Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And the Oscar goes to . . .

Where to start? It felt like a somewhat mediocre ceremony this year -- a crazy acceptance speech here, a stoned-looking host there, but nothing too wild to speak of. Even Helena Bonham Carter looked like a Normal Person. (Note: Further research has revealed that she was wearing a flag with the Union Jack strapped to her thigh. Thank the Good Lord!) Where were the mismatched shoes? The bodysuits or the headdresses or the on-stage ensemble numbers? The whole thing, from start to finish, was vaguely 'meh.'

(If nothing else, the evening DID yield one of my all-time favorite Oscar looks. More on that later . . . )

The first one on the red carpet was Jennifer Lawrence who, really, has come out of nowhere this year to be such a red carpet treat (and no, "treat" isn't some kind of euphemism.). It seemed kind of boring at first, like a classier, dress-length version of the Baywatch swimsuits. And when Ryan Seacrest asked her who had designed it, she couldn't remember Francisco Costa's last name, so I was yelling it at the TV which made me look like a damn fool.

But it grew on me! Really. She pulled off the 'I-just-came-from-the-beach' look better than most, and I think the way she carries herself helps a lot. I didn't want to pull her dress up or mess with her hair--it's just a lovely, simple, California Girl look, and what event is more California than the Oscars?

If you start to type "Helen Mirren" into Google, the first autofill option that comes up is "Helen Mirren is so hot." Remember the bikini shot heard 'round the world? She's worn some weird stuff in her day, but she's lived through World War II, so you've gotta give her that. I think she looked lovely on Sunday night--almost demure, but glamorous at the same time. Her hair, her jewelry, the dress, all in such good taste. It's not even a case of "She looks good for her age." She just looks good, period.


The only thing I like about this whole outfit are her shoes. As a fellow redhead, I have a lot invested in Nicole's success. She gives us someone to aspire to, someone besides Kathy Griffin or Jessica Rabbit. And some of her fashion choices are, in my mind, inspired (see previous post).

But this one! As my friend Jess pointed out, it looks like it could have easily come straight from your local Jessica McClintock. It's way too stark white for her most people, let alone someone with her fair skin tone. Her ponytail is kind of cute, but her bangs are woefully insufficient and her choker just reminds me of an American Girl doll. And the weird hip juts that cascade into a big ribbon . . . just not doing it for me.

Okay. This one. I LOVE this color on her. Love the cut of the dress, the train, the jewelry. Even the butt pleats, which I am normally anti-, somehow worked on this one.


Can we talk about the boobs? (I've just spent five minutes typing boob jokes here, and Zack reminded me that you guys probably don't want to read them. GOSH.) They just look . . . flat. Pancaked. Distributed. And I can't imagine that's what she was going for, but it was such a noticeable side effect of the gown that I also can't imagine she wasn't aware of it.

The dress was so close to a total victory, but I think the smooshed cleavage sort of ruined it for me.

This is probably going to stir up some controversy (for you five readers), but:


Yes, the pleats look like a coffee filter. Yes, there is a picture-frame sized cutout in the middle of her chest. Yes, it is a little bit weird. But it is so RIGHT on her. It has something totally iconic about it, in my mind - I don't know if it's the kooky sleeves or the color combination, but this is one for the books. She looks elegant and lovely, but also fashion-forward, which isn't easy to do, and the structure at the top of the dress balances beautifully with the ladylike bottom. If Givenchy made it in white, I'd probably make Zack get married again.

Camilla Alves (Mrs. Matthew McConaughey, but not really Mrs.).
IT HAS POCKETS. Pockets! In that gown! It feels like the love child of January Jones' Golden Globes dress and the full skirts that Katharine Hepburn was known for: super feminine, probably fairly comfortable, super functional, and Old-Hollywood-glamourous. She looks stunning, not to mention that her boobs are holding up pretty well on their own here. Her clean hair and simple jewelry only add to it, really. And did I mention the pockets?!


I am a little bit obsessed with her. I haven't seen Black Swan, so that shouldn't sound too dirty. Really, though, her career is so fascinating. She's on "That 70s Show" for what seems like nineteen years. She voices a cartoon character on "Family Guy." She dates Macaulay Caulkin who, you know, hasn't won any awards for being normal lately. And she looks like this! If I were to guess what she would look like based on all of the above, I would have gone in a different direction.

The dress is lovely. I think Monique Lhullier designed it, which makes sense because my only beef with it is that it looks a little Bridal. But other than that, I think she looks beautiful and feminine and the draping is super pretty and even the boob things are kind of growing on me.

. . . and then, there was THIS. It's like the top of her dress vomited out the tulle-encrusted bottom, and then vacuumed her in super tight to make sure that none of it could ever reach the top again. I mean, HONESTLY -- who told her this was a good idea? In a year of mostly non-superlatives, this is certainly one of the most spectacularly awful dresses I've seen.

To be perfectly honest, I don't really know much about Florence Welch besides that super catchy song and that she has a great colorist. But now I can add to that list: She only owns ONE dress. She has a very talented tailor that she keeps in her closet at home, and in between award shows she throws the dress in to her and yells "SEW!" And the tailor, swimming in a sea of discarded lace and ivory fabric, sews until her little hands bleed while Florence looks on with her one facial expression and yells "BIRDS! TIERS! THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER!"

Honorable mentions to: Reese Witherspoon's ponytail, Natalie Portman, HALLE.

Meh mentions: Hilary Swank.

Dishonorable: Melissa Leo's macrame gown (and her acceptance speech, which was CRAZY!), Marissa Tomei's weird fishtail of a dress, Gwyneth's performance, James Franco's hosting.

Here's hoping that next year gives us some more interesting material to work with, or that something crazy happens, or someone goes up in flames or punches Tom Hanks or makes out with Justin Bieber backstage. Fingers crossed!


Jessica said...

i look forward to this post every year from you. and i completely agree with everything you said. except i think jennifer's boobs look UNEVENLY distributed. it's awful. like in high school when girls used to duct tape their boobs down. ugh.

cate's gown is one of my favorite of all time. so weird, so forward, so amazing.


Andrea G. Vaudrey said...

I was laughing out loud. Thank you for posting this.

lori lester said...

I didn't even watch the oscars and I've been waiting for this post. . . strangely addictive.

betsie said...

Two comments:
2. James said to tell you he knows it's all in good fun, and that you're still invited to our wedding this August.

(LOVE this yearly post!)

rachel said...

i was just LOLing about your commentary on florence...and simultaneously wondering if you've ever said the same about me. heather gray, anyone?

i LOVE mila's dress. and i actually don't mind your crazy fave.

loved the post, of course! maybe next year i'll even watch the show.

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emilykatz said...

i literally made a new tab just to google helen mirren because i believed you. wow, gullible anyone?

it's time for a career change, turner... this was amazing.

Lisa said...

Hi! I forgot you did this...please remind me each year. I'm just looking through your blog after a bit of time. I love this oscar post. I also loved Kate B's dress that lots of people didn't. Hope you're well. xo