Monday, February 23, 2015

Oscar Slam 2015

Here in the Northeast where winter has been particularly brutal, there is no greater sign that Spring is coming than the fact that the Oscars are on television.  Also, it's a glorious, wonderful, magical night for dress-watching. Shall we get started?  

Anna Faris
Normally I'd ignore her the way I'd ignore a Kardashian but she's married to a genuine Hollywood action hero now and she's actually wearing something not-terrible so...what the hell, right?  It's really hard to wear a formal gown that's white and not look overly bridal but she's pulling it off.  I like that the dress itself is white but the sequins and sparklies are actually silver.  It's a nice contrast.  I also really like the way the belt neatly carves the dress in half in a really flattering way.  It would have been nice she'd maybe done her hair and hit the make-up counter at Bloomingdale's but whatever.  Can't have it all, right?

 America Ferrara
I am so very conflicted.  I really love the color.  I really hate the bodice.  I really love the faint ombre at the bottom.  I really hate the off-kilter belt.  I really love her contrasting clutch. I really hate her hair.  I really love her earrings.  I really hate that she's not wearing lipstick.

Cate Blanchett
Gorgeous.  I mean, THIS is how you wear a basic black to an awards show and not drown in the boredom of it all.  Usually when it comes to jewelry, less is more.  This is the exception that proves the rule.  She's killing it.  And from the expression on her face, I'd guess that she knows it. 

 Chloe Grace Moretz
Did it somehow escape my attention that we're suddenly living in Napoleonic Europe?  No?  Then what the hell is up with the sack-dress?  Just because you get to have pockets doesn't mean the extra fabric is flattering.  Let this be a lesson.

 Emma Stone
Same goes for you, Emma.  Not only is your dress shapeless but you're giving off a terrible Amish vibe with the boat neck and the long sleeves.  Listen, if you're so skinny you don't actually have a waist (or, if you're on the plump side and don't have a waist), a three-quarter sleeve will trick the eye in to thinking you DO have a waist.  I don't understand how stylists let their paying customers out of the house looking like this.  I do like the color, though.  And the fabric.  But still.

Faith Hill
It's almost like a white tuxedo... I really like the faint leopard print.  Usually it's not super classy but as white on white it offers depth and keeps the overall white from looking too bridal.  The plunging neckline isn't gross and I like the long necklace which adds interest.  I also like that with the big neckline she's keeping everything else pretty modest with long sleeves and straight skirt.  Full marks, Faith!

 Felicity Jones
Okay, I like just about everything about this dress but the weird collar.  If it had just been a straight strapless I think it would have been infinitely better.

 Gina Rodriguez
I love almost everything about this. First, she's wearing one of my all-time favorite colors.  I also love the faint halter cut of the bodice paired with the almost-mock-turtleneck.  The only thing that could have made this better is if there was something there offering a little depth.  A sparkly belt or some sequins scattered around, perhaps.

 Gwyneth Paltrow
Do you think she's aware how much fun we make of her and her lifestyle and her lifestyle blog, Goop, and her conscious uncoupling and all the rest of it?  I feel like this is her attempt at recalling the glory days back when she was a newbie and she won the Oscar in that gorgeous pink dress with the neckline that went down to here and all was right with the world. This seems like a more adult version of that dress.  Actually, it seems like a more adult version of that dress that doesn't actually fit very well.  Also, Henry Higgins called.  He wants to know what's up with all the weeds on your shoulder.

 Jennifer Aniston
This looks like the kind of metal breastplate used in the Trojan war.  Or, like the one used by Julianne Moore in the dream sequence of Big Lebowski.  I liked it better in the movie.

 Jessica Chastain
Ugh, please, make it stop.  I hate dresses like this.  Whenever you've got a two-part bodice with layers of fabric and too much stuff going on it makes me think that you're purposefully trying to get people to look at your bodice.  Which is dumb because people are absolutely, no doubt, guaranteed already going to be looking at your bodice.  When you specifically do stuff to draw attention there it looks a teensy bit desperate. Just saying.

 Jennifer Lopez
Choosing a gown that is essentially the same color as your skin is such a crap-shoot.  It could go really badly or it could go really well, you just never know until you're under the lights and pictures are snapping away. In this case the color of the dress makes her skin look luminous.  I love the appliqued flowers radiating up and down from her waist and I love her little matching clutch.  I don't love the obviousness of her neckline (Jen, you and Jessica Chastain need to see me after class), but overall it's pretty great.

 Julianne Moore
I'm trying so hard to understand the designer's mind-set. The spots up at her neckline are one thing.  They're okay. The spots at a dropped waist?  I'm not on board with those.  They should have been up at her natural waist.  The spots at her shins?  Terrible, terrible, terrible.

 Kiera Knightley
I stand by my earlier statement regarding Napoleon and sack dresses.  Just because Jane Austen had to wear them doesn't mean they're flattering. Ever.  Also, what the hell is all that graffiti all over the place?

 Kerry Washington
I hate to say it but she looks like her father is about to walk her down the aisle.  It's very pretty if a little too two-parter for me.  I hate when there's so much of a difference between the top and bottom that they look like they're two pieces.

 Laura Dern
Forget the dress for a second, can we talk about her Flock of Seagulls hair? Paired with the very heavy metal dress it's like musical genres are colliding. I have to wonder how she's standing upright.

 Lupita Nyong'o
She looks like she just stepped out of the dressing room at David's Bridal.

 Margot Robbie
I wish this were any other color than black.  With the long sleeves it's just too heavy. Granted the neckline helps and the necklace is fun and interesting but overall I'm underwhelmed. At least she wore lippy.

 Marion Cotillard
At least the polka dots save it from looking bridal.  And yes, that's the nicest thing I have to say.

 Meryl Streep
It's almost like she's channeling the mean boss-lady from Devil Wears Prada. It makes me think she pulled it together out of stuff already in her closet and then added the belt as an afterthought because it's fabulous.  Once again, Mer, well freaking done.

 Nicole Kidman
If that brick red belt had been golden, or silver, or green, or even yellow I could get on board with this.  I actually really love the scalloped edging of the hemline and her box clutch.  I don't get why anyone would pair that heavy red with the light, gorgeous golden yellow of her dress, though. Color me baffled.

 Naomi Watts
I really like just about all of this except for the black band underneath.  The color is great and the brick pattern is different and fun and very urban.  The halter neckline is also great and she's even wearing lipstick.  I just wish the black hadn't been there at all or it had matched the rest of the dress.

 Octavia Spencer
This ice blue is so gorgeous on her and the way the fabric wraps up her body is absolutely glorious.  I even don't mind the giant butt-cape because the fabric is so beautiful.  The off-the-shoulder neckline is pretty and feminine but I'm not completely loving the whole bodice, though. I wish it had been more wrapped fabric rather than a split.

 Patricia Arquette
Not freaking bad.  She's managed to pull off two things I hate (two-tone dresses and one-shouldered bodices) with flying colors.  The added bonus, the thing that keeps it from being too boring, is the swoop of fabric down her back.  Full marks.

 Rosamund Pike
Super-duper. It didn't need it but the little red belt was just the finishing touch and her shoes, mimicking that little sash, complete the look perfectly.

 Reese Witherspoon
First, way to look like your prom date will be here any minute.  Second, dresses wrinkle while you're circle the block in the limo waiting for your turn to get out.  Someone should have gotten on top of this wrinkle situation.

 Scarlet Johansson
Wow.  Remember when I said that when I comes to jewelry less is almost always more?  This is a shining example of that truism.  It looks like she chose the harshest, most Victorian collar she could find, ripped it from the Dowager Countess of Grantham's throat herself and said, Now I look dignified.  Everything else about this look is good.  A nice set of diamonds, next time, Scar.  M'kay?

 Viola Davis
Like Reese, it looks like you've just finished dinner at the fanciest restaurant in your home town and you're ready to hit the prom in style.  Sadly, I think this would have been better on a younger woman, but it still isn't a very good Oscar dress.

Zoe Saldana
I am not loving this and I just can't put my finger on why.  The jewelry is good and the bodice is okay, but the way the fabric is wrapping her hips isn't terribly flattering and the piece of fabric hanging down dead center definitely isn't flattering.

Which means it's now time for WORST IN SHOW:

 Lorelei Linklater terrible. She looks like that goth girl at your high school people didn't want to talk to or eat lunch with. She looks like what I imagine April Ludgate-Dwyer would look like at an awards show.  I hate that she's wearing lipstick and I have to give her props at least for that.

And now the moment you've all been waiting for: BEST IN SHOW!!

 Jennifer Hudson
Sweet Baby Cambridge, I love this.  Yellow is such a difficult color to pull off and this buttery number is absolutely gorgeous on her.  It could have been a tiny bit boring but the skinny little gold belt and the little flap of peplum just on one side is super. Bonus: she's wearing lipstick!

Hard to believe another awards season is behind us, but take heart: only six months till the Emmys!  Until then, Possums, keep horizontal stripes to a minimum and whenever necessary roll up your sleeves!

Love you!  Mean it!

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