Our Top 10 Best Dressed Women at the Oscars: Do You Agree?
Watching the Oscars red carpet from multiple angles, with livestreams happening on various channels, Instagram images and Twitter posts updating constantly, and overhead shots on television, it struck me that people who were actually at the awards this year must have been thrilled to have so much extra room to move around. There were hardly any trains for dopey guys to step on. Some dresses were so sleek and slim as to rival the offerings of a lingerie department, gussied up as they were with pleats, sequins, and such. Blue was a big trend, and so were plunging necklines and backlines.
The big news remains that ballgowns of the classic variety have been almost entirely banished from the Oscars, replaced by a long and lean silhouette. Some of those dresses looked as if they had been shrink-wrapped (Tina Fey in Versace, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, Kate Winslet in Ralph Lauren, to name a few). It’s the dawn of a new look in Hollywood, making it challenging, but oh so fun, to name this year’s Top 10 of the night.
Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani Privé
Blue officially became the color of the night when endorsed by Blanchett, and of course, she chose the most spectacular shade – an icy crystal that picks up the sparkle of her Tiffany & Co jewels (and also matches the Roger Vivier clutch). Those three-dimensional flowers added a rare touch of whimsy to the Oscars, too, heightening the commandingly statuesque quality of the dress (and, of course, of Blanchett).
Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton
A bright spark of citron (the label calls it butter, but we just can’t) made Vikander’s early arrival one you couldn’t miss from all those aerial shots of the carpet. Her dress, the latest in an awards season filled with terrific custom gowns by Vuitton artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière, was surprisingly traditional in its strapless princess silhouette. But tradition stopped there. The train seemed to fold back inside itself, creating a cloudlike effect as she walked, so for once, you could see the shoes, and for a futuristic touch, the all-over silver, transparent, and mirrored sequins looked almost like computer chips in their placement.
Daisy Ridley in Chanel Couture
While fairly restrained for the Oscars, the simplicity of this cut, combined with a playful ruffle, lends an unexpected air of elegance to our favorite red carpet newcomer. Ridley’s style has consistently been polished (not one hair out of place, and that smile is so nicely framed in red), but here she looks youthful too, by avoiding a rookie mistake like wearing a boring ball gown.
Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein Collection
She had to blossom sometime, so where better than the Academy Awards? Could this be the same woman who wowed us at the Golden Globes in a chaste goddess gown from Saint Laurent? Or the one who wore that covered-up but precious Michael Kors dress at the SAGs? No one expected Ronan to take such a dramatic plunge (at least from the back), but she wore her revealing custom Calvin sequins in Irish green with all the confidence and pride of a star. Her mismatched earrings from Chopard were another nice touch.
Julianne Moore in Chanel Couture
Brie Larson in Gucci
Belts are risky for evening, particularly in welterweight size. Even more so when you combine one with a ruffling lapis blue dress. But somehow Larson pulls them together charmingly in this custom Gucci organza number doused with plissé. The belt is covered in navy velvet and embroidered with black crystal and pearls, by the way.
Naomi Watts in Giorgio Armani Privé
Kerry Washington in Atelier Versace
I know, I know, not everyone loves a molded leather bustier. But I do.
Sofia Vergara in Marchesa
A strapless dress at the Oscars? Shocking. Vergara sticks with the tried and true, but here she mixes things up with the complicated wrap-around structure of the dress. The fabric seems to unwind from her neckline to hem, hinting at treats of embroidery all the way down and around.
Mindy Kaling in Elizabeth Kennedy
Everything about this works. One of the best images of the night was when Kaling posed for photos looking over her left shoulder toward the voluminous violet blue silk faille sash that flowed behind her (pictured, top), seemingly winking at the old-school drama of the effect. (Alright, so minus one point for that clutch, but maybe it was a goof.)