Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscars Fashion Smack Down!

Yeah, you know you want it. You know you've been waiting for it.

So, here it is, in alphabetical order.

Adams, Amy

This, I love. The dress is unusual, the jewel tones go well with her skin, but the NECKLACE is da BOMB. It's huge and NOT made of diamonds. The multicolored cabochons play off her green eyes and red hair, and make her good looks more striking than ever. Adams's coloring can look pastel, or even faded, her hair tending toward strawberry blonde rather than red, and her eyes going gray rather than green. Sometimes it's hard to look at her and see her as a Hollywood star, compared to the more vivid looks of actresses like Penelope Cruz or Anne Hathaway.

But with this outfit, she claims her own good looks and projects them to the back of the theater. I love love love this daring look.

Anniston, Jennifer

Love the dress, hate the hair. While white does nothing to dispell the persistent impression that Aniston as actually allergic to color, it's at least a chance from the endless black. The hair looks like a style I wore back in 8th grade to keep it out of my face during gym class. But even as bad as the hair is, the date is worse.

Is it just me, or does John Mayer give other people the creeps?

Berry, Halle

Another genetic experiment gone horribly, horribly right. Sometimes it's hard to believe that human beings can really look this good. The same species that brought us Howard Stern brings us Halle Berry? Are we absolutely certain about that?

Unusually for Berry, her dress didn't pick up a lot of attention this year. She's lovely, it's perfect, blah blah blah. . . More daring this year is her hair, which is as long as it's been in recent memory. I love the way it frames her face in close-up, while not being overwhelming at a distance.


Another in the endless supply of metallic gold mermaid gowns presented by the House of Knowles. This one is unusual in that the gold is (at least technically) not the fabric, but only the detailing. While I totally applaud Beyonce for acknowledging and flaunting her curves (a lesson rejected by so many lollipop starlets these days, Kate Bosworth), this one might have been better with less gold and more black. I would personally have not added the gold-trimmed panel to the back of the gown as well as the front, but for some reason, she didn't ask me. I wonder why?

Still, however garish she ended up looking, she's still one amazingly beautiful human being, and it was far better than the red sequinned leotard she had to wear on stage, right?

Cotillard, Marion

She's French. Nuff said.

Cruz, Penelope

Dress, we are told, is a 60 year old vintage Balmain. We are not told if it was originally worn by Cruz's grandmother to her own wedding. Do I like it? No. Is it heinous? No. Could it be worse? Yes, except that whatever is wrong with the dress is more than overshadowed by the bangs.

Everybody's mother has, at one time or another, said "You are such a pretty girl. Why do you hide it with the ugly hair?" Penelope Cruz's mother was apparently not available pre-Oscars. I never realized that you could be a perfectly beautiful as Penelope Cruz and still mess it up so easily.

I insanely covet the necklace and earrings, however.

Cyrus, Miley

While not literally a Disney Princess, she is clearly channelling the Little Mermaid Goes To Hollywood, with the fishscale tiers and oyster (complete with pearl) on the belt. Is it a bit much? Yeah. A bit. It's not the ugliest Oscar gown ever seen, but no the best either. In fact, it kind of looks like the kind of gown a 16 year old girl who has never been to prom might choose--

Oh. Well. Never mind.

Hathaway, Anne

I love this dress. It's got such shimmer and shine, without being overwhelming. Not many dresses pull off this much crystal without looking completely costume-like. *cough* sarajessicaparker *cough* She looks tall, slim, elegant, and totally comfortable. Hathaway has an unconventional beauty, and her large features can look too big for her face sometimes. Here, she balances her strong features, her pale skin, and her unusual look for an absolutely wonderful presentation. You can't even see any nerves about her upcoming stage stealing number with Hugh Jackman!

Henson, Taraji P.

Why the "P"? Are there that many "Taraji Hensons" in Hollywood that we need to differentiate between them? If there are any others, they may as well retire their names, as this one totally dominates. She looks young, fresh, lovely in white, which so beautifully compliments her skin tone. (Are you taking notes, Nicole Kidman?) The necklace has the dark brilliance of vintage jewelry, and the dress has structure and interest, so it doesn't look like she took the wrong turn to the altar.

Best of all, none of it overwhelms her eyes, her smile, and those adorable dimples. The question is not who is Taraji P. Henson wearing, but who got to dress Taraji.

Jolie, Angelina

You know, she's come a long way since making out with Billy Bob Thornton in the limo on the way over. She looks graceful, elegant, menacing. Somebody on line called her the "perfect Disney villain" to follow all the Disney princesses. She's even got the green covered, with her ginormous earrings and ring. She looks cool, remote, and like she's not even trying very hard. Like a black hole, she swallows all the attention and light pointed her way, and doesn't let any of it get away.

It's not even a look you can really analyze. Does it work? Absolutely. Why does it work? Who knows? It's almost not fashion any more, but pure icon status. Does anybody really analyze what the Statue of Liberty is wearing?

Kidman, Nicole (a/k/a The Botox Kid)

She's lovely, of course, but in a "extruded plastic from Mattel Oscar Barbie (TM)" kind of way. The dress does nothing for her, and while I hope she's happy and has a happy life, can we just not see her for a while? Please?

Leo, Melissa

Love the bronze color on the dress. The spider necklace is a bound to have a story behind it--it's a whimsical touch the Oscars don't see much any more. The hair? The hair is straight out of 1983, when Princess Diana grew hers out and was much mocked as "Dynasty Di." Someone should fire that hairstylist because the Do makes Leo look like a bad flashback.

Portman, Natalie

Okay, she's stunning. She's got the carriage of a ballerina, and the brains of Albert Einstein. So why is she wearing Evan Rachel Wood's dress, only in little girl pink, with sparkles? She carries it off, because she's Natalie frickin' Portman, but I don't like it. On screen, the color made her skin look like she'd spent too much time in a convection oven, and her hair is too tight--it looks too much like she's wearing a net over her head but forgot to put the wig on over it.

If you needed any more proof that Debbie Matanopoulos is a waste of airtime, this is it--she declared Portman the Best Dressed at the Oscars.

Parker, Sarah Jessica

Hidden in the deepest, darkest corner of her shallow fashionistia heart, lies the desire to be nothing more than a pretty, pretty princess. With a belt. I guess the SATC version of New York really is Disneyland.

Rinna, Lisa

Huh. What can you say? Dress and earrings are fine, more like a "Daytime Emmy" standard than an Oscar one, but really, who is looking at the dress? Girlfriend is 45 years old, and only about 5 days older than Phoebe Cates. Let's go to the close-up of Cates for comparison:

Cates looks beautiful--happy, healthy, and 15 years younger than her age. Rinna, on the other hand, looks increasingly like Catwoman. No, not Halle Berry. Jocelyn Wildenstein.

Brain bleach!

Tomei, Marisa

This one is such an interesting dress, and could have so easily looked like a pile of folded napkins fresh from the restaurant laundry. But it doesn't! Instead, it looks like Tomei is delicately folded inside an elaborate origami package, like an expensive gift from a luxury Japanese store. The millions of tiny pleats compliment her tiny frame, while at the same time allowing her to look strong and confident, rather than tiny and fragile.

Sure, she's got the asymmetic Golden Globes thing going, but the dress itself is engineered so that the uneven elements are balanced out in a complicated and artistic way. The bust of the dress is not overly complicated (I'm looking at YOU, Kate Winslet!), and serves to frame Tomei's gorgeous hair and make-up, before flowing into the more elaborate pleating below.

Very very well played!

Witherspoon, Reese

A darling woman, and I love the cobalt and black combination. She is so fair, that the dark combination of colors is really rather daring, and wouldn't work except that the blue makes her eyes stand out.

That said, I just want to run up and adjust the fabric over her shoulders, so it lies flat and even on both sides. And maybe so it covers the sheer stuff that is actually holding the dress up. And the dress itself is a confusing mess of lines--why does the black sheer fabric stop and start all over her body? And can somebody do something with her messy hair?

Winslet, Kate

Love the hair--very Grace Kelly, don't you think? Elegant, clean, let's us see that amazing face. The dress? Not so much. The color is fabulous, looking like a gun metal gray on screen, but it's just too busy! The asymmetical thing is already overdone--was over done back at the Golden Globes, IMHO. And a belt too. Also a GG meme. I'm not fond of the left boob pleating and the right boob hammock of fabric, either. It's like her dress is trying to cop a feel under a blanket or something. Add that distracting lacy panel down the left side, and the cool sophistication of the color has been overwhelmed and cheapened. I'd have rather seen the dress just be a one-shouldered toga at the top, and some minimal pleating at the bottom. She looks strong and beautiful from the neck up, and like she has to ignore what is going on underneath her chin.

Maybe it's a metaphor for her role in The Reader?

Wood, Evan Rachel.

Again, making a fashion statement of independence from the schlock Goth of Marilyn Manson. Pale skin, soft make-up, blush colored gown. The kind of look a vampire wouldn't be caught dead in, right? Okay, so maybe the eleborate cris-crossed pleating hints at a sort of "kinder gentler bondage"-- at least you can be sure that no blood would be drawn, because that's a stain that would never come out of that dress.

Honestly, she looks lovely, elegant, self-assured. So why is she back with MM?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I thought Nicole and her dress looked absolutely beautiful. She is always classy, elegant and refined. The dress was gorgeous and so were the shoes.