And here we are, once again!
This is technically the fifth Academy Awards that I’ve blogged and it’s my favorite post each year. I’ve had a lot going on this evening work-wise so this post has been a process of constantly refreshing my phone before and after in attempts to get some quick peeks at attendees as they’ve arrived on the red carpet. Not ideal, but I’m making it work.
A couple notes- Firstly, I’ve seen more impressive red carpets. We were doing really, really good during this awards season but we seem to have pumped the brakes a bit. I had hoped to see more bold color and risk-taking tonight. We saw mostly gold and other soft metallics, and Janelle Monae was probably our only kooky-crazy gown. I only noted a bit of red and perhaps just Scarlett Johannson’s pretty purple. Secondly, Natalie Portman did not attend tonight’s ceremony because she’s in her third trimester of pregnancy. I mean, whatever, okay, FINE. But in all seriousness, I was bummed because I know she would’ve shown up looking glorious but I guess third trimester pregnancy merits some rest and a break from uncomfortable shoes and everyone staring at you. OKAY, NATALIE.
And finally, I can’t seem to find Amy Adams! Has anyone seen her?! I looked all over social media and I did the Google, and she appears to be nowhere. I do concur, by the way, that it was wrong of the Academy to nominate Meryl Streep over Amy this year, but I’d thought she’d surely attend tonight to support Arrival! I also missed seeing Cate Blanchett. She wasn’t involved in much this year, but she always wears the best stuff.
And so with that, on to my favorites! And again, a reminder- It might be a great dress but if the styling doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t make my list! And it might be a cooky/ugly dress but if the styling streamlines the look and makes sense of it all, it might make my list!
Best This-Person-Would-Look-Good-In-A-Burlap-Sack – Charlize Theron in Dior
Charlize is the one woman who has made my Best Dressed list every year she’s attended the Academy Awards. I get that it’s hard to make someone of her features look bad, but despite how we may feel we all know that it can be done. I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m continuously so impressed with her- she always knocks it out of the park and keep things classic and beautifully flattering, and doesn’t rely on her physical beauty to carry a look. She still makes the right choices. Her styling is always glamorous but simple, and her contract with Dior has probably been the most successful partnership I’ve seen between a celebrity and fashion house. This particular gown looks like liquid gold and those earrings are bonkers!
Best Overall Because LOOK AT HER – Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti
I mean, okay. OKAY. There is literally nothing wrong with this whole thing. There is no flaw. At the SAG Awards, Taraji seemed to have her frothy, feminine fantasy moment. But she wasn’t having any of that tonight and THIS look is just about as sexy as it gets in my opinion. No, not in my opinion. IN ALL REALITY EVER. This neckline with that slit all in deep blue velvet (scratching my David Lynch itch, Cookie!) with those diamonds and that haircut is just deadly. Deadly, I say! Taraji looks like she was just poured into this dress like an expensive glass of the finest champagne. She has never looked better. I can only pray I come across an occasion where I have to wear something this glamorous in my lifetime.
Most Welcome New Darling Of The Fashion World – Ruth Negga in custom Valentino
So, I think Ruth Negga likes clothes. I mean, I think she really likes them. Most new actresses that arrive on the scene tend to play it rather safe for a couple years before taking a couple risks once they get a high-profile stylist or a new haircut or something like that. Or they wait for a contract with a fashion house and suddenly every dress seems to be wearing them and not the other way around (paging Jennifer Lawrence …). Such has not been the case for Ruth Negga (or Lupita Nyong’O, the other exception in this case). Right out of the gate, Ruth has been a person made for fashion. She clearly loves the artistry of clothes-making, and she appreciates unique and sometimes quirky pieces. I loved this Victorian style custom Valentino gown she wore. It was similar to what Ginnifer Goodwin wore, but Ruth’s seemed to have a more Gothic feel. Her makeup and hairpiece matched the mood, too.
Best Old Hollywood Throwback – Emma Stone in Givenchy Haute Couture
As I write this, they’ve only just announced the winner of the Best Supporting Actress (go Viola!) and so we’ve yet to learn if Emma will indeed win in tonight’s Best Actress category. I have a feeling she will, and this is a lovely dress to win in. I love Emma’s 1920’s style dress paired with very 1940’s hair and makeup. It really is a very classically beautiful look. I was hoping to see more color on Emma during this awards season, but for what we’ve lacked in color her styling team has made up for in texture. Fringe, glittering stars, floral appliqués- we’ve seen plenty of gorgeous handicraft in the texture department on Emma this year. I did like her look when she attended the 2015 Academy Awards for Birdman more than tonight’s look – I loved her updo paired with the chartreuse gown and coral lips – but this is still nothing short of stunning and worthy of a winner. I’m getting some Rita Hayworth vibes with her hair, too.
Best Holy Cleopatra Batman! – Jessica Biel in Kaufmanfranco
I told you there was a lot of gold this year! I wasn’t kidding! But I have to say, this is my personal favorite. Don’t you dream of wearing dresses like this? I mean seriously. That necklace is incredible, and the gown reminds me so much of Nefertiri in The Ten Commandments. Nefertiri was probably the first woman in film that I idolized and wanted to look like and dress like as a child. Of course, I was supposed to be drawn to the humble shepherd girl played by Yvonne De Carlo, but that would take some Mount Sinai-levels of convincing throughout my adolescence and beyond.
But anyhow, this dress had me. And the necklace. And the styling! I love Jessica’s bold cat-eye made with thick eyeliner (again, Cleopatra!) paired with peachy lips and cheeks. I also love the sleek updo with the center-part in Jessica’s deep brown-black hue. I can’t wait to get a view of the back! And again, if you know me, you know I like it when something’s just a bit off. In this case, it’s hairstylist Adir Abergel’s genius work with this updo- it’s totally off-center on purpose. It adds characters and just barely tweaks the perfect symmetry of the center-part. Details like this that play with shape and balance are my favorite; details of color and texture are a close second.
So there you go! Now tell me your faves! Anything you hated? Anything you hoped for but didn’t see? And don’t forget, there are always the after-parties with plenty of gown changes and extra folks
who just weren’t important enough to invite to the awards ceremony. Have fun! xo, MR
Photo credits in order of appearance: Getty Images, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Noel West for The New York Times, Getty Images
You’re a wonderful writer! I laughed out loud when you compared the shepherdess with The. Cleopatra. herself. so true. But consider Mary, mother of God… she must have been very very beautiful… no?
Aww thank you! I had fun writing this. I plan to write about the Met Gala next week too. 🙂