Tag Archives: Academy Awards 2010

Red Carpet Rundown – Oscars 2010, Part III

Oops… so I forgot about these photos and since it takes so long to edit them, it seems a shame not to include them. Unfortunately, my genius method of categorising only took me as far as two groups so ummm… ‘The Rest of The Rest’?

Demi Moore in Atelier Versace – *Goo goo eyes* Ruffles! This is essentially a less nice version of Elizabeth Banks’ gown (and by the same designer too); I say less nice because I’m really not sold on the colour, which PR guff probably refers to as ‘blush’ but which I see as not terribly attractive muddy off-tan shade. Despite my love of all things romantic and ruffly, it also reminds me of Emily Blunt’s Golden Globes dress… which in turn reminded me of Frieda Pinto’s Oscar de la Renta at 2009’s Baftas. And out of all those dresses, it still ranks fourth.

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa – This dress was unlucky to make the ‘Favourites’ category, as every time I look at it, I think it looks more beautiful. With each awards ceremony she’s hit up, Sandra’s look has become more refined and she may have just saved the best dress for last. It’s sleek, it’s elegant, it’s shimmery in a subtle way (compared to the Quality Street wrapper shine of her Golden Globes gown… although I really did love that dress); it fits like a glove and the embroidery really is stunning. Her hair’s immaculately groomed and contrasts beautifully with the pale champagne shimmer of the dress and the finishing touch of that bright pink lipstick really was an inspired touch. For an actress whose career has so far been based on pratfalls and tomfoolery, I never thought I’d see her look so poised – a winning outfit in every way. Miss Congeniality would be proud.

Anna Kendrick in Elie Saab – This gown has a slightly vintage feel about it, but I’m not entirely sure I mean in it a good way. The lace around the slit seems a tad too fussy for me and it all feels a little Victorian. The nothing-y colour also contributes to the aged feel as it just looks kinda… old. In fact, it reminds me of these voile drapes I used to have that we never washed and went yellow with age. There are positives (love the off-the-shoulder cut) but the colour kills them all. It’s just so blah.

Jennifer Lopez in Armani Prive – What is J.Lo these days? She’s not been in a decent film for ages, her last album flopped and her last single seems to have been created more with an eye to getting her free Louboutins than for the sake of the music. She still knows how to bring the red-carpet glamour though… even if this dress is a little bridal and the top looks like the peak of your Mr Whippy just flopped over. Minus marks for messy hair though.

Kristen Stewart in Monique Lhullier – I do far prefer when Kristen brings a big of an edge to her red-carpet dressing, but this trumpet-shaped gown oozes gorgeous. Being a bit Gothic, inky midnight-blue dark and very dramatic, it also marries well with the whole Twilight thing whilst showing off an enviable figure and Stewart’s flawless porcelain skin. It’s a grown-up dress for a young girl and I think she pulls it off well – and proves she can crack a smile to boot! Oh Kristen, never stop being your slightly awkward, clueless red-carpet posing self as it’s so endearing and stops me hating on your ridiculously-high levels of talent, beauty and ability to snag a hot boyfriend quite so much.

Amanda Seyfried in Armani Prive – Not you’re not seeing things, this is a definite case of déjà vu. Same designer, similar colour, similar style = very similar dress to J.Lo. For me, Seyfried edges it thanks to that immaculate bun, which would make every prima ballerina proud. Unlike Lopez’s scrunchy mess, it’s the perfect topping to a classic dress. Also, the gown’s shape is simpler, making for a cleaner silhouette. Pure personal preference and Lopez will always have more charisma in her perfectly-manicured little fingernail than Seyfried carries in her whole body, but Amanda’s look is the winner for me.

Red Carpet Rundown: Oscars 2010, Part II

And onto Part II, cunningly-named ‘The Rest’ category; this is what I was referring to when I said the Oscars 2010 red carpet was one of the most interesting and adventurous in years. Thought I’d hook you in with the uglies to start off…

Diane Kruger in Chanel – Kruger is usually one of the most impeccably-dressed women around (see what she’s been wearing the rest of this awards season here) but this is a dress only a mother could love. In fact, make that grandmother, as surely (cool hip grandmas apart) they’re the only ones constituting any sort of buoyant lace doilie market there may be and lace doilies appears to be what this dress is fashioned from. Screwed-up lace doilies occasionally throttled with screwed-up black lace doilies that is. Find the most unflattering parts of a figure to tie things around and in a quite remarkable feat, that’s where the black lace appears on this gown. The middle section reminds me of curdled cottage cheese, which in turn reminds me of thrush. No dress that reminds me of an infection whereby your urine looks like cottage cheese can be a good thing.

Vera Farmiga in Marchesa – I’m usually a big fan of Marchesa’s structural gowns but try as I might to love this one, rather like that Topshop dress that rocked on Alexa Chung/Kate Moss/Sienna Miller but just looks weird on you, I can’t. I love the cerise colour, I love the shade of lipstick and I love that the neutral-wearing Farmiga has taken a real fashion risk, but I just see pencil shavings… or pleated napkins… or cupcake cases, which are stiff, slightly grotesque and give Farmiga no shape at all. I think in isolated doses, just on the bodice with a sleek skirt or vice versa, it might have worked yet in its current state, it just looks like an infection running rampage over the entire dress.

Zoe Saldana in Givenchy – Some critics are going loop the loop for this dress, which just highlights the selective couture blindess that seems to go on. Saldana is stunning and sells this gown with all her Na’vi might but it was weird on the catwalk and it’s still weird now. Let’s go through this step by step. Glittering bodice: gorgeous. Origami-pleated waistline – delectable. Lavender colour – delicious. The bottom: *Red alert, fire alarms, sirens, screams of horror * What is it?! The remains of a Muppet? A crowd of purple Chuzzles? Some tie-dyed shag-pile rugs from the 70s? No idea, but DO NOT LIKE.

Charlize Theron in Christian Dior – In homage to her Arrested Development character, perhaps this gown would look better on inside out? Only a Mr F could have thought this would look good. Charlize really can’t have a go at us if we’re all staring at her tits because the two Danish pastries attached to her boobs make it kinda hard not to. I preferred them when held up to the ears to make you look like Princess Leia (you can have that style tip for free). In all fairness, the rest of the gown is fine and Theron is her usual immaculately-groomed but if the designer really had to “add interest” to this simple dress, couldn’t he have found a less patently ridiculous place to do so?

Carey Mulligan in Prada – I hoped it would be Kristen Stewart bringing a rock edge to the Oscars but step forward English rose, Mulligan, to do red carpet dressing with a punky twist. Rather than embellishing the bodice with mere girlie glitter, Prada have instead scattered it with miniature knives, forks, scissors, keys and watch gears, a really cute and quirky design detail that totally works and makes the top half of this dress rock. Bottom half however and things start to get a bit tipsy; I don’t like the shorter length at the front, the border is unnecessary and the shoes seem heavy. I think a shorter version of this would look great at some music awards show – get onto it Prada!

Sarah Jessica Parker in Chanel – Of course, SJP fans would have you believe this dress is amazing/beautiful/stunning and that she was one of the best dressed of the night. But those SJP fans tend to think she would look fantastic in a bin bag (and let’s face it, she probably has worn one at some stage) and the reality is that this dress is a bit of a let-down. It does have a classic sort of elegance to it, but the musty yellow colour makes it look like it was discovered amongst the mothballs at the back of the closet and you’ll have more chance of finding a real-life Big than any sort of shape in this saggy sheath. Nevertheless, the beautifully intricate neckline is fascinating, in a Derren Brown sort of way. Is sheer will power alone holding it up? A spell from the fashion gods granted for so many years of sterling service? Who knows but it, and those sparkling bracelets, are the best thing about this outfit.

Red Carpet Rundown: Oscars 2010, Part I

2010’s Oscars were, for red carpet watchers anyway, some of the most exciting in years. It’s as if the stylists heard my moans of boredom from having to write up the Baftas and brought their A-Game to the dressing table. If the gowns weren’t breathtakingly beautiful (and many were), they were at least interesting, daring or adventurous in some way – and let’s face it, something has to be in order to keep us awake through the narcoleptic’s nightmare of the ceremony itself.

After much careful thought and deliberation as to how to order the eighteen dresses I wished to write about, I came up with the genius categories of ‘My Favourites’ and ‘The Rest’. Yes, revolutionary isn’t it? Commencing with ‘My Favourites‘:

Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab – Is this dress not one of the most breathtakingly beautiful creations you’ve ever seen?! I simply adore it. If the last time you gave watercolours some thought was when you found yourself wondering what the hell that one in your hotel/hospital/grandma’s room was meant to be, take a look at this dress and think again. The stunning swirl of pastel shades in a floral print is just a total dream and transforms what is essentially a simple gown into something greater than the sum of its parts. McAdams looks fresh, fragrant and fabulous. Love the earrings too.

Meryl Streep in Chris March – Proof that it’s not only Helen Mirren nailing the ‘sexy older woman’ market, Streep looks stunning in this simple yet sophisticated white number. It’s sexy in an understated way, extremely flattering and accessorised nicely with the blingtastic bag and bracelet. The real miracle, of course, is how youthful Meryl looks – her skin just looks so radiant, easily outshining the complexions of some of the mere toddlers walking the red carpet. I’m going to christen this look Slouchy Snow Queen (it’s all about the draping) and hope I look that good when I’m Meryl’s age. (P.S. I’m choosing to ignore the peep of a clunky platform wedge in the hope it will go away and I can pretend I never saw it and go back to unadulteratedly loving this dress like before…)

Cameron Diaz in Oscar de le Renta – Princess Dress Alert! God, this is gorgeous. I would like the assurance of Diaz’s stylist, Rachel Zoe, that no fairies were harmed in the making of this dress because it looks like unprecedented amounts of fairy dust may have been sprinkled on it. Exuding a shimmering old-school Hollywood glamour, Diaz totally pwns in this and there really is not much else to say.

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Dries van Noten – Gyllenhaal rarely disappoints with her slightly quirky sense of style and this is actually my favourite Oscars dress. By keeping the shape simple, the bold brushstroke print is allowed breathe without going overboard and I love the detail of it fading away at the hem. In a red carpet season dominated by actresses trying their best to look naked without y’know… being naked (when will the nude trend die? It totally kills Anna Kendrick’s dress… more of which later), the splash of bright colour is invigorating. I’m also a big fan of Gyllenhaal’s bubblegum pink lipstick, which makes the outfit pop even more without looking like it came from a Barbie dress-up set.

Miley Cyrus in Jenny Packham – …And speaking of the nude trend! I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the hunched posture that makes Miley look like she’s sucking in her stomach or the somewhat ginger quiff or even the too-small Ann Summers bustier masquerading as a top but believe it or not, I do really love this gown on Miley and it’s a massive improvement on last year’s tacky monstrosity that came complete with rhinestone belt. This outfit seems to channel Christmas tree fairy – but in the best possible way – and the stunning accessories (that cuff is just gorgeous) complement it perfectly. You could even say (if you’re a fan of a bad joke), that it makes me nod my head like yeah… [Red carpet hawks please note the similarity to Marion Cotillard’s Critic’s Choice dress, which was also beautiful]

Elizabeth Banks in Atelier Versace – Couldn’t care much for Elizabeth Banks as an actress (her character in Scrubs was insufferable) but she makes a fine mannequin for this stunning Versace gown. Seriously, what is it about me and ruffles? Stick them on any dress and I seem to go all goo-goo eyed. Romantic ruffles aside, I do think the unusual dove-grey colour is beautiful too. (P.S. Oh no, another hint of clunky platforms again… why do I keep spotting these and spoiling the look for myself?!) (P.P.S. Panic over for the Streep platforms at least… turns out it was the camera angle and they were a perfectly nice pair of Jimmy Choos, phew. Banks’ still look dodge though.)