The 81st Oscars was by far the most well conceived, well executed of all time...in my humble opinion. Hugh Jackman was brilliant! I loved the way they presented the top awards, by bringing out winners of the past...it was personal, emotional and truly celebrated the talent! I didn't even care that there weren't any surprises. Keeping the presenters on stage for multiple awards was smart...saved time and was so much more fun, especially Tina and Steve! The Swarovski crystal stage was beautiful and the rounded shape was intimate! Overall, award show perfection...I am sure it will win and Emmy!!!
I wish I could say that I am as emphatic about the fashion. Sure there were a few stunning dresses, but I am pretty sure none will make my personal "best of all time" list...maybe an honorable mention or two. The overall problem was that though some of the dresses were fab works of art, they were often worn by the wrong woman...a little dress swap and maybe I would be rejoicing. The key trend of the night was pale tones of ivory, blush, grey and "almost mint" as Sarah Jessica parker explained. Ball gowns with exaggerated skirts were also the norm (some more successful than others) and severe, origami-inspired, architectural shapes also made a big impact. In some cases the architecture was softer, more organic and this is where it always worked best. Pink was the new red, though classic red worked beautifully on several actresses and black/blue combos looked dramatic and modern. Finally, statement jewelry eclipsed several gowns and stole the show this year!!!
So here is my personal "best dressed" list in no particular order... Taraji P. Henson's tiered, mermaid dress by Roberto Cavalli was perfection...almost petal-like, feminine. I am not sure if you ever saw the back, but it had this to-die, gathered cascade of fabric. The crisp ivory color worked on her perhaps more than anyone and she wore one of my two favorite necklaces of the night. Next on my list was Kate Winslet...not my favorite dress of the night, but beyond stunning on her. The Atelier YSL fit her as if it was made for her and she broke the mold of the night but wearing charcoal and black. The back of that dress was also worship worthy, with a black lace, draped overlay. She also wins my vote for best hair and makeup...it was 100% her night. I loved the pink tones on the Red Carpet and both Natalie Portman and Alicia Keys made my list. Natalie wore the most gorgeous Rodarte creation (it was great to see them on the Red Carpet) and Alicia stunned in Armani Prive. Both dresses were fresh and youthful...I hope some of the other younger actresses will take note. Anne Hathaway is one of the younger actresses whom I would love to see in something less "mature", but that said her Armani Prive paillette column was gorgeous. She also was able to pull off the ivory tone successfully as the red lip and dark hair were the ultimate contrasts. Now for a shocker...Tina Fey rocked my world in her crystal embellished, architectural Zac Posen creation. She has never looked better!!! Finally, Amy Adams makes my list in a red, draped-meets-structure Carolina Herrera column. She also wore one of my absolute favorite necklaces of the night...bravo!
OK, now for the women who almost made the list... Evan Rachel Wood's Elie Saab dress was one of my favorites of the night. The neckline was so incredible and it was a draped, yet structured masterpiece. Sadly the blush tone washed her out as it blended into her skin and hair. Marisa Tomei's Versace gown was also a masterpiece. It was the best example of origami done right and looked like it took years to make...beyond fab! Again sadly, she went for the wrong color...it pulled her down and made her look sad and tired. The lack of makeup didn't help. As you know by now, I love Rodarte and I adored Resse Witherspoon's black/blue artistic creation. Again though, it was the wrong dress for her as the neckline was too severe and overwhelmed her. I would have loved to see this on a Nicole Kidman or Charlize Theron...I think you need height to pull it off. I am also going to give a nod to Marion Cotillard's Dior Haute Couture black/blue ball gown...the dress was so intricate and so dramatic, though I am not sure it was right on her...she is almost too delicate for that much dress. Now If Sarah Jessica had chosen that dress instead, she may have made my "best dressed" list. Finally, Penelope Cruz in her vintage Balmain just makes the honorable mentions. I am obsessed with vintage and this dress was another gorgeous creation, but the color and lack of makeup killed her...it was also a little too wedding gown for me.
I have to mention the couples this year as in so many cases they were the true statements on the Red Carpet...interesting that they all wore black. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens get the youth-done -right award. She was girly sophistication in her Marchesa floral embellished, mermaid gown and he looked like a young Brad Pitt in his perfect tux and narrow bowtie (a big male trend). I also loved Diane Lane and Josh Brolin. She looked beautiful in her Dolce Gabbana column dress...it had just the right amount of pizzazz with a zip back and lace overlay, but it was understated and chic and didn't eclipse her nominated husband. Brad and Angelina are the world's most gorgeous couple and they did not disappoint. Yes, I would love to see her in something bolder, though her Elie Saab dress looked beyond perfect on her. That said, she had the best earrings and ring of the night...hands down. The Lorraine Schwartz emerald creations jumped out of the screen. Brad looked like the Hollywood legend he is becoming in his go-to Tom Ford...they are by far each other's best accessory.
Now I hate to do this, but some stars just missed the mark... I did not like the Prada dress chosen by Jessica Biel. It was unflattering and overwhelmed her. Although is was a softer version of some of the more architectural shapes, it was ill fitting. The color was too pale on her skin as well. Sorry Sarah Jessica, but I did not like your dress this year, by Dior Haute Couture. You can pull off the ball gown like no other, but again the color was wrong and there was just too much going on. Another big disappointment was Heidi Klum...the RM by Roland Mouret was too severe and that hair, ouch!!! She did redeem herself with those bracelets...I adored them!! I also wasn't in love with Jennifer Aniston's Valentino. It just looked a little "old" on her. Her hair and makeup were gorgeous however. Finally, my worst dressed award is a tie shared by Beyonce and Tilda Swenson. Beyonce's dress looked like upholstery and Tilda needs to stop wearing Lanvin!!!
I want to leave you with a thought...in many cases the best dressed of the night didn't follow trends...they took chances. This is why I always tell you to find your own personal style and to embrace it. Yes, trends have their place in our wardrobes, but just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean it will work for you too.