I’m actually a little disappointed with this year’s red carpet fashion at the Baftas. Usually, the quirky Brit mentality means we get more adventurous choices from the stars yet this year, that derring-do dash of daring seems to have deserted the largely black and neutral red carpet. Whether it was the cold, the rain or the lower-than-usual star wattage of the guests (screw you A-Listers, we had bona fide royalty in the form of Prince William), fashion choices seemed more conservative than usual. Here’s a rundown of the only gowns that grabbed our interest for long enough to write about them.
Kathryn Bigelow – I’m gonna start off with my favourite outfit, which is also probably the most boring. Go figure. It’s getting absolutely no attention from most fashion blogs and red carpet write-ups so I have no idea who designed it either. A few are even criticising the tights with peeptoes thing; let’s remember – this is England, England is cold, my black opaques are practically welded on me through September to May so I barely noticed. But in my opinion, Kathryn Bigelow looks smokin’. Fresh from winning Best Director and Best Picture for heavy-hitting war flick The Hurt Locker, she looks positively radiant. Frankly, I’m not expecting Best Director nominees to show up looking like a Disney princess (whether that’s right or wrong of me is a different discussion) so this glittery mini is perfectly fitting – and judging by that figure, it’s a perfect fit too. Sparkle is the perfect way to jazz up a boring LBD and I love the sexy oil slick way it’s reflecting flashes of other colours at the bottom. Let’s just say I’m a sucker for sequins, ok?
Audrey Tatou in Lanvin – My favourite Frenchie Marion Cotillard abandoned me for this ceremony, so I guess we’ll talk about Audrey Tatou instead. Kinda wish I didn’t have to. I look at this gown and think marshmallow – it doesn’t exactly look like one, yet has many of the attributes I associate with that piece of confectionary (puffy, pink) but sadly, without the tasty aspect. Ruching in all the wrong places, it looks like it was fashioned from a restaurant tablecloth. I like the unlikely contrast with the scarlet accessories but by then, it’s too little too late. Tatou’s so chic as well so I shudder to think what this would look like on someone without her innate sense of style.
Carey Mulligan in Vionnet – This is so almost there for me. The graphic floral print is lovely yet modern and the striking monochrome keeps it from looking like cushion covers. I’m also a massive fan of boat-necks (so elegant) and the ribbon belt is a pretty touch. But it’s a shame the designer caught mad bride disease when he made it, for the train is unnecessary and the gown would look far cleaner and less old-fashioned without it.
See what I mean about neutrals?
Kate Winslet in Stella McCartney – It seems Kate Winslet is going the same way as cheese, wine and Chanel handbags i.e. the older, the better. This gown fits Winslet like a glove – and not some chunky fluorescent mitten your Nan knitted but a super-sexy and ultra-slinky one. The lace inserts add just the right amount of sex and prevent this from becoming just another boring black dress. Only just though. Winslet’s red carpet dressing of late has become very body-con and we miss the days where she used to wear shades other than black in the likes of Temperley and Ben de Lisi. We don’t miss the Doc Martins though.
Vera Farmiga in Marchesa – Marchesa’s gowns often seem a tad bridal (see Kate Hudson’s Golden Globes dress) and this isn’t much of an exception. Except I think it’s more heaven must be missing an angel goddess. Farmiga just looks untouchable in this dress – graceful, lofty, beautiful. The rational part of my brain knows it has seen other photos where this dress makes Farmiga look a little lumpy and that Farmiga’s preference for neutrals this season is making her seem a bit ice-queen, but the little girl part just screams ‘Must obey! Grown-up goddess in attendance.’ [The responsible writer part is meanwhile saying: ‘Mention the stunning origami detail on the shoulder and Farmiga’s elegant up-do and make-up’.]
Jaime Winston in Alexander McQueen – The only neutral things about this outfit are the colours. The rest is wholehearted horrid. Winston looks like a Marilyn Monroe or Jean Harlow tribute act. In fact, she looks like a tribute of a tribute act. The peroxide doesn’t suit her, nor do the Marcel waves, nor do the blood-black lips, nor does the dead animal draped round her shoulders. And the bandaging creates unsightly bulges and looks as if someone ran riot with duct tape over what was originally a nice dress.
Saorise Ronan in Burberry – Her name may still look like someone trying to cobble together a word from a bad Scrabble rack, but the snitch from Atonement is coming of age and she is looking seriously pretty in this frothy number. It’s young, it’s fresh and may be the beginning of Ronan getting a whole new set of (red-blooded male) fans. Top marks on coordinating the belt with the shoes too.
Now time to enter The Twilight Zone...
Anna Kendrick in Pucci – Kendrick is getting a slaughtering for this dress on other blogs. Well, you’re safe here Anna love. Although nominated for Best Supporting Actress in Up In The Air, she’s probably more widely-known for playing a bit-part in Twilight – serving as a reminder for the fact she is still a mere youngster, even though many of her red-carpet choices have been on the more “mature” side. This dress is the kind of bold blast of fresh air I’d expect a Brit to be making at the Baftas so kudos to Kendrick for beating us at our own game. The vibrant zing of the colour is great, the gold detailing is exquisite and matches the sandals perfectly and ok, the ruffles and shape mean it’s not very flattering but that mega-watt smile and gorgeous hair make it a winner in my book.
Robert Pattinson – MAN ALERT! As you can see from the facial close-up, we’re not really analysing his clothes. The big news is R Patz has new hair!!! Whaddya mean you can’t tell the difference?! Well, it’s less bouffant, less artfully-messy, less Charlie from Busted. This can only be a bad thing in my book as Charlie is probably my number one crush of all time (sorry Harry McFly). The flatness can be blamed on the rain (and we hear Rob spent ages in the drizzle meeting the fans, bless him) but the lack of facial hair is entirely non weather-dependent. Hmmm… we never realised we’d miss his stubble until now. Like a modern-day Samson, once shorn of his sexy birds nest locks, his power to reduce me to a swooning fangirl is diminished. Now who’s gonna start the ‘Bring Back The Bouffant’ Facebook group first?
Kristen Stewart in Chanel – Bella’s also getting a lot of flack on blogs, not for her sartorial choices but for her sulky teen demeanour. Stewart is such a talented actress that it’s easy to forget she * is * genuinely a teen in real life too and how many of us, in addition to the acne, popularity contests and raging hormones, had to run the gamut of the red carpet every other week?! (Then again, how many of us get snog Robert Pattinson and get paid for it… sympathy rapidly evaporating…) Stewart’s red carpet postures and general awkwardness do very little for her outfits but do make me love her just that little bit more. Personally, I think Stewart has the look and the boyish frame to carry off edgier ensembles with aplomb (I still love this Balenciaga dress from a year ago and she totally rocks this leather jacket with a Pucci mini) so this dress, although classic and inoffensive, doesn’t really wow me. Her hair (did a stylist get anywhere near it? Cos it don’t look like it) and clompy shoes aren’t helping her cause either. Oh, just let her get back under her duvet for everyone’s sake! (Although who can blame her if Pattinson’s under there too *wink wink*!)