Monday, February 27, 2017

The 2017 Oscars Red Carpet

It's that time again . . . time to gaze longingly at couture gowns I wish I could examine inside and out, and at the same time pick apart the mess that sometimes manages to make it down the red carpet.  This year, I can't even say that I have a favorite.

But I will say that Viola Davis looks AMAZING in Armani.  Just don't make me watch her trying to walk in the heels that I assume are hiding under that dress, it will ruin the illusion.  If I am being picky, I am not in love with that clutch with the bracelet.  But really, this is a fabulous look for her, and she should definitely be adding more of that red color to her wardrobe.  Just don't tromp about like a football player when you look this stunning, please!

Kirsten Dunst chose Dior Haute Couture, and the arched neckline is lovely.  I also really like the slight high-low hemline that shows off the shoes (which I really, really love).  I would have preferred to see this in a color, though.  She wore a lemony colored dress with short sleeves and collar in Cannes earlier this year, and if this gown was that color I think it would have been truly stunning.  But what is with the hair?!  Messy, messy, messy, and it really takes away from the glamour.

And because I miss Evan Rachel Woods in a tux, here is Mahershala Ali - this is how you exude style on the red carpet as a man without looking like you are trying too hard (hello, Pharrell Williams).  Do we think that is a silk/wool blend; oh, how I wish I could get my hands on some of that fabric because it looks yummy.  But wait a second, aren't his sleeves supposed to show below the jacket?  And the white buttonhole on the lapel is a bit jarring.  So, so close, but not quite perfect. 

Brie Larson is wearing Oscar de la Renta.  Now, there is something I like about this, but all those flounces get lost in the black.  I think a contrasting color would have worked better for the lining to highlight the details.  The bodice looks really good on her frame, but the skirt is a little too late 80s for me to really love this.

I can’t put my finger on why I am drawn to this Elizabeth Kennedy gown on Busy Phillips, but I am intrigued.  Maybe it is the luscious green velvet, or perhaps it is simply because it is so unexpected.  Although, I am having flashes of a vintage movie theatre marquee . . . but I really love the hourglass shape this creates . . . but now I want to see the dress light up.  I am really stuck on this one.  I cannot decide if I love it or hate it.

Taraji Henson looks stunning in velvet Alberta Ferretti.  That neckline is glorious, but I do wish she had taken it easy with the boob tape and/or contouring, because the girls are treading dangerously close to Miss Universe territory.  Not sure about the necklace, and the ring really doesn't match, or maybe I would rather she keep the ring and get rid of the necklace, but one of them has got to go.  The messy hair works for her - perhaps this is the look that Kirsten Dunst was going for.  Her toe appears to be hanging off the edge of that shoe, but I am going to give her a break because she did not shove her thigh way out of that slit like some classless actress that shall remain nameless.

Dakota Jonson often looks sickly/really uncomfortable on the red carpet, and that trend continues.  This reminds me of a 1940s bridal gown, which I should love.  But girl, do something with your hair, for crying out loud.  Hate the necklace with this Gucci dress, but I think I might like this on someone else, or really anyone who would actually make an effort when getting ready for a huge event, because I just cannot look past the horrible hair.  When I force myself to ignore the head attached to the dress, the fit on the sleeves looks awkward as well.  She really does look like she just rolled out of bed . . . perhaps while wearing the dress, by the looks of the wrinkled skirt.

I love this ankle length ballerina inspired Dior Haute Couture dress.  The shoes are perfection, and surprisingly enough, I think the washed out tone works for Felicity Jones.  Her skin looks really gorgeous.  Maybe it's the dark hair that keep her from being washed out?  I like the minimal jewelry on this as well.  My only issue here is that she looks rather thick through the middle, which I am going to blame on all of that tulle.  I would say add a thicker belt to corral the frothy fabric, but I do like the delicate look, so not really sure how to fix this one.

Nicole Kidman.  Oh, dear.  What happened here?  This Armani looks like something you would find in the prom clearance section of Macys, the scratchy polyester snagged from being shoved to the back of the rack for months on end.  The color does not work for her - seriously, when is someone going to tell the misguided woman that the monotone look from head to toe just does not work for her?  To top it all off, the hairstyle looks horrendous, and the shoes are too big as well.  The only redeemable things here are the diamonds.  She is built like a model and must have a whole team of people helping her get ready for an event like this - how can it all go so horribly wrong?!?  

Paging Sharon Stone - someone has stolen your Casino dress again - this time it’s Jessica Biel with an assist from Kaufman Franco.  That necklace, though, looks like it was stolen from a Broadway production of The Lion King.  There are enough gold statues at the Oscars, darling, trying to look like one is just embarrassing in a situation like this.

Emma Stone is in Givenchy Haute Couture, and boy would I love to see that bodice up close.  I love the hair, love the jewels, love the makeup, and love the top half of the dress.  Unfortunately, the bottom half looks like she is auditioning for the role of Babette in a Vegas production of Beauty and the Beast.  It is possible that this dress looks wonderful in motion, but at rest, it's rather sad looking.  And here is another pale skinned woman who looks good in a muted color.

Here we have another Babette look, this one by Marchesa, worn by Olivia Culpo.  The dress is a familiar look for Marchesa, and I seem to recall Georgina Chapman wearing something similar on a red carpet in the recent past.  This particular beaded feather duster works much better than the Givenchy, in my opinion.  But the hair is all kinds of wrong.  Did they gel it like that on her forehead?  I love a good spit curl with a flapper inspired frock, but the trick is to curl the hair into an interesting shape, not paste it down in an oily line.  This just looks like she is desperately trying to hide the fact that she needs to wash her hair, and failing.  I do like that delicate black ribbon and the dark clutch and dark nails.  And I would have liked a darker lip (or anything, really, to distract from that greasy mess on her forehead).

And in the role of Belle, we have Leslie Mann in Zac Posen.  From the shoulders up, she looks adorable.  The dress, however, looks like a contestant on Project Runway threw a bunch of fabric on a dress form and called it a day.  And top it off with a bow at the bust . . . what the heck was he thinking?  Is the skirt supposed to be that wrinkly, because the bodice is not.  I can just imagine Mr. Posen's snarky comments when this came down the runway:  "Who do you think you are, Charles James?"  That being said, she does look really happy wearing the dress, so that has to count for something.

Janelle Monae did not let me down in the crazy dress department (Helena Bonham Carter would totally wear this, and I am now convinced that they are red carpet cousins).  I am calling this one "Rococo Punk."  The overlay looks suspiciously shiny like polyester, but I cannot imagine that Elie Saab would use the poly organza from JoAnn Fabrics, so I am going to blame the lighting and hope that it is, in fact, silk.  She looks like a rock and roll princess; it really is incredible how a person can turn a potentially hideous garment into something wonderful with the right look.

So, not a lot of color this year, and nothing that I would give my left kidney to own, but it's been fun wandering down this year's red carpet.  Did I miss any of your favorites?

[Click on image for source]


  1. I eagerly await your fashion reviews of events like this. Brava!

  2. Excellent review - thank you! I enjoyed reading it very much.

  3. Maybe it's me, but I did not have a favorite. Bits and pieces, here and there I liked but overall, no. Having said that, Emma stone came close to OK.
    Besides telling Nicole that she doesn't look good in all beige, she is starting to look aged. There is something harsh in her look, I can't quite put my finger on it.
    Thank you for your insights, great post!

  4. The fluffy pink dress that Scarlett Johansson wore, with a belt? I don't usually get worked up about this stuff, but that combination sets off so many alarm bells for me. No, a belt does not always pull an outfit together STARE AT THIS AND LEARN FROM HER MISTAKES, MY FRIENDS!!!
    Whoa. Calm down there, gal!
    Also: any fans of "All About Eve" that felt Ms Stone's speech cribbed big time from Eve Harrington's "I will do my best to earn this undeserved award in my glorious future career" speech?

  5. Enjoyed your comments. I thought Emma Stone looked like a tassle! LOL. The Zac Posen dress has some neat elements to it, but the bow is wrong and I think the fabric choice is, too. I like the concept of the skirt and the bodice without the bow.