Tag Archives: Critics Choice

Red Carpet Rundown: Diane Kruger

When we were talking about clotheshorses in our Marion Cotillard article, we meant Diane Kruger. She’s fast becoming better known for looking gorgeous on the red carpet than for any dubious acting talent – but when she does look gorgeous on the red carpet, my does she look gorgeous.

Christian Lacroix (right) – Let’s get Kruger’s miss out the way first. The flowery flounces of this dress are unmistakably Lacroix – but in a bad way. The ruffles over-complicate the neckline and make the shape lumpish, even frumpy (a mean feat when dressing the graceful and svelte Diane). The colour is garish, verging on the putrid and there seems to be some weird sort of tie-die shading going on. Misjudged.

Jason Wu (left) – But maybe it’s a good job Diane’s Golden Globe get-up was so unpleasant because she didn’t half up her game for the SAGs. This may just be the most beautiful dress of all the dresses we feature and Kruger just looks stunning in it. The dress just exudes class (not surprising given the designer is current Michelle Obama favourite, Wu) and with her immaculate make-up (we’re loving the scarlet lips), gorgeous wavy up-do and well-judged accessories, the whole look screams (well, quietly intones) retro Hollywood glamour. And all in that most difficult colour to pull off – mustard yellow. It’s elegant without being boring thanks to the shock of that colour, classy whilst still being sexy thanks to the bare shoulder and flattering lines and overall, just a big W-O-W. How on earth is Kruger going to better this for the Oscars?

Donna Karan (second right) – Diane’s dress for the Critics Choice was surprisingly formal (full-length, slinky, up-do) but works it by making it all look so effortless. The material looks divinely weightless and drapes around Diane’s figure in such an easy, artless way that the gown radiates a relaxed grace. The shimmery off-white/silver colour contributes to this gossamer-light feel more (I almost expect her to float down the red carpet) and Diane’s artfully-dishevelled up-do keeps it low-key. Although it does look a little bit like a negligee.

Herve Leger (second left) – Showing she can work sexy and modern just as naturally as graceful chic, Leger (most famous for his bandage dress, which you’ll recognise from the low-rent copies that litter the skanky, lycra-infested shops Britain is littered with) was the perfect choice for the People’s Choice Awards. The cut gives Diane a figure women would die to have and men would die to molest but she wisely toughens up the look with the black cut-out sandals and matching accessories, whilst the hair is casual sexy rather than all-out sexpot. The overall look is clean, contemporary and cool.

Favourite? – Maybe Diane should just wear the Wu again to The Oscars.

Red Carpet Rundown: Marion Cotillard

Somewhere along the line, I fell in love with Marion Cotillard. I’m not sure when it happened or how exactly – something to do with that charming Oscar acceptance speech about there being angels in the city or the cute story about her breaking down when she met one of her idols, Kate Winslet. Or maybe it’s just the fashion.

I remember her outfits from 2008, when she was sweeping the boards for her performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, freakishly well. One saw her channelling one of those angels she had been banging on about, another a mermaid. They were quirky without being OTT and her fresh-faced Gallic flair saw her just about get-away with them. She became brand ambassador for Dior and has since worked a pretty unique look on the red carpet – classic with a twist whilst remaining youthful and interesting – and unlike some of the other red-carpet clotheshorses we see, she actually has the acting chops to back it up. Her outfits for 2010’s Golden Globes, SAGs and Critics Choice awards are no exception and are probably my favourite set of dresses from all the Red Carpet Rundowns I’ve been bringing you.

Dior (centre) – This being the longest and slinkiest dress of the lot, it will come as no surprise to hear that this was her Golden Globes gown. It’s actually my least favourite of her three looks, but was my favourite Golden Globes dress, if that makes any sense. The awesome Fashion Critic at Red Carpet Fashion Awards highlighted that many had already picked this out as a potential outfit for Marion, meaning she was becoming predictable; on this rare occasion, I’m going to disagree and say that this means Marion has a strong, unique visual identity and character, which is no bad thing. I can’t imagine many actresses managing to pull off the peekaboo black lace garter without falling the wrong side of slutty ‘Allo ‘Allo extra; in Marion’s case, it just looks like gloriously Gallic insouciance. I absolutely adore the deep jade colour and the origami-esque pleats, whilst her quiff adds an extra touch of cool.

Dior (left) – This Critic’s Choice dress is reminiscent of the mermaid dress I mentioned earlier – similar colour scheme and accessories. I really like the lustrous opalescent tones of the dress and they exude an old-school Hollywood glamour that suits Marion well.

Elie Saab (right) – But her SAGs outfit is possibly my favourite. There’s something a little Swan Lake about it, but in a magical way. It’s cute and young whilst still looking grown up and the beautifully-detailed shimmery embellishments prevent it from looking too casual. The elegant up-to was totally the right choice too – it keeps the look clean and adds further to the prima ballerina thing. Just gorgeous.

Favourite? – The most consistently scrumptious of the red carpet dressers without getting boring, the Saab just pips it. Who can resist shimmers AND feathers?!

Red Carpet Rundown: Julianne Moore

As one of the comments on my original article at Teentoday.co.uk noted, ‘Julianne Moore looks such a mess, which is a shame because she usually gets it so right’. That comment was only about her Golden Globes outfit (left) as well… imagine what the poster would have said if she’d seen Moore’s almost-equally disastrous Critics Choice dress…

Balenciaga (left) – It took a while for any designer to own up to this… thing… and you can see why. I’m still not convinced it actually is a dress, more a roll of leftover fabric that Moore let one of her kids customise with the draught excluder. The colour is a horrid, little-seen choice for the red carpet – the kind of slate-grey normally reserved for cheap Matalan suits (non-UK readers, substitute cheap clothes store at your own discretion). Shapeless, unflattering and matched in woefulness by the clunky shoes.

Lanvin (right) – Fitting my highly-scientific formula, the less high-profile event (Critics Choice) warrants less length but sadly, no less of a balls-up. Moore usually wears deep jewel tones that make her porcelain skin look flawless yet this bright red succeeds in bringing out the pink in her complexion, making her look more sunburnt-lobster. Again, the cut is downright bizarre – I feel the ruffles are aiming for floaty, yet wind up somewhere nearer frumpy. The shoes are black and boring and there are not even any blingtastic accessories worthy of distraction. I’m actually going to stop talking about this ensemble as every time I look at it, I see something else wrong.

Favourite? – It’s like Sophie’s Choice in reverse. I suppose the Lanvin is preferable, yet only in the way that getting splashed by a car is preferable to getting splashed by a lorry i.e. neither is very desirable at all.

Red Carpet Rundown: Sandra Bullock

Awards season is upon us, which can only mean one thing – the chance for us to drool over designer gowns for a month. Whilst fashion editors’ attempts to let guys in on the red carpet action is touching, it’s wholly unnecessary (a suit’s a suit and the only actors that get the look wrong are invariably those that turn up sans suit or one in a ker-azy colour) – it’s all about pretty dresses, pretty hair and errr… more pretty dresses.

Each awards ceremony has a flavour of its own, getting more grandiose in tone the closer you get to The Oscars – the dresses get bigger, longer and slinkier (and often, safer) in a directly proportional gradient to the number of A-Listers that show up. Yes, there’s a reason that so many of the worst-dressed list at The Grammy’s are folk you’ve never heard of; they’re desperately trying to become people you *have* heard of, albeit not in a good way. Television actors and musicians get weeded out with each ceremony until only the crème de la crème of above-the-title stars are left (apart from the obligatory randomers nobody has heard of yet we’re obligated to invite them as they’re nominated category).

It can prove fascinating viewing (well… to girls and gays anyway), watching the stars treat each new ceremony as a sounding board to experiment with their looks in the hope of peaking come the big ‘un. The next few posts are dedicated to tracking certain actresses’ sartorial struts towards Judgement Day.

…Kicking off with Sandra Bullock, who is certainly clocking up the red-carpet hours in what could finally be her year (alas, I think “The Academy” may decide she is too lightweight an actress and figure it’s been a while since they gave Meryl Streep one) and whose outfits perfectly demonstrate the casual-to-formal formula I’ve been banging on about.

The two dresses on the right are from two of the first ceremonies out the blocks – the People’s Choice and the Critics Choice Awards. The two on the left see Sandra, having already won those awards and getting an inkling she might be headed for glory, inching closer towards having her moment in the Oscar-shaped sun. No prizes for seeing which are more dressy.

Alberta Ferretti (far right) – This dress is just ok for me. The bare shoulders, sequins, shorter length and tousled hair make it feel young and fresh which fits the occasion nicely, yet the embellishment and fringing are oddly haphazard, making it look like Sandra whipped it out from under Ferretti’s sewing machine a day too early. The shoes are those hoof-like platforms that I’m not a fan of.

Vivienne Westwood (second right) – The cut and pattern of this are unmistakably Queen Viv but it’s a case of the colour killing the ensemble. The dusky mustard not only blends in strangely with Sandra’s tan, yet makes the brocade pattern look like old curtains/carpet rescued from the attic. The ruching is ultra-flattering and I love the neckline but grey shoes?! I know there’s such a trend as contrasting colours yet this just doesn’t work.

Bottega Veneta (far left) – This was possibly my favourite dress at the Golden Globes, purely for the shot of intense colour it offered. Can’t really improve on my original thoughts – it’s purple, it’s shimmery and I think I used to own one just like it for my Barbie.

Alexander McQueen (second left) – This made for an elegant choice at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards (SAGs) and you’ll soon see that where the Golden Globes are about glitz and glam, the SAGs tend towards a more restrained sophistication (is this just to do with it its more grand title?!). The dress is an instant classic, yet still looks fresh thanks to the cut and colour of the neckline (love the burst of electric blue).

Favourite? – My heart says Golden Globes but my head says SAGs. I guess my inner Barbie just about edges it.

At least Sandra’s choices seem to be improving in line with the highly-scientific gradient we invented… which bodes well for Oscars night. Go Miss Congeniality!

Awards season is upon us, which can only mean one thing – the chance for us to drool over designer gowns for a month. Whilst fashion editors’ attempts to let guys in on the red carpet action is touching, it’s wholly unnecessary (a suit’s a suit and the only actors that get the look wrong are invariably those that turn up sans suit or one in a ker-azy colour) – it’s all about pretty dresses, pretty hair and errr… more pretty dresses.