I think most people agree that the fashion at the Oscars wasn’t all that exciting this year. Of course there were some lovely dresses but it was all so damn safe. There was definitely no Gwyneth in a Tom Ford cape. Or Nicole in a embroidered fur-lined chartreuse Dior Couture down. While I wasn’t jumping up and down after seeing one dress in particular, there were some memorable looks. The clear standout of the night? Cate Balanchett’s statement opal earrings, of course. THEY WERE INCREDIBLE. The Chopard stunners were made of 62 white opals (33 carats) set in white pave diamond and 18K white gold. It doesn’t get much fancier than that. No doubt those incredible opal earrings are how I will remember the 2014 Oscars.
In terms of the dresses, here’s my breakdown of some of the more memorable (and forgettable) looks of the night. Let’s hope for more excitement next year.
Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé
So I’ve already mentioned her unbelievable jewels but her custom Armani Privé was also lovely and regal. It’s just that we were expecting so much more – she’s usually so adventurous and this dress just wasn’t all that exciting. It was a similar silhouette to the Armani dress she wore to the Golden Globers and the nude colour did wash her out a bit. But it was a beautifully constructed dress and I bet it was incredible in person. Since we know she’ll be back next year to give out the Oscar for best actor, let’s hope she steps it up in something totally original, the kind of avant garde edge we’ve come to expect from the legendary actress.
Lupita Nyong’o in Prada
The pressure was definitely on the best supporting actress winner and it was likely she wasn’t going to find one dress that was going to meet everyone’s incredibly high expectations. And although the custom “Nigerian blue” Prada dress may not have been the showstopper we were all expecting, it was lovely – feminine and reminiscent of a fairytale. It also moved beautifully. When I first saw her on the red carpet, I wasn’t in awe of the dress – until she accepted her award. The pleats were unforgettable and had a massive impact as she walked on stage to accept her award. But I think she could have picked different jewellery. The earrings were underwhelming and the headband didn’t work as well as it could have.
Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace
Definitely one of best of the night and, on a relatively safe red carpet, it was for sure one of the most dramatic. The dress (with half cape) was similar to many of the looks shown at the recent Atelier Versace Spring 2014 Couture collection and reminded me of something Joan Collins would’ve worn on a classic episode of Dynasty. It was super 80s glam, which is always good.
Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab Haute Couture
No matter what she wears, she’s so incredibly stricking, it’s hard for her not to look gorgeous. But the dress…while the detail of the crystal beading was impeccable, the cut seemed a little old for her. The dress seemed more suited to someone like Helen Mirren. Or can you imagine if Jane Fonda wore this dress? I would’ve totally loved it and thought it was one of the night’s best.
Sandra Bullock, in Alexander McQueen
Like some the other gowns of the night, when I first saw this dress on the red carpet, I wasn’t super excited. But the more photos I saw, the more I liked it. The cut was incredible. I loved the draping around her hip – it was a timeless and classic look. And I loved that it was McQueen. A movie star could have worn this dress in 1952 and it looked just as beautiful on Sandra as it would have back then. Also, like my stylist friend said, if you’re going to go dark, that shade of midnight blue was a cool way to do it as opposed to going with solid black.
Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein Collection
This white beaded column dress was chic and fashion forward. The short sleeves were super cool and the spider web Bulgari necklace was out of this world. Loved it. And while this dress wasn’t nearly as memorable as her custom gun metal one shoulder Armani Privé from last year’s Oscars, it was a cool look, and appropriate for year when she was a presenter instead of a nominee.
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture
We knew Laurence was going to wear Dior (duh) and while this wasn’t my favourite look, I liked the simplicity of the dress and that it was a different silhouette that’s she’s worn so many times over the last couple of years. Not her most memorable look but it also wasn’t a big miss. And I thought she looked awesome in that shade of crimson red.
Julia Roberts in Givenchy Haute Couture
Roberts has recently set the bar so low in terms of her red carpet choices, that most of us weren’t expecting a lot for the Oscars. But part of me was hoping she’d totally blow us away in something unexpected. Unfortunately, she didn’t. I couldn’t believe this black lace peplum dress was Givenchy. It didn’t look like Givenchy. And it didn’t fit. It looked like it was two sizes too big on the bottom. And the sheer lace piece attached to the low cut neckline seemed like an after thought. It’s like she lost her nerve and had the piece added at the last minute.
Amy Adams, in Gucci Premiere
Another look this year that was just boring. Sure, this long dark blue Gucci Premiere was well cut and elegant, but Adams could have done so much more. It wasn’t an interesting or exciting dress in the least. And her accessories were also were kind of drab. She could’ve gone with an incredible, elaborate statement necklace or long dramatic earrings but instead she chose relatively simple tear-drop earrings that had no impact at all. Apparently, she decided to style herself for the Oscars and not work with a stylist…I think this look is proof she should maybe give her stylist a call next time she’s on the most important red carpet of the year.
Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture
This was one of the more polarizing looks of the night. Some people loved it and others hated it. I was in the middle. She’s obviously totally stunning and is a total ice queen (shout out to Alfred Hitchcock), and she definitely worked the red carpet like a pro, but compared to her legendary simple white two piece Dior at last year’s Oscars, this wasn’t half as good. While I liked the sheerness of the bottom part of the gown, the clear straps were odd. It might have looked better in person but I didn’t think the illusion effect of the straps worked well in the photos. But her Harry Winston necklace was incredible. And super fancy.
Anne Hathaway In Gucci
Compared to last year’s unfortunate (and controversial) bubble gum pick Prada dress, this was a slight improvement. But it didn’t feel dressy enough for the Oscars. This would have been a really cool dress for Vanity Fair’s after party. And she just doesn’t seem that likeable any more and that comes across in photos.
Jared Leto in Saint Laurent
This dude has major style. And he’s been rocking some awesome Saint Laurent blazers and suits lately. And while I think he looked good, he should have gone with something flashier that made more of statement. Ryan Seacrest wore practically the exact same thing and Leto’s style game is way beyond Seacrest’s. I’m also convinced he spends a lot of time on his hair to make it look like he spends no time at all.
Images via style.com