Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar Fashion Review 2014

There were an awful lot of really pretty gowns on parade at last night’s Oscar awards, and very few misses. So without further ado, let’s dive right in with some of the memorable outfits. In alphabetical order:

Amy Adams continued her streak of stunning, striking, flattering dresses in this simple cobalt blue gown. The color set off her beautiful hair and skin, and the simplicity of the cut set off her perfectly toned figure. It had just enough details, such as the curved flaps at the bodice, briefest hint of a peplum, and tiny train, to be interesting. Her choice of striking but subtle earrings, a single bangle bracelet, and a softly waved updo allowed her to shine without being overshadowed.

Sandra Bullock has been hit or miss at awards shows lately but she was on the money with this charcoal blue dress. From the sweetheart neckline to the full drape to the structured train, she radiated elegance and glamour. Her sideswept hair revealed a large diamond earring that coordinated with her diamond bangle. Sheer perfection.

Kristen Chenoweth often struggles with proportion and her petite frame is easily overwhelmed by gowns. But this Art Deco-inspired column hugged her figure nicely and her sleek bob helped her to avoid the “bobblehead” trap. This is not an easy color to pull off but she makes it work.

The rich emerald of this gown was an excellent choice for Viola Davis. The asymmetrical neckline and deep flat pleats of the skirt are lovely, but at certain angles the criss-cross detailing made her look a bit poochy. The heavy diamond cuffs, cylindrical clutch, and marcelled bob were all excellent accessories (as was her adorable - and adoring - husband).

Jennifer Garner’s dress was pretty when she stood and posed, but became absolutely stunning when she moved. The flapper-style rows of fringes swung beautifully and caught the light, and the severe, squared-off neckline was softened by their movement. The pop of color in her bright red manicure was a nice touch, although I would have loved to have seen it echoed in a bright red lip. 

Kate Hudson’s dress had beautifully draped panels around the hips and falling from the shoulders that balanced and softened the stark straight lines of its plunging v-neck and severely squared-off shoulders. Hudson’s skin had a golden glow that worked nicely with the silvery-nude color of the dress. Not an easy look to pull off, but she made it work.

Angelina Jolie made a rare misstep in this 80s-looking dress. The sleeves are too long and ill-fitting, the poufed bodice does nothing for her fantastic figure, the placement of the glitter on the bodice makes her boobs look saggy, and the wide boat neck makes her shoulders look disproportionately broad. Her hair and makeup, however, were simple and beautiful.

Jennifer Lawrence once again went with a bright crimson dress, this once a simple column adorned only by a split peplum. It looked lovely in still photos, but when she walked the peplum and tight fit at the knees made her look hippy. Her poufed, streaky hair didn’t seem to fit with the style of the gown, but the backwards-draped diamond necklace and mirror bag were terrific accessories. 

Idina Menzel’s look reflected quite a few trends of the evening, including a criss-cross draped bodice, deep green color, sideswept hair, single bracelet, and nude lips (which she carried off much better than most). The heavy diamond necklace matching the cuff bracelet was a nice touch, as was the subtle, simple hair and makeup. 

Older performers represented themselves extremely well in the fashion arena, with Bette Midler at the front of the pack in this red-and-white flowered gown. The wide square neckline, tiny train, minimal jewelry, and shiny red clutch all contributed to its flattering and age-appropriate look.

Lupita N’yongo continued her string of perfect color choices this awards season in this ice-blue gown. The bodice was not the most flattering, making her look quite flat-chested and a bit bottom-heavy against the full, heavily-pleated skirt (and topped by a tiny headband). But her gorgeously glowing face more than made up for any sartorial shortcomings. And the shiny gold statuette she brought home at the end of the night was a pretty nice accessory, too.

Jada Pinkett’s pale peach gown was one of my favorites of the night. The trendy criss-cross at the waist was echoed in a twisted halter neck that fell into a softly draped train from the shoulders, and a revealing slit added a touch of sultriness to the softness. 

I wanted to love Lara Spencer’s dress; I really, really did. And I did love a lot of the details: the large button-style beading, the smooth clean lines, the deep keyhole neckline. But the beading on the collar was just a bit too heavy and too low and made her boobs look saggy (which was quite an accomplishment considering the perfectly-toned body underneath). I also felt like her earrings and hairstyle belonged with a different dress, and the dress was begging for a pair of heavy cuff bracelets echoing the beading. So close….but not quite.

June Squibb was another older actress who hit all the right notes in this elaborately-beaded emerald gown with matching bag. Her bright red lips and nails and simply-styled snow-white hair somehow managed to avoid looking Christmassy and instead just looked cheerful and bright.

Meryl Streep continued her streak of non-traditionally styled black-and-white gowns. The off-the-shoulder draped neckline and matching paired bracelets and belt worked; the baggy, poufed top and bland black skirt did not. But her simple and elegant hair and makeup were nicely done.

Charlize Theron’s striking black gown was another of my favorites. The invisible straps and see-through overlay with a horizontally pleated hemline leading into a long train were fabulous details, as was her stunning diamond pendant necklace. The sleek hair and subtle makeup set off the stark but stunning look beautifully.

Kerry Washington set the bar high for maternity chic in this dusty lavender gown that gracefully wrapped her burgeoning figure and draped from a long diamond bar pin. The fabric was unfortunately wrinkled (no doubt from her attempt to sit comfortably in a limo), and I would have loved longer earrings that matched the bar pin at the neckline, but her sparkly shoes, dark lips, twin diamond bangles, and loosely waved hair were all spot on.

So, no tragic fails this year and no spectacular wins, but a good solid field all the way around. 

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