2014 Academy Awards Red Carpet, Part 1


Hollywood’s biggest night of the year has come and gone, dear readers. 

Best DressedLUPITA NYONG’O
gown by Prada, headband and jewelry by Fred Leighton

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Are there words to describe the exquisite, preternatural beauty of Ms. Nyong’o? “Lupitarella” doesn’t even begin to cover it. This lady won the night as soon as she showed up in this delicately flawless gown and that AMAZING headband, the very definition of dressing to win. In the immortal words of Beyoncé, “Bow down, bitches.”

Runner-Up: CHARLIZE THERON
gown by Christian Dior, jewelry by Harry Winston

Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Jennifer Lawrence needs to fire whoever saved such a stunningly gorgeous Dior gown for Charlize, and gave fellow face of the label J.Law the much-less-fabulous leftovers. I love the sheerness of the top half of the skirt, and the strips of fabric along the bottom. The nearly-invisible straps are just so interesting and unusual to me that I can’t stop looking at them. And you can’t really go wrong with 15 million dollars’ worth of Harry Winston diamonds.

Honorable Mention: AMY ADAMS
gown by Gucci Prèmiere, jewelry by Tiffany & Co

Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

I was hoping for a sternum-baring 1970s moment, but Amy’s opposite-end-of-the-spectrum tailored gown was terrific. The color and fit are spectacular on her, and the Tiffany earrings were a dream come true. She also won a permanent place in my heart for being the first person in the entire audience to leap to their feet the moment Pharrell told the crowd to stand up and dance during his performance. And on a night of hair that was mostly boring or downright terrible, Amy’s updo stole the fucking show.

OLGA KURLYENKO
gown by Suzi Amis Cameron, purse by Oroton

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

Olga Kurlyenko makes sustainable fabrics look damn good. This strawberry color is delicious on her, and I like the draping across the bust and shoulder. I wish the bodice was longer, although the apparent shortness of her torso does make her legs look incredibly long, so it’s a solid look either way.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY
tuxedo by Dolce & Gabbana

Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty

The McConaissance is REAL, dear readers, and you all need to deal with it. Matthew’s on-trend ivory jacket was a breath of fresh air. With his mom on one arm and his wife on the other, he was incredibly charming on the red carpet, and as McConaughey as can be during his never-ending, sort-of-inspiring, fully-ridiculous, totally-enjoyable acceptance speech.

LADY GAGA
gown by Atelier Versace

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The only thing worse than Jennifer Lawrence for Dior (when Dior has run out of good gowns to give her) is Lady Gaga for Versace (when everyone involved decided that Lady Gaga should permanently look like she’s entering a Donatella Versace drag queen impersonator contest). I actually think this dress is remarkably stunning and shockingly event-appropriate for Lady Gaga, but the Donatella thing has already gotten old for me.

IDINA MENZEL
gown by Vera Wang

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Idina Menzel finally performs at the Oscars, and John Travolta introduces her as “Adele Dazeem,” or some similarly incomprehensible name. Way to burst her bubble RIGHT BEFORE SHE HAS TO BELT A THOUSAND HIGH NOTES, Travolta. Sigh. Anyway, my personal diva hero looked glamorous as hell on the red carpet. The silhouette is a little traditional for my tastes, but the dark green color and truly beautiful draping made up for the gown’s lack of originality. And the jewelry was out of this world.

KRISTEN BELL
gown by Roberto Cavalli, purse by Salvatore Ferragamo

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

Better on television than in pictures, but I actually liked how princessy this was. Kristen Bell is cute and endearing enough to pull it off without seeming like she actually thinks she’s royalty.

JULIA ROBERTS
gown by Givenchy

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s more than a goddamn button-down shoved under a strapless gown, so I suppose I should just shut the fuck up and be thankful for what we’ve got.

JADA PINKETT SMITH
gown by Atelier Versace

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

On television, Jada looked like a Grecian goddess. In pictures, the gown is clearly about ten feet too long on the petite Ms. Pinkett Smith, and there’s a general feeling of “it’s been done before” to this look overall.

ANNE HATHAWAY
gown by Gucci

Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Totally fine, but not even remotely memorable. (I think that’s what she was going for – remember how much we all hated her this time last year? Girlfriend did not want to trigger even more backlash by showing up looking like the queen of the Oscars.)

NAOMI WATTS
gown by Calvin Klein, purse and jewelry by Bulgari

Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage

I did not quite understand the immense love I saw for this gown on the internet. It’s nice enough, but the fit is really poor, and necklaces should almost never be worn over the fabric of a dress at formal events. A necklace as distracting as this one, over a gown with a high neckline? That was just a terrible idea.

SALLY HAWKINS
gown by Valentino

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

Sally joined what seemed like thousands of starlets in off-white, ivory, and blush gowns with metallic embellishments. It was the clear trend of the night, which was depressing, because so few stars did it in an original or interesting way.  This Valentino couture gown (which was my Fall 2013 red carpet prediction for Zoe Saldana)  is stunning, but a bit too much dress for Ms. Hawkins.

KERRY WASHINGTON
gown by Jason Wu

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

A wrinkled bedsheet in a sad color with a bedazzled bobby pin holding it all together does NOT an Oscars gown make, no matter how pregnant you are.

LIZA MINNELLI
top and pants by Halston

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

May we all live to be as legendary and divalicious as Liza Minnelli, and may we all adopt her complete “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that allows us to go braless and blue-haired on the red carpet at 67 years old. God bless this crazy old lady, who deserved at least a nod in her direction during the Wizard of Oz tribute. Also, when Lupita won the Oscar, Liza jumped up so quickly to hug her, I thought she might have broken a hip. It was maybe my favorite moment in television history.

VIOLA DAVIS
gown by Escada, purse by Jimmy Choo, jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

WHO DID THIS TO VIOLA DAVIS? From the 1920s hair to the Wonder Woman cuffs to the very dated green shiny fabric to the stuffy draping of the skirt, this looks like it was cobbled together from ten different decades’ worth of inspiration.

ANNA KENDRICK
gown by J. Mendel

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

I love me some Anna Kendrick, but oof, this was not the gown for her. It had about ten too many details, and the overall severity of the look just doesn’t suit her “geeky-hot theater girl next door” vibe.

Worst DressedJESSICA BIEL
gown by Chanel, jewelry by Tiffany & Co.

Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

There is a worse crime than wearing something ugly, and that crime is wearing something dull. This is possibly the least imaginative Oscars gown of all time. BE LESS BORING, JESSICA.


© Democracy Diva, 2014.
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9 responses to 2014 Academy Awards Red Carpet, Part 1

  1. Perhaps I have become overly critical….but man, those are some boring and ugly gowns. Your winner looks to me like it belongs on a window. The runner-up is great but not ideal for a woman with broad shoulders. I would have gone with your honourable mention, despite the styling, because it was the only one which was not either boring, overly busy or unflattering for one reason or another.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Almost everything except the top few spots were pretty boring to me too. Some of them packed a bigger punch on TV than in the photos, but overall, I agree it was a disappointing night. That’s what happens when half the women show up in nothing-colored gowns…

  2. Not that it was enough to save the absurdity of the front, but did you see the back of Anna’s gown? It was quite gorgeous and such a shame that it got drowned out by the hot mess up front.

    +1 to your other commenter though – there really wasn’t anything remarkable. Lupita’s gown was definitely a thousand times more gorgeous on TV than in pictures – that dress was MADE for ascending the stairs to claim the trophy. I think that visual of the dress (the most important one, really) was the best. It was a perfect “Bow down, royalty is here,” gown at the moment it was most called for.

    • democracydiva – Author

      The back is lovely. (Photo here, for anyone else reading: http://bit.ly/1hIUwCk) But as you said, yeah, definitely not enough to save the hot mess happening up front.

      I heard someone mention on the red carpet that tons of dresses got stuck on planes and never made it to their destinations because of the weather. (You know, a rainy day in LA is practically apocalyptic.) I’m hoping the sea of boring dresses had something to do with last-minute changes and that everyone actually intended to wear something bright, colorful, and interesting. (A girl can dream.)

  3. Albania

    “A wrinkled bedsheet in a sad color with a bedazzled bobby pin holding it all together does NOT an Oscars gown make, no matter how pregnant you are.” DYING!!!! LMAO!!

  4. Lupita’s dress in theory is nice, but not on someone with her body frame.
    Idina Menzel: I LOVE you but the bottom of that dress is too wide and puffy.
    I agree Lady Gaga looked tame, and I loved that look on her.
    For once Amy Adams was not wearing a nude/pale gown that washed her out–she should wear navy more often!
    And lastly, although Jessica Biel’s look might have been standard fare, I think she looked a hell of a lot more put together than Anna Kendrick or Viola, who both look like absolute messes.
    Overall: I agree, these dresses were in general boring!

    • democracydiva – Author

      I kept switching who I wanted to put as worst dressed – Anna, Viola, or Jessica. I eventually settled on Jessica because I have no patience for boring Oscar gowns, but the worst dressed spot could have easily gone to any of them.

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