Best Dressed: LUPITA NYONG’O
gown by Prada, headband and jewelry by Fred Leighton
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
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.
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.
gown by Suzi Amis Cameron, purse by Oroton
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.
tuxedo by Dolce & Gabbana
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.
gown by Atelier Versace
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.
gown by Vera Wang
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.
gown by Roberto Cavalli, purse by Salvatore Ferragamo
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.
gown by Givenchy
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
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.
gown by Gucci
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.)
gown by Calvin Klein, purse and jewelry by Bulgari
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.
gown by Valentino
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.
gown by Jason Wu
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.
top and pants by Halston
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.
gown by Escada, purse by Jimmy Choo, jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz
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.
gown by J. Mendel
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 Dressed: JESSICA BIEL
gown by Chanel, jewelry by Tiffany & Co.
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.