|l to r: jennifer garner/pink/kate hudson|
Yes, I know, I'm picky, but these were literally my only three real favorites of the evening. There were a lot of other women that looked pretty, but these ones really knocked my socks off. First up, Jennifer Garner. I love a classic silhouette with an unexpected detail, and I thought she looked like on of the party guests right out of the Oscar-winning set of The Great Gatsby. I was sad not to see Pink on the red carpet, but I think she more than made up for her absence with this ruby red slipper-inspired gown during her performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Although I'm not going to lie, I was half expecting someone to come along and rip the skirt off her as she was lifted above the crowd by circus wires. An aaagggh Kate Hudson (that was a good aaagggh) has just been killing it over the past few years on the red carpet. I was a little afraid that the cape thing was going to be all over the place on Sunday, and luckily, it was kept to a minimum and used effectively, like this half-one that lightly draped over her back.
|l to r: jennifer lawrence/lupita nyong'o|
I think if every single other celebrity came down with swine flu (thanks for the throwback reference, Jared Leto) and didn't show, we still wouldn't care as long as these two made it to the red carpet. I feel like all anyone has talked about this awards season is these ladies, and for good reason. But for me, this was a case of too much hype, too soon. I haven't exactly loved the things that Dior has put Jennifer Lawrence in this year, but unfortunately she seems to have signed a blood oath with them and is never allowed to wear anything else again, ever. I love the color of this dress, but when I saw it, I had total dejavu of the look that Michelle Williams sported at the 2012 Academy Awards, which was way more interesting. And I hate, hate, HATE this hair. I'm sorry, it's not because it's short, it's the way it was styled on this particular evening. She looks like a 40 year old woman that just came from the gym. Which would be fine if she was that age, because hey- at least she's working out, which is less than I can say for myself. But she's 23, and she falls and eats food and stuff- she's pretty much the closest thing the Academy has to edgy right now. And Lupita Nyong'o looks nothing less than ethereal with her flowing Cinderella gown. I just can't decide if I think this is Lupita-worthy enough for the Oscars. The color is amazing, but I prefer to see her in the more structured dresses she's been sporting all season instead of something so flowy on her super skinny frame.
|l to r: angelina jolie/ashley wagner/lady gaga/kristin chenoweth|
I mean, I don't think you can ever really go wrong with glitter at an award show (or in life, frankly). Scratch that, you can. But before we get to that, can someone just check to see if Hell has frozen over? Because Angelina Jolie can't stop smiling. Maybe it's because she knows how damn good she looks. We sure have come a long way from the black velvet leg dress to this. I'm proud of my doppleganger Ashley Wagner (my mom says we make the similar facial expressions) for leaving the figure skating costumes behind and rocking full on glamour in this gold sparkly number. If I was at the Oscars for the first time, this is how I would want to debut. Who needs a gold medal when you can wear head-to-toe gold glitter? A look I'm less in tune with is this lavender art deco dress that Lady Gaga is in. I actually think the dress is really pretty and it's a great shape, but it looks so uncomfortable and ill-fitting in the chest area. That neck scarf has got to go too. In fact, the entire area from boobs up is what I have a problem with. With a dress that is so structured, I wish her face and hair were softer to compliment the architectural detail. I do sort of like Kristin Chenoweth's ensemble if only because of it reminds me of an Oscar statue. But I'm sorry, I will always have a problem with dresses in which the pattern does something that really accentuates your crotch area. Why has no one figured that out? We don't need a billboard advertising what's happening in that region.
|l to r: camila alves/jada pinkett smith/penelope cruz|
There was a lot of talk in the preshow about how pastels were going to be all over the carpet this year. Other than Lupita, these are the only others that I remember really seeing. Does three gowns a trend make? I'm a little sad for Camila Alves that she chose to wear this long sleeved gown when her husband so obviously was going to win Best Actor and she was going to be photographed 50 bajillion times. I hate that she has covered up her beautiful figure with a whole lot of extra fabric. She looks like a nun. And the matchy matchy purse + almost no jewelry? Not into it. Speaking of not into it, Jada Pinkett Smith somehow managed to take the girliest shade of bubblegum pink and turn it into something scary. Like is she wearing a bulletproof chest plate under there? A suit of armor, perhaps? Everything about her is chiseled. Good for the arms, not so much for the dress. I think Penelope Cruz is suffering from the same issue as Camila, where she's obviously so beautiful and has this amazing figure, and the she covers it with this pink drape over half her body, concealing all the good stuff.
|l to r: anna kendrick/charlize theron/anne hathaway/chrissy teigen|
I may have stated once or twice before that given my bias towards the color black, I'm not a huge fan of it for a head to toe look at an awards show. But the thing about this crop is that I pretty much like them, but I'm conflicted on parts of the dresses that I wish just weren't there. I am kind of obsessed with Anna Kendrick, as is my husband, but she's so cool that I'm like, "yeah, go for it." I like that this is not just a black dress, but I just cannot decide if I like that detail in the middle. And the leg? Let's just let Angelina hold onto that one, shall we? Charlize Theron is basically flawless, and I would estimate that my approval rating for this one is at about 95% (we only use very scientific fashion algorithms here at Lindsay's Look). I just cannot fully support the shape of those straps. I know they're connected to a full strap that just happens to be totally invisible, but I don't feel like those blunt points are all that chic. I guess I just frankly don't understand the purpose of having said see through area. I mean, it reminds me of those clear bra straps that were like all the rage in 8th grade, when you were trying to pretend that you needed a bra, but didn't want people to see it (although let's be real, you totally did). I feel like this is the first time I've seen Anne Hathaway in years, and I'm not sure about this halter dress that she decided to grace our presence with. It looks like someone demolished the Dancing with the Stars mirror ball trophy and slapped it on her chest. Finally, Chrissy Teigen mixed it up with a floral print that the more I look at it, I am not so much a fan of. I love pocket dresses in real life, but not for the Oscars. When you pose like this the whole time it just looks like you lost both your hands in a series of unfortunate events. Also, is the high-low hemline thing still happening?
|l to r: karen o/emma watson/julia roberts/olivia wilde|
Ugh, more black. Fine, let's just get this over with. I'm knocking points off of Karen O. not because this dress is anything super fugly, but I loved her red performance dress so much that I wish she had worn it when she was actually standing upright (and with shoes on). I do love her little purse, although I liked it better when I thought it was like an kitchy theme clutch with an outline of a city skyline or something. Turns out, it's just bejeweled. A lot of people were expected Emma Watson to totally bring it after she wore those damn pants to the Golden Globes (which I was clearly not a fan of) and I could not be more bored with the dress that she chose. Since when are separates okay for the Academy Awards? I swear I've seen that glitzy sleeveless sweater at the Limited. Julia Roberts looks... fine. No, I mean it. She actually looks really good for her lately. I love her hair this shade, and anything that isn't a jumpsuit with an inseam that begins at her bellybutton is a win in my book. I mean she's not going to win any best dressed awards or anything with a plain black lace dress, but she definitely gets my "most improved" award for this season. I know I'm going to probably lose some friendships over this, but other than the fact that Olivia Wilde is beautiful and pregnant (which the way news outlets talk about her, it seems that she is the first woman to ever achieve that), I think this look is one giant snoozefest. I mean, look at her! I don't even think she likes it. Her personality is so fun and vibrant and this just gives me the sads. The only redeeming quality about it is that when she turned around, there was this cute little bow at the neck. Not that you could really see it, cause it was all black. Yawn.
|l to r: calista flockhart/cristin milioti/naomi watts/portia de rossi|
Do you think there was an email chain in which former cast members of Ally McBeal were like, "hey, you going to the Oscars?" "Uh, yeah, totally." "Me too. Brilliant idea- let's grab our grandmother's tablecloths that have been in the attic for like 47 years and make dresses out of them." "Totes magotes. Text me later." Okay, fine, that may not have been the conversation exactly, but how else can you explain both Calista Flockhart and Portia de Rossi showing up like this? And I'm sorry, I am really not trying to be mean (it just happens sometimes) but does Calista all of a sudden look super old? I always thought she looked like a teenager next to Harrison Ford, now I think she's starting to look like his twin sister. She's 49, not 65. One fresh face you may not recognize is Cristin Milioti, as her only real claim to fame so far is that she's the Mother on How I Met Your Mother. Oh, apparently she was also Leo's first wife in Wolf of Wall Street, except when I saw her on the red carpet I got nervous that the Twilight series was coming back. Like, seriously, she looks like a vampire. That shade of lipstick flatters no one. I was so bummed to Naomi Watts in this shapeless white frock that looked like a beaded t-shirt dress, especially after she look so good last year. And I just will never get why people think it's okay to wear their hair so purposely unstyled. Thanks for putting the effort in and simply flipping your part to the opposite side. And poor Portia, wearing that doily dress that reminds me of a less exciting version of the Spirograph drawings I used to do when I was a kid.
|l to r: amy adams/idina menzel/sandra bullock/viola davis|
Finally, some color! I mean I'm not saying it's all good, but I'm human and need a shade besides white or black to focus on for a minute so my eyes remember how to process color. First, Amy Adams. I'm really disappointed, because I sort of wanted her to win (it was her 5th nomination after all) and also I wasn't overly impressed with this look. The word that popped into my mind when I saw her was "severe." The dress is so angular and the hair is super stiff, and she was just completely devoid of the softness that usually follows her wherever she goes. Speaking of severe, who effed with Idina Menzel? Like why does she look so angry? I mean, this was even before she had her name butchered on international television (although I'm not going to lie, Adele Dazeem is really starting to grow on me). This isn't my favorite shade of green, and I guess it goes with her skin tone, but it just makes me think she's having trouble leaving Elphaba behind. I like this navy dress on Sandra Bullock, but I have to wonder if we combined all the extra fabric that people were wearing this year, how many extra Academy Award dresses could have been created? And then there's Viola Davis, who seems to understand what colors work for her skin tone, unfortunately fabric choice and fit leave something to be desired. I think the top of this gown is just so unflattering, and the shiny sateen reminds me of a cheap prom dress.
|l to r: kristen bell/kerry washington/jessica biel|
... And the color is gone. This is where we start to get into the paper bag category, a shade I affectionately refer to as "faccata." Kristen Bell is so cute, it just bums me out to see her in this off shade that totally washes her out. Also the bottom of her dress looks like it was created from thousands of crumpled tissues. I have always thought of Kerry Washington as a fashion maven, but I have not been loving her maternity style. I wish this dress was more purple and less of a dirty drain water hue. And I'm sorry, I don't find anything stylish about this. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I would wrap myself in a sheet and pretend it was a gown, including the bobby pin that held it all together. I think she herself looks gorgeous and I love her hair, but unfortunately, it stops there. And I don't know what it is about Jessica Biel, I have never particularly cared for her, her movies, or anything she wears. She just bores me. I'm confused why she was actually invited to the Oscars. When was the last time she was even in a successful film? (And no, Valentine's Day most certainly does not count.)
|l to r: bette midler/meryl streep/liza minelli|
I appreciate a woman who isn't afraid to age gracefully. Some of these ladies got it right, and the other is Liza Minnelli. I loved Bette Midler's dress, I thought it was just right and like her, it's super vibrant. I wish she had kept this on for her performance as well, because that frock she changed into was bo-ring. I wasn't overly impressed with Meryl Streep's drapey gown thing, but I thought it was sort of typical for her, and it wasn't terrible, so I'm just kind of letting it go. I don't think anything can compare to the gold glittery Lanvin that she won in a few years ago, so I think we just have to cut our losses here. And Liza Minnelli. Liza with a Z but without a bra. Doesn't she just look like a really fancy Smurf? I sort of don't even mind the streak in her hair, I mean it's not like she's your typical grandmother or anything. But I don't even like when purses match outfits too much, let alone hair color.
|l to r: cate blanchett/sally hawkins|
I know they play sisters in the movie, but did these two like call each other up and plan their outfits together too? I understand that Cate Blanchett is considered a style icon, but I wasn't in love with this nude gown. Obviously it fits her amazingly, but I think the color really washes her out. Also, paillettes are probably my least favorite accent trimming that has ever existed. I think I'm alone here, but I'm just not a fan. If only Cate had introduced Sally Hawkins to her tailor, because there is nothing about this look that fits. From the bangs to the sleeves to the train, everything is just like four extra inches too many. She seems like a petite woman, right? Why is she is literally drowning under her own hair?
So that's a wrap on 2014. Was anyone else overly exhausted when it was all over? I know I certainly was, which is why it took me two full days to organize my thoughts. Thank you for joining me on this ride, whether it was here on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, or right next to me on the couch (sorry, Steve).