Oscar History

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Top Ten: Best Red Carpet Looks of 2013

Jose here. The Golden Globes are on Sunday and with them comes one of my favorite seasons of the year: Red Carpet Season. As we speak, dozens of starlets, screen goddesses and a few fashion-forward men must be texting/emailing/buying nice things to/screaming at their stylists who year after year must procure them the most exclusive gowns and accessories. But before we say hello to a new season, let's take a moment to remember the red carpet looks that took our breaths away last year.

As Nathaniel has rightfully pointed out in the past, models, TV presenters and famous people's girlfriends/wives shoudn't be discussed with the same importance we bestow on movie stars, but I felt it would be sinful to deny you the pleasure of seeing the Stephane Rolland couture creation worn by Spanish TV presenter Nieves Alvarez at the 2013 Goya Awards (pictured left). In a just world this work of art would've been given to someone like Maribel Verdú or Paz Vega, but beauty is beauty and I often find myself staring at pictures of it when I'm stressed or when it's snowy and muddy outside. Sigh.

Without further ado, after the jump, we give you the...



10. Jessica Chastain in Armani Privé at the Oscars
Chastain knows what matters and always saves her absolute best look for the Academy Awards (if not, just remember her 90's hair-gel-rocks do and her washed out dress at the Globes last year) and this time around she epitomized what classic glamour is all about. All I wanted to do when I saw her in this was to give her a pair of opera gloves and have her perform "Put the Blame on Mame".

9. Adéle Exarchopoulos in Miu Miu at the Cannes Film Festival
One of the most wonderful star-is-born moments last year came in the shape of this young French actress who brought a refreshing sense of naturality to everything she did. She was a vision at the Cannes Film Festival where often seen with her more red-carpet-knowledgeable costar Lea Seydoux, she managed to steal every single picture. At the festival, where she won the Palme d'Or, she was often seen wearing Balmain (in 2013 she and Miley Cyrus even wore the same outfit and it's needless to say who looked better) but it was this laid back Miu Miu jumpsuit that encompassed who she is as a screen presence.


8. Solange Knowles in Stephane Rolland couture at the Cannes Film Festival
Before I'm accused of cheating about the non-movie people rule, I double checked and the younger Knowles sister has one screen credit to her name (thank you Johnson Family Vacation) At the premiere of The Great Gatsby she stole all eyes in this cinematic creation which often had her throwing back her train against the wind in order to achieve the sweeping effect the dress required. Now that's commitment!


7. Marion Cotillard in Dior at the BAFTAs
In a year where we mostly saw the legendary house of fashion disappoint (hello, J.Law's mediocre Hunger Games tour) Oscar winner Marion Cotillard pulled off the best look from Raf Simons' lackluster sheer collection (remember J.Law's faux pas when people thought she tore her dress at the SAGs? Exactly).

6. Sarah Jessica Parker in Giles Deacon and Philip Treacy at the Met Ball 
Carrie Bradshaw just won't quit making a fool of herself. If there is anyone in America making braver/loonier choices on the red carpet we've still to meet them. Her strange skirt and stranger headpiece were the laughing stock of people who thought she was going through some sort of breakdown but truth be told, fashion is an art statement and once you think about the fact that she was paying tribute to Punk (which was the theme of the ball) her graffiti-esque splattered skirt, plaid boots and regal mohawk make all the sense in the world.

5. Lupita Nyong'o in Prada at the Toronto International Film Festival
If Adele was refreshing and daring, Lupita proved that classic glamour can be equally effortless for an actress making her red carpet debut. She stunned on every single ocassion she was out to promote 12 Years a Slave, but out of all her looks it's this Bette Davis-esque Prada that remained the most hypnotizing.  


4. Scarlet Johansson in Versace at the Venice Film Festival
ScarJo is undeniably one of the sexiest creatures alive, but her style is often a disappointment because she can never find the right balance between class and sass. However, this simple Versace gown proved she can be memorable without trying too hard (hello Dolce and Gabbana dress from the 2012 Oscars). 

3. Jennifer Lawrence in Dior at the Oscars
If you're the favorite to win Best Actress you better up your game and J.Law's stylist seems to have known this would be her coronation as the new Hollywood princess. Her light pink Dior gown - which was originally a bridal dress - will undoubtedly be remembered by most for how majestic it looked even when she tripped on her way to collect her Oscar, but to me it's a sad reminder of the last time the house of Dior did her any favors last year. 

2. Nicole Kidman in Valentino at the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival jury member extraordinaire, Nicole Kidman, made so few official appearances that the least she could do was knock us off our feet the few times we saw her. Wearing the infamous Valentino Anne Hathaway discarded at the last minute for the Oscars, she made the grandest case ever of one woman's trash being another's treasure.  

1. Cate Blanchett in Balenciaga at the New York premiere of Blue Jasmine
As we prepare for yet another how-will-Cate-outdo-herself red carpet season, let's take a minute (or an hour, or a day...) to bask in the sheer majesty of the vintage Balenciaga she wore to the premiere of Blue Jasmine at the Museum of Modern Art. I have a recurring fantasy that the equally avant garde Tilda Swinton woke up in full True Blood mode from her glass box slumber, the second Cate set foot in the building wearing this. 

It's your turn dear readers, what were your favorite red carpet looks last year?

Previously in Year in Review


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Reader Comments (17)

The final dress (Armani I believe with the quasi dred hair) at Cannes that Kidman wore.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I cannot believe that "thing" that cate wore was your #1 best ... or did you mean #101?????

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Chastain's Globes wear was so unfortunate like it's incredible the leap of improvement she made. Still, I wanted a Rita Hayworth-Gilda moment.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Lupita. In white. Holding the Oscar. Perfection.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

Love all your choices, Jose. Particularly #1. I would have moved Jessica up a few notches, she is my favorite look at last year's Oscars.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I'm all about Marion Cotillard's Dior gown she wore at the SAG Awards.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

AMEN, my beloved Jose. #1 could ONLY be what it is. And I met her that day. Swoon. Amazing.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKurtis O

The Balenciaga dress is a work of art and Blanchett looks so regal as ever! Brava!

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

Hmm. I kind of get Cate for number #1 but the dress makes her look pregnant at certain angles and a less heavy shoe would have been preferred. Other than that, i have a hard time disagreeing with any of your choices.

I would like to say that i'm officially over Dior though. Some of the awful things Dior has done to Jennifer Lawrence! That contract needs to be *burned*. Marion Cotillard also got some mishaps in the later months of 2013 too.

I really loved Nicole Kidman's Valentino because she looked so much like a real Hollywood movie star. I mean, not that she isn't already but that dress was a nice little reminder. I forgot about the simple elegance of Scarlet Johannson's Versace so that was nice to see on the list too.

But I also want to highlight Emmy Rossum in this Carolina Herrera.


So much love.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

I think Nicole Kidman should take 5 out of 10 spots from her Cannes alone.

Especially the dior candy dress...

I dont understand this Cate's dress, i thought it drags her down

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmyNot Adam

I have a recurring fantasy that the equally avant garde Tilda Swinton woke up in full True Blood mode from her glass box slumber, the second Cate set foot in the building wearing this.

Screaming @ this tbh. Bitch, you killed me.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Nieves Álvarez is a good model so I'm fine with her getting that amazing dress. I also loved Maribel Verdú in Dior at the Goya Awards.

I love all your choices! I'm not her biggest fan, but Chastain looked so amazing in that Armani that she should be on the top 5.

That angle might be a little unflattering, but that Balenciaga is divine.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Clearly a Blandshit fanboy. That dress is awful. Absolutely awful,

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRM

amynotadam -- when Jose pitched this list to me I made a rule that he could only give each actress 1 spot. Otherwise, i know it woulda been an all Blanchett/Kidman list ;)

January 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The Kidman fanboys seething at Cate's number 1 placement. LMAO.

There's only one queen of fashion dears... ***giggles histerically****

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChin

Well of course it's Cate in first place. I still think about that lavender circle bodice dress thing that she wore a couple of years back, and the sort of tent like black dress with the dots all over it this year. No one other than Tilda actually makes you think about and remember the clothes.

Yes, that's right, all the other women here (for me) just look like very beautiful women in beautiful clothes. And a special call-out to ScarJo's rack. Those things look real!

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

That Balenciaga dress is one of my favorite looks in a very long time, and I don't even follow fashion at all. It is memorable, different, beautiful and so majestic as Cate is always.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRodrigo

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