Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Academy Awards in Dresses

Some of the gowns at this year's Academy Awards were simultaneously on-point in trend and execution! There were some really brilliant and stunning pieces! To me, when it comes to a fantastic Oscar dress, the dress must never overshadow the presence of the actress wearing it. It's true, fantastic dresses, even as gauche or extreme as pieces by McQueen or Gaultier should be appreciated and admired when worn; but it can only be worn by someone who's presence matches and surpasses it. It's all about energy, personality; the frequency you emit as a person. If you think about it, that's why fashion is so important as a whole. It can be as stunning as ever as a piece created, but when it is worn, it is only as powerful as the person who can wear it. Fashion, in it's functional sense, is meant to be a reflection of your character. So, who are you? The dress should answer that. A single person can take a dress to a fantastic height as fast as they can destroy it. Here are some of my picks for not just the most beautiful dresses of the night (because there were many!), but the most beautifully worn dresses:

Emma Stone stuns in Giambattista Valli and Louis Vuitton. This gown is a brilliant example of Oscar-worthy elegance at it's best. It is a feminine, chic, effortless, and has a slight bit of interest around the face with the soft, over-sized bow that creates the illusion of an asymmetrical neckline, quite cleverly so. But the real reason it is so wonderful is the brilliant magenta hue and how it enhances Stone's stunning skin and eyes.


Leslie Mann is a powerhouse in this classic, sparkling example of beautiful draping from Roberto Cavalli. Cut in all the right areas, Leslie's gorgeous figure is enhanced by some fantastic hip-hugging drape work. The sequence and textural lines add just the right amount of interest in the waist, cutting the torso into an elegant hour-glass that floats away from the body like water; and the deep, rich navy is the perfect example of a pseudo-neutral done right.

Natalie Portman has consistently been the epitome of youthful class since her early days of film-making; and her dresses have always matched. Here, wearing a vintage Dior gown from Spring 1954, Portman looks refined, intelligent, and gorgeous. The simple, polka-dot pattern is an understated whimsical play on such an elegantly cut gown; empire waist, strapless, floating softly away from the body. The bold jewelry and fantastic black clutch make Portman look like she is straight out of 50's era Paris, stunner!

Louise Roe really surprised me in this piece by Black Halo! I have to say, this dress is the perfect amalgamation of structure and form with evening wear. Too often do we see stunning gowns oddly matched with blazers to create structure and add refinement. Sometimes they look fantastic, don't get me wrong, but this dress does it in a whole different way. It uses the shape of a jacket as the basis of the dress itself. The belt cinches in the waist at just the right spot to create the illusion of a fantastic blazer, but it quickly cascades below in layers and intersecting pleats of structured fabric. The result is a geometric, very modern dress that is as feminine as it is powerful. A statement piece without being tasteless or over-the-top. Fantastic. Not to mention that it's literally white hot, one of the best trends for the winter season in fashion.

Shailene Woodley in Valentino! This dress also surprised me because of it's unusual essence. We don't normally see tapered, long-sleeved dresses at events as glamorous as the Oscars, but this dress does it but measures up all on it's own. The white, once again, is definitely on-point with the season; but the texture on top and the streamlined texture down the centre of the fall, separated of course by the empire cut, make this dress the best example of stunning without the pretentiousness. With the sleeves looking almost like knitwear, this dress, which so many designers struggle to do, perfectly builds the bridge between casual and elegant for a night out in the city.

Penelope Cruz never ceases to look absolutely glamorous at every red carpet event. Her taste is never in question because it is consistently classic at every possible opportunity. Here, in Armani Privé, there is no exception to the rule. There is nothing uniquely interesting about this dress like the others, but it is so stunning on Cruz it could not go without mention. A beautiful and soft, almost lavender blue, takes this dress to the next level.

Glenn Close looks brilliant in this gorgeous forest green Zac Posen piece. A perfectly cut bodice cinches into a stunning fall that mermaids toward the back. Pair it with a blazer of the same tone (good on you Close!) adds the right amount of interest without taking away from the beauty of the dress.

Jessica Chastain is a queen in this Alexander McQueen gown. It's not easy to pull off a McQueen, and although she isn't my favourite look of the night, I'd say she did a fantastic job all her own. The beautiful gown is embellished in mirrored textures and patterns of gold, and Chastain did exactly right when it comes to accessorizing it, barely anything at all! Don't take away from the glamour that's already there, add a bangle and call it an outfit!

Kristen Wiig, one of my favourite comedy princesses, is a stunning sight in this nude gown by J. Mendel. Nude is a very big thing this year, but it's not easy to pull off if you don't have the right skin tone. The fact that Wiig has dark hair has pulled this look together for her. Her tresses add just the right amount of darkness and warmth to bring out the blue in her eyes, and the dress, oh the dress is just stunning all it's own! Simple, elegent, soft, without the need for the sparkle at all. Nude done right.

Anyways, there are many dresses I could nit-pick on and love. But to me, out of the dresses I've seen so far, my best dressed would have to go to the stunning Gwenyth Paltrow  in this incredible piece by the iconic Tom Ford. An elegant, white hot gown that brilliantly hits Paltrow in all the right spots. Stopping at just the right area and draped over by a beautiful, pristine cape of the crispest white! Paltrow has taken refinement to a whole other level than most of the women there on this night. Angelic in every sense; this dress is an absolute, stop-in-your-tracks, eyes wide open, stunner.

What were some of your favourite dresses at this year's Oscars? Have your say below!

D

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