10 Oscar Gowns, 10 Opinions: Red Carpet Round-Up

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Last night’s Oscar looks were among the most boring in recent memory — and that’s saying A LOT.

I suppose it’s only fitting that the lukewarm Fashion Week is so closely followed by a ho-hum Oscar red carpet. As the New York Times noted, the current zeitgeist has no zeitgeist. (If this were the Matrix, fashion would be the spoon.)

In no official order, here are my unadulterated opinions on last night’s most notable looks.

Emma Stone in Elie Saab
Emma Stone in Elie Saab

This look belongs in two places:

  1. A geriatric cruise
  2. A thrift store once the geriatric cruise-goer passes on to the red carpet in the sky

My biggest pet peeve is when young starlets wear dated clothes that make them look DECADES older. This could be straight off a Golden Girl’s back — and the shoes “dyed to match” is corny overkill.

Rosamund Pike in Givenchy.
Rosamund Pike in Givenchy.

I briefly retired from Internet trolling when I saw Rosamund’s fiery lace gown. She looks absolutely smashing. Then my eye trailed down to her shoes and I started groaning — the matching shoes move the otherwise fabulous ensemble into bridesmaid territory. (It’s a small quibble, but give me a break — her stylist should know better.)

Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford
Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford

Another day, another red carpet snoozer from Reese. The only remarkable thing about this dress? It is skintight with ZERO panty lines. (Don’t tell me she went commando, this is Elle Woods we’re talking about.)

Scarlett Johansson in Versace.
Scarlett Johansson in Versace.

Scarlett’s hourglass figure looks spectacular in this emerald column gown — although the racing stripes across her chest were completely unnecessary. But the fringed necklace served no function other than act as a neon sign for the aforementioned chest. It’s too obvious for my taste, but it’s not a deadly fashion crime.

Cate Blanchett in Maison Margiela
Cate Blanchett in Maison Margiela

Here, we have the opposite problem. Cate’s necklace is absolutely fantastic, but the drab, black sheath is like a coffin where fashion dreams go to die.

J. Lo in Elie Saab.
J. Lo in Elie Saab.

Let’s talk about the downside of continuity — Jennifer Lopez looks exactly the same every year, from her never-changing face and cut-to-navel silhouette to the perma-bronzer and boring nude- sparkle poof dress. If fabric could talk, I’m sure this dress would yawn. (And I’ll bet her shoes were dyed to match, too.)

Jennifer Aniston in Versace.
Jennifer Aniston in Versace

Speaking of predictable Jennifers, here’s another painfully boring gown, replete with all the usual trappings: the nude color (ugh), the beading (double ugh), the matchy-matchy shoes (seriously, just kill me). Let this serve as evidence that being rich and beautiful does not automatically make you fashionable.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph & Russo
Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph & Russo

When I saw this dress, I practically cheered. The baby pink hearkens back to Gwyneth’s ingenue days in the 90s, but the asymmetrical, exaggerated rosette is very NOW. I would wear this dress in two seconds. In fact, I wish I could go back in time and wear this at my wedding. (Disclosure: I love GP and worship at the altar of Goop, so take my praise with a grain of macrobiotic, organic salt.)

Keira Knightley in Valentino.
Keira Knightley in Valentino.

In theory, I know this dress is beautiful and that Keira looks lovely in it. However, I do not endorse handwriting on evening gowns, even if it’s hand-embroidered by half-blind, couture-trained nuns. (I hated it even more when Angelina and SJP tried the trend.) The combination of the cursive with the florals seems like an Ed Hardy version’s of formalwear.

Naomi Watts in Armani
Naomi Watts in Armani

But let’s end on a high note. I loved Naomi’s metallic gown. The fabric is unique, like a snake dipped in molten platinum. The built-in bandeau was a fun nod to visible underwear — and more approachable than Reese Witherspoon’s invisible pantyline. And the vampy lipstick added some zest to a red carpet awash in dead corpse lips.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

  • Andrea Billups

    I think this carpet is where we part ways. After a lot of missteps, I think Jennifer Aniston looks comfortable and sexy — it’s her lane and her comfort zone and amid a sea of awful, this was ok. Gwyn creeps me out in every way – from her arrogance without portfolio to her been-there-done-that pink. Stacy Kiebler of all people did this look a couple oscars ago, too. I think Rosamund’s red was lovely and fitting for her and candidly, I don’t like shoes that are a one-off color/mix-match at an event as formal as this. For a party, sure. Scarlett’s dress is VEGAS VEGAS with that Macy’s jewelry around her neck. I did think Naomi’s look was fun. I do agree that this was a boring boring red carpet. Mirroring a fashion season that seemed rudderless if not predictable.

    • http://www.TheStylePragmatist.com/ Diana @ The Style Pragmatist

      HAHA, I loved that we had such divergent views on this. We’d be a great version of Catalog Police!