With the Spirit Award pre-event out of the way, let’s get to the granddaddy of the awards season, and the biggest red carpet event until the Met Ball in a couple months time: The Oscars.
The show itself was so self-conscious as to be painful at times. Chris Rock had clearly been given an allowance to do and say whatever he pleased–the results were typically polarizing depending on who you talked to. The red carpet was the same, with very few A-List stars of color to be seen, and the ones who did show (Like Kerry Washington) taking pains to explain their presence to any interviewer within microphone distance.
Still! The red carpet was both an improvement over last year, and yet dissatisfying. Jewel tones were back, so the color palette was far bolder, but when I sat down and went through the looks nothing stood out as “the” look of the carpet who knocked everyone else dead. I honest could have put the top five in any order and would have felt satisfied with it.
I’ll start with Cate Blanchett in Armani floof, since I started with her in our last list. Again, this is a dress that no one else could possibly pull off, and on camera, with the big shoulder fluffs I thought she hadn’t. But she clearly chose it with the photograph distance in mind, and I’m so impressed by that, I’m giving her the top spot. YMMV.
Tina Fey has never looked so good on a red carpet. Ever. The right jewel tone, the right jewelry, the right hair and make up. And purple to boot.
Amy Poehler has never looked this good on a red carpet. Ever. I don’t care if you think she looks like Chinese Restaurant wallpaper, I think this Andrew Gn is a stunner.
All season Brie Larson’s publicist has told us how amazing she’s going to look, and then delivered her looking underdressed and miserable. At the Spirit Awards, they discovered how to fix that problem, and clearly took that knowledge with them to the big leagues.
Naomi Watts in an Armani after my own heart.
Alicia Vikander has had a dramatic improvement arc over the course of the red carpet season. This Louis Vuitton does not disappoint.
Jennifer Garner, in her Self Respect.
Kate Winslet, finally dressing like she might win–then she didn’t, but the Calvin Klein was still a knock out.
Kerry Washington wore a Versace Superhero outfit to keep the haters from penetrating her heart.
Someone called Lady Gaga’s stunner of a pantsuit “Surprise Pants.” Girl, ain’t no surprise about these pants.
Everyone fell all over themselves to call Charlize Theron’s too-low Dior gown “the look of the night.” I thought the best thing about her look was the lack of Sean Penn.
Sophie Turner in a green Galvan. She’s really learning how to play the game well, isn’t she?
Jennifer Jason Leigh was a one-woman rose show.
Chrissy Teigan, in Marchesa Maternity.
Isha Fisher, as British Garden tea as you can be.
Daisy Ridley doing Chanel Ingenue.
Reese Witherspoon, setting for the “runner up purple gown” of the night.
Saoirse Ronan admitted outright she wanted her Calvin Klein to be green to represent Ireland.
Priyanka Chopra, wearing the sort of Zuhair Murad Jennifer Lopez wishes she still could.
And Sofia Vergara working the bigotry of low expectations by choosing a Marchesa that was neither red nor mermaid cut.
It’s Leo’s Night. We’ll just give it to him. He was smart and arrived with Winslet to remind all those who loved him in Titanic they could love him again. All her really did is remind us that only one of them aged well.
The Weeknd, still relying on his hair for visual interest.
John Legend, still relying on his wife for visual interest.
Sam Smith, still having nothing to rely on for visual interest.
Chris Rock’s bit on how men aren’t asked who they are wearing because they are all dressed the same failed when we come to Dev Patel.
Henry Cavill, repping for pettable Supermen.
Michael Keaton, repping for aging well.
Jared Leto in Joker Chic.
And Eddie Redmayne, who tucked his pants into his house slippers. At least he took off the banyan before arriving?
Julianne Moore, showing the bondage strap bodice doesn’t work for her.
I really wanted to like Mindy Kaling, but the Elizabeth Kennedy gown is too tight, and the head too severe.
Margot Robbie, reminding us that if you can’t win an Oscar, dress like one in a Tom Ford.
Olivia Munn is so boring in this Stella McCartney I forgot she wasn’t Olivia Wilde for a minute.
Rachael McAdams’s August Getty gown looked like it had just gone for a swim.
Emily Blunt is apparently going to do the Keira Knightly Horrid Silhouette School of Maternity. Bad Prada.
Everything about Rooney Mara’s Givenchy outfit is annoying. On TV it disappeared into the wall behind her, leaving her head to float along, ghostlike and eerily. When you can see it, it looks like someone in the Edwardian era took their Victorian lace curtains and attempted to make fashion, and then it was updated with a belly keyhole.
Olivia Wilde, wearing Valentino’s take on the tissue paper that comes with a Vinyl record.
Sandy Powell did such a good Tilda Swindon look, E! actually thought it was Tilda Swindon. It was embarrassing, especially since she’s no Tilda Swindon.
I suppose Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t going to win anyway, but she was so rightly embarrassed by this Dior gown, she strategically arrived late, so most people missed it altogether.
And Heidi Klum in a terribly cut candy creamsticle circus tent.