white-out Stella McCartney choice and blue ACLU ribbon at her hip. An interesting choice that made it all the more attention-grabbing than if she had simply placed it at her shoulder. Her Nirav Modi jewelry proves the choker trend is also here to stay, and I just want to wear a cape every day of the week. Ok? Ok.
While some may see a floral, feminine bore fest in Hailee Steinfeld’s Ralph & Russo gown, I thought it was anything but. The high collar paired with bare shoulder avoided the frumpy missteps we saw previously, and a metallic sheen on the floral details added interest. Despite her continuous rise and fall on the “it” list, Hailee always hits the right notes on the red carpet, and her risks are simply smashing successes in my book.
So who did I miss? Who did I get totally wrong? Have you recovered from the Best Picture heart attack yet? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. All photo credits belong to Getty Images