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Tuesday Top Ten: Oscar Fashion 

Jose here, reporting for red carpet duty, and wishing I was half as cool as perennial nominee Sandy Powell (pictured left).

Full disclosure: I did not watch the Oscars on Sunday. I know, I know (I will be banished from TFE soon or burned at the stake later this week and you know what my last words will be) --  so all my red carpet knowledge is coming from pictures. If there was a fabulous dress that made an appearance during the ceremony I missed it, but expect you all to fill me in in the comments. Perhaps it was my general boredom with this particular awards season, or people taking less fashion risks than usual, but it was a lackluster affair when it came to most red carpets, and the Oscars were no different. Seriously, off the top of your head, can you come up with three or five iconic looks that people will be talking about for years to come, from this season? 

Without further ado, the ten best looks on Oscar night...


10) Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier
Let's ignore for a moment how wrinkly the fabric looked in the front and admire Rachel for two things: that long train and the pronounced back cleavage are to die for, plus she's wearing a relatively new designer, which is always a lovely statement to make during one of the biggest red carpets in the world. Long live Queen Bee Regina George!

9) Jennifer Garner in Versace 
There used to be a time when Jennifer Garner was always at the Oscars , it was pre-Affleck and movies, so the only explanation is ABC wanted more people to watch Alias. Anyway, during those times she graced us with looks like this one, so it was refreshing to see her return to form.

8) Charlotte Rampling in Armani Privé 
Charlotte's Armani is a toned down, less glittery version of Annie's astonishing number from 2011 but her approach is completely no-frills, get-down-to-business-and-get-me-outta-here-in-time-for-tea. Her graceful hair and makeup, and the discreet jewelry are a statement in pure class.

7) Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad 
When you're one of the world's most beautiful women you can wear whatever you want and still look like a princess, so it's refreshing that Quantico star (which happens to sorta be "the new Alias") Chopra, always chooses the best freaking outfits.

6) Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
J.Law and Dior have the most abusive relationship in all couture, but the legendary house always pulls through for her come Oscar night. This lace creation is among her all time best.

5) Mindy Kaling in Elizabeth Kennedy 
REGAL. #thatisall

4) Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell
When you can't figure out if you wanna wear pants or a dress, so you wear both and then kill even more with Marilyn Monroe hair and makeup. How a movie star should look. And she's not even a movie star.

3) Rooney Mara in Givenchy
I am usually the first to criticize my beloved Rooney for sticking to black or white. However, that cutout took my breath away. It's like she's saying, 'I don't care about your backwards ideas on cleavage, I want to do tummy cleavage and that's what I'll do.' Her samurai inspired hairdo (three little buns in a slick do) and strong makeup were the beauty statement of the night.

1 (TIE) Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein and Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé 
It's a Hanna reunion, and this time Cate better be nicer to Saoirse! 

Last time the two were nominated in the same year, the former was 13, and the latter was already a winner and five-time nominee, playing Bob Dylan in a Todd Haynes film. Part of what made Brooklyn such a joy was getting to see Ronan grow up and come into womanhood and movie stardom in her own right. Awards season also mimicked this maturing as she became a red carpet expert. From Greek goddess at the Golden Globes, to 1940s glamour at the Critics Choice Awards, it was quite the change from the frumpy looks she was sporting as recent as Toronto. Seeing her looking sexier than ever in CK was a thrill, that she chose Irish green was adorable. Cate on the other side, is always at her best when she knows she'll lose or is only a presenterr; she saves her boldest looks for those times. This floral Armani is such a stunning work of craftmanship that I'm pissed she didn't wear to collect her award for Blue Jasmine, but ah well. We can't have it all, can we? 

What were your favorite looks of the night?

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Reader Comments (40)

I didn't watch either, Jose, but photos of what Charlize and Naomi were wearing made a strong impression on me. However, Brie and Alicia had some hideous elements to their looks, and I can't decide about Winslet, although it worked. Not really feeling the Gaga glamour.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Replace Mindy with Tina, and J-Law with Charlize (I'm so not with you on the J-Law).

I thought the Jennifer Garner and Rachel McAdams were fine (Garner's dress looks great in that picture), but Kate Winslet and Olivia Munn (of all people!) had better looks.

And I think both Brie and Alicia's dresses were winners, but I went back and forth.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Surprised Naomi Watts wasn't on the list. She would easily be my pick for Best Dressed, along with Saoirse Ronan & Charlize Theron.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTroy

I feel like Rooney Mara has worn that dress a hundred times before, cut-out or no cut-out.
Cate and Saoirse owned it. Completely. Everyone else was so meeeeeeeh.
(Diane Kruger and Kate Bosworth however at the VF after party. Wow-wee)

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJB

To me there were 4 clearly best looks of the night - Ronan's, Blanchett's, Watts', and Charlize's. All looked wonderful. Of the 4, Ronan's is the look that'll probably stick in my head the longest.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

I've got no quibble at all with the Top Two. They looked terrific and it was a personal best for Saoirse though she's been getting better every event. Cate always brings it.

But I do have a problem with everyone from 6 to 3. J. Law looks downright tacky and awful. Mindy's dress it too tight. Gaga's could have been amazing but as is she doesn't look much better than Lucy Ricardo in her living room. And if a diamond belly cutout is daring, then we're all in trouble. :-)

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood


March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

The real glory of Saoirse's dress is the back. And by back I mean lowwwer back.

1. Cate
2. J-Law
3. Charlize

Brie Larson: great actress, deserving winner, fashion WTF.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHustler

Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner was at the Oscars as part of a campaign representing Galvan's eco-friendly fashions; she wore two "sustainable" dresses, one at the ceremony and one at the Vanity Fair Afterparty. What confused me about it was that the dove-grey dress she wore to the ceremony was fine, but the blue one she wore at the afterparty was goddamn gorgeous -- why she didn't wear the latter to the higher-profile event, I'll never know.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

Not sure if she was going for this, but I'll take my Winslet in latex any day.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

I adore Cate Blanchett's entire look. I do think people will be talking about it for years to come. Don't people talk about most of her fashion choices for years?

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

My favorite was Cate Blanchett's floral dress. It was becoming but also unusual and distinctive.

What I liked so much about Charlotte Rampling's dress was that even though it wasn't fancy it was very much HER. A sleek elegance with no frills.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Favorite looks for me were Blanchett, Ronan, Vikander, Larson, Powell, Theron, and Watts.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

The top two is great, but yeah a big NO to Mara's dress/look. She should not be in anyone's Best Dressed list. And it's not as if she did anything different than what she usually does.

And I love McAdams/Kaling but they're dresses were wrinkly messes. The angle for both here conveniently hides this (McAdam's front, Kaling's back).

I'd have cited Winslet's electrical sheeting of a dress (so cool and weird) and Tina Fey's brilliant purple number. Plus I *totally* get why Brie's dress isn't here, but I think it's not as bad as people are saying.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Sad Saoirse didn't win for many reasons, but her look on Sunday night screamed "winner!" Meanwhile, Brie looked like she was on her way to the prom. Yeesh.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Co-sign Scott C - top 4 = Ronan, Blanchett, Watts, and Charlize
It really was fun to see Saoirse grow up in front of us - on the red carpet. Loved that she picked green for Ireland and it was a reminder of Keira's Atonement dress.

Rooney Mara has worn that dress style over and over since 2011, Boring.
Lady Gaga looked awful, wide pants that also gave us camel toe - yuck.
JLaw needs to break from Dior, that was mediocre at best.
Not a stellar year by any means.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Saoirse Ronan was stunningly beautiful Sunday night.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Can we also shout out to Jenny Baevan for the Marks & Spencer bejazzled jacket. LOVE. HER.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJB

When I saw Ronan, I saw a STAR, a WINNER...UGH...she SLAYED that carpet.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

No, no, no. J. Law's dress, if not downright awful, is so basic and obvious that it's almost laughable.

Gaga's look was interesting but the details were off: the pants were to wide, the bust was too low and busy, the proportions were off.

Mara's dress had about 4 design elements too many.

But yes to Kaling, Ronan, Rampling and Blanchett.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

JB - Lots of love to Jenny Bevan, her jacket was great, and she wore a jacket and scarf way back when she won for Room with a View. Bonus points for being herself.

Rooney Mara reminds me of Lilith Crane (Cheers, Frasier). But Mara doesn't have the comedy sass of Bebe Neuwirth.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Vikander's dress look as if Big Bird would have dress up as a medusa for halloween...

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

I know that I am in the minority, but I really did not like Cate Blanchett's dress. It seemed costume-like and the sequins and other frilly add-ons were hideous. Maybe she can pull it off because of her tall and slender frame, but on most women it would have ended up on the worst dressed list. Not pictured here, but Sofia Vergara and Naomi Watts looked fantastic.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

I liked Vikander's dress because I saw this John Galliano for Dior as inspiration.

Agree on the top 2 choices but also add my voice to the many mentions of Watts. With Blanchett, Watts and rampling Armani Prive had a stellar night.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

Wow.. J Law looked horrible, and Mara has worn this exact look many times before. Garner looked fine, and Chopra looked like a cheaper version of many dresses before. Theron, Watts, and Ronan were easily the best of the night. To me Watts and Ronan were the standouts.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

Naomi Watts for the win. She dressed exactly how a movie goddess should look. A personal best for her.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Jennifer Garner always looks so wholesome. That is not meant to be an insult. She just has a face that sells goodness and innocence. I do kind of want her to play a villain at some point. she has been underutilized since Alias.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Brie's dress is plain awful. Probably the worst dress worn by best actress winners this decade.
While Alicia's dress is just gorgeous in my opinion, although it is understandable if some people don't like it.

Love RAMPLING, Powell, Blanchett, Watts, and Theron.
Ronan surprises me the most.
Lawrence took some bold risks there, and divinely pulled it off!

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

Cate, you are a beautiful land mermaid.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEz

Well, you got the top two right....

The rest are mostly fine. Chopra's dress was bland as fuck but she sold it. Gaga's boobs look deflated and that crotch looked on the verge of cameltoe the whole night.

I ALMOST wish McAdams had worn a belt, but it would have ruined that gorgeous back. Tina Fey's drop-dead gorgeous personal-best purple Versace number was absolutely outstanding, if not exactly boundary-pushing.

The more I look at Rooney Mara's head, the more I think she looks like a pin-head. Which saddens me, because that dress could have really been something.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I would probably rank Charlize Theron #1 for the night. That plunging neckline was INSANE and she looks great in red.

March 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Great list!!

Goddess Queen Cate slayed them all!!! So F**Kin GORGEOUS!!!

Princess Saoirse a close 2nd

Watts' dress is a vision o beauty at 3.

Nay to JLaw's cheap hooker trying to do a hi class look & McAdams's wrinkly ill fitting dress

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Jared Leto.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Ronan was a total vision.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

I thought Charlize Theron was best dressed of the night. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara were the runners up.

Gaga's look was totally unflattering--camel toe and all. Yuck.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I agree with Joey. Naomi Watts was by far the best, with Ronan and Theron. Charlize's dress was okay, but the way she stands and moves and looks so comfortable in her own skin, is so satisfyingly awesome.

I also liked Daisy Ridley's sporty Coco-era Chanel. And I was glad to see these people looking pretty: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Patricia Arquette, Tina Fey.

The absolute total worst was Emma Roberts, who had a white dress adorned with big scratchy sewed on spiders. It looked like that scene in The Mummy, where the scarabs explode out of that guy.

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I could not disagree more with most on the list, but totally agree with Ronan and Cate. And with all the other commenters who mentioned Naomi Watts.

March 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterIvonne

1. Ronan, that dress was slinky, sexy, oozed of come hither vibes.
2. Blanchett & Charlize, fashion queens forever.
3. Vikander, is it too late to recast Emma Watson in the Bueaty & Beast remake, that dress was a live audition for the movie. Her most glamorous look.
4. Daisy Ridley, pure sophistication, but was it just me or did anyone else think she looked like mini Julianna Margulies.
5. Sophie Turner, old hollywood style, the dove gray really popped with her flame hair, giving lots of Julianne Moore imagery,

March 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMustafa

Remember when Julianne Moore didn't wear green when she finally won the Oscar (she wore it to the SAGs I think?) that was so disappointing, but I am glad Saoirse did. She looked stunning.

"When you're one of the world's most beautiful women you can wear whatever you want and still look like a princess"

Except the dress is hideous sheer nightmare. It looks like it is growing things. And I can't abide by the love for Mara's dishwater colour dress and ridiculous hair. J.Law's dress ain't special either. You're clouded by your love for her, Jose! 10-7 are far better dressed than those three, I thought. I know there were plenty more that I was jazzed by, but can't name them really off the top of my head. Jenny Beavan and Sandy Powell, however, were fantastic and deserve to be on a best dressed list more than Lawrence or Mara by a long shot.

March 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I like each of dresses. They are amazing! I like the article. Thank you!

March 10, 2016 | Unregistered

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