Tag Archives: Halle Berry

Red Carpet Rundown: Oscars 2011

The red carpet for the Oscars 2011 has to be one of the most boring in a while. When you’re being outdone for wow factor by almost every dress at the after-party, you know something has gone wrong! And whilst we all love a tasteful neutral (hi Michelle Williams, Annette Benning, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank…), you know the look has jumped the shark when even Celine Dion, her of the back-to-front man’s suit and fedora, is working it successfully. With star wattage seeming somewhat underpowered this year, many of my frequent red carpet faves disappointed (Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Aishwarya Rai) with dresses that were nice, but not nice enough for me to waste all of about twelve words over. Here are the only outfits that stood out, starting with my three favourites (by a long LONG way):

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy Couture – The love it or hate it dress at this year’s Oscars, except I’m yet to actually see anyone declare hate. Why? Because it’s simply too beautiful. The design on the bodice may resemble the back of a very ornate chair, or a very ornate mirror or a very ornate cameo missing the face inside, but it works. Lovely fresh sorbet spring colours, and so very very Cate. Pretty much the only interesting dress so thank God it was a good ‘un.

Mila Kunis in Elie Saab – I’m thinking Mila was toying with us all the way up to awards season, lulling us into expecting she’d be dull and boring before hitting us up with a triple whammy of colourful gorgeous gowns (that or Macaulay Culkin had a black fetish and she’s breaking gloriously free of her monotone shackles). When a dress is this pretty, delicate and flirtatiously feminine, no self-respecting fashionista would put money against it being an Elie Saab. This is just such a beautiful dreamy soft shade of lilac that we don’t often see done on the red carpet, and by looking so damn good in it, Kunis has probably ensured that no-one will dare do it again.

Amy Adams in L’Wren Scott – YES! After a ropey lead-up, like the tortoise, Amy has finally triumphed just in time for the main event. Stunning sparkling midnight blue, a simple shape and a look that couldn’t flatter her more if it came with a greasy handshake and car-salesman patter. All the more surprising given it’s a L’Wren Scott, which tend to look a little dowdy for big occasions.

Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa – You may have noticed that I’ve steered clear of mentioning Hailee in all my red carpet rundowns so far. This is because, as far as I’m concerned, if a 14 year-old is dressing as she should, then she probably won’t be exciting me too much. Bloggers have been won over by her ‘age-appropriate’ style, and whilst I’m delighted to see a famous teen who doesn’t wander about with her crotch either hanging out or with Swavorski crystal arrows pointing towards it, cute teen style stopped exciting me when I was… well, a not so cute teen. This modified Marchesa is a whole different story. It’s the ultimate princess-ballerina dress for the inner 14 year-old in all of us, right down to the could-be-overkill-but-instead-it’s-cute-and-charming bun and hair band combo. Swoonsome.

Mandy Moore in Monique Lhullier – If you’re read any of my style posts, you may have worked out by now that it takes one simple thing to make me lose all rational thought and start cooing like a teenage girl seeing Robert Pattinson for the first time. That magic ingredient is sparkle and when done right, it should look exactly like this Monique Lhullier gown – pretty, ethereal and like it was hand-crafted by fairies.

Natalie Portman in Rodarte – I’ve not really been loving Natalie’s maternity style thus far but this is easily the best she’s looked yet – and in a last-minute second choice too (thanks Galliano). Graceful flowing lines, a gorgeous rich plum shade and an overall look of radiance. She definitely picked the right time to glow!

Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein – It’s simple, it’s sexy, it’s almost a Baywatch swimsuit. It’s the sort of thing Scarlett Johansson would have worn five years ago… oh hang on, she did! She does just look rather beautiful though.

Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabanna – Speaking of, here she is, in a dress that not many people seem to like but which I feel quite fond of. I get a slight qipao vibe from it and whilst I’m still not sure I want to see anyone’s underwear on display at the Oscars, there are just enough redeeming factors (gorgeous unusual burgundy-magenta colour, effortless up-do, fabulous matching cocktail ring, atypical outfit for her usual 50s siren style) to make me leave the doily jokes in my drawer for another time. Apols.

Halle Berry in Marchesa – I’m just happy that Berry didn’t source her outfit from a sex-shop again. Having discovered that her legs don’t drop off if she covers them, this frothy girlie confection is a style 180 from the vaguely dominatrix gear she’s been sporting of late and it almost falls through the cracks of the sparkly sea of neutrals that have plagued this awards season. Britney’s bodysuit from the Toxic video, it’s saved/slaughtered by looking like the bottom has been dragged through heavenly clouds… or cotton candy. Shame about those clunky peeptoes.

Nicole Kidman in Christian Dior – I’m fairly certain that I hate this dress. But having flicked through so many photos of utter blah, I’m actually overjoyed that Kidman has completely lost control of her sartorial compass. Someone took a napkin folding-course and was so eager to show off his handiwork that he just went to work on her waist – but hey, at least he didn’t do a swan! I don’t know what the orange shoes are about, I don’t know which 14 year-old pimply teen’s hair gel she stole to achieve those sticky fronds of hair but I do know that I’m glad someone’s still taking risks on the biggest red carpet of the year. Even the nice dresses that I’ve singled out here are fundamentally simple shapes made good by striking colours so for being so different in an expanse of yawns, I really can’t hate her.

Jennifer Hudson in Atelier Versace – Everyone else is loving this. No idea why. It’s bright orange, a shade that seems to have tackiness in-built, and that’s even before you make it out of shiny flammable-looking satin, pile on the baubles, had that napkin-folder go nuts on your arse and hoist your boobs up like a second pair of eyes. There is not a single part of this outfit I like.

Reese Witherspoon in Giorgio Armani – This is essentially Julia Roberts Oscar-win dress made boring, with plastic Barbie hair on top. Except Barbie would never be this dull.

Red Carpet Rundown: Golden Globes 2011, Part III

And now for the third section of my 2011 Golden Globes coverage entitled, ‘Ye God, My Eyes!’

Julianne Moore in Lanvin – A former favourite who has lost her way. Gone are the gorgeous jewel tones and classic elegance from pre-2009, instead replaced by an uncanny knack for choosing the worst gowns from various designers’ collections. This time, her obsession with Lanvin, its weird cuts and its bizarre sleeve policy rears its ugly head once more. The bubblegum pink isn’t terrible flattering for Julianne’s colouring, the creases have me itching to iron and the strange sleeve seems to have come from not just one different dress (possibly American quarterback-inspired?), but two! An unmitigated mess.

Halle Berry in Nina Ricci – Halle Berry is one of the most beautiful women in the world, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. But over the past year, no-one has been more alert to this fact than Halle Berry herself. It’s been permanently tight, short and bangers o clock round Halle’s place. Here, she’s turned up in her (slightly bondage-esque) underwear complete with fetish cuffs, with a sarong tucked around as an after-thought by Berry’s disproving Dr. Jekyll side. As such, it’s oddly unsexy and makes her look a little desperate.

Michelle Williams in Valentino – Michelle Williams used to get it red carpet right all the time. Remember that mustard yellow Oscars gown, widely regarded as one of the best of all-time?! Sadly, she lost her red carpet mojo when she had her hair cropped and bleached for her role as Marilyn Monroe, but where the hairdresser was mistakenly given a picture of Pat from Eastenders instead. It’s made her look old, dowdy and frumpy and she has started to dress accordingly, wearing stuff that you imagine grannies picking out as misguided presents for their recalcitrant relatives. This empire-line dress with an unfortunate case of boob-squeeze has managed the quite incredible trick of making her look both bottom and top-heavy. The print was last seen in the reduced aisle of tablecloths and shower curtains.

Helena Bonham-Carter in Vivienne Westwood – Oh, that Helena Bonham-Carter, she’s so ker-azy, isn’t she? So wacky, a one-off, a true British eccentric… isn’t it cool that she doesn’t care what everyone else thinks?! However, this ensemble makes me think she cares very much indeed. Wearing mismatched shoes that are actually the same shoe in different colours that both happen to match the tones of the dress make it look like someone has put rather too much effort into looking ker-azy, hence turning the look from breath of fresh air to contrived drama-school project. I actually like certain aspects of the dress – the neckline’s classic uber-flattering Westwood, although it looks like someone slashed it to death on its way to becoming a halter-neck – and the colours and the print are pretty. But it’s so obviously Westwood that it’s very nearly a pastiche and then she had to go and wear sunglasses too… if it takes you this long to look this silly, why not try looking great instead?

Christina Aguilera in Zuhair Murad – Christina’s red carpet run for Burlesque has been pretty poor, where she’s generally looked old, plastic, washed-up and like she doesn’t know what dress size she is anymore. She continues in this vein here, with her wig-like hair, overdone make-up and oddly plump face, serving up a definition of ‘sexy’ so hackneyed and obvious that even Martians with no concept of the word would be telling her to put it away. It looks like the sort of a thing a blousy Mae West wore in her 70s, that Miss Piggy would wear in an attempt to seduce Kermit and even her own tacky perfume bottle. None of those looks is a good thing, by the way.

Christina Hendricks in Romona Keveza – Christina Hendricks is famous for her boobs. In case you hadn’t realised this, she’s taken to sticking something oversize and attention-grabbing in the vicinity just to make it that little bit more obvious. Big red hair, big red flower, big red boobs. At least it’s an improvement on the baby falcon she sported last time. I feel like we’ve seen this all before and would like to see Christina switch up her style before it’s too late.

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad and Marchesa – J. Lo specialises in playing the diva. There’s nothing too overblown for her – feathers, sequins, beading, animal print, bling, cleavage, bring it on! To be honest, tt feels like a role for show (I’d love it if she really sat at home in trackies eating ice-cream from the tub) and here are two of her latest incarnations at the ceremony itself and then for the after-party: most creative way to wear a wedding veil (as a poncho) and better-late-than-never audition for Black Swan. If she gave me an Amber Riley-sized grin, it would look like just bit a fun but she’s taking it all far too seriously for me to not think she just looks ridiculous.

Sandra Bullock in Jenny Packham – This dress is actually beautiful, a glimmering cobweb of loveliness that’s utterly delightful, uncontrived and perfectly-accessorised. The problems begin and end with Sandie’s facial area. The heavy blunt black fringe hangs over this feather-light confection like a black cloud of doom, Emily The Strange having an even worse day than usual. It’s one of those things women in their forties get told makes them look younger, when in fact all it does it make their face look the size of a postage stamp. Secondly, she looks so very sad. I understand why she might be feeling sad at how much has changed since last year’s Golden Globes, but no one wants to see Sandra Bullock sad, do they? It’s like kicking a kitten. It makes me feel sad and it probably makes the dress feel sad. Which is a shame as it really is a lovely dress.