Underwhelmed at the Oscars


The Academy Awards rolled into town this past Sunday, bringing with them a flurry of chiffon, satin and sequins. The Academy Awards is infamous for its red carpet, where celebrities reign over normal humans in their high heels and expertly tailored tuxedos. Next to the biannual fashion weeks held worldwide, the Oscar Red Carpet is one of the most important and influential fashion events of the year.

Unfortunately, this year’s red carpet wasn’t all that incredible. Few women floated down the red carpet in gowns worthy of royalty; several men looked positively absurd. Where is the Old Hollywood glamour that I know and love? The red carpet arrivals are the only reason I watch the show to begin with, considering the actual awards must be rigged if they keep on denying my beloved Leonardo DiCaprio of his golden statue.

So, without further ado, let us discuss the best and worst dressed of the 2014 Academy Awards.

The couples
Winner of Best Actor, Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camilla Alves both looked lovely. Though I can hardly believe the same man who starred in “Fools Gold” and “How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days” is an Oscar winner, he certainly looked the part in his black pants and white dinner jacket. Alves was covered from neck-to-toe in baby pink fabric that was elegant and unexpected on the usually skin-baring model.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie looked predictably gorgeous in a classic black suit for him and Elie Saab for her. I adore Jewish master-designer Saab, and Jolie definitely looked quite pretty, but I would have preferred a little more color on the mother of six.

Pharrell Williams and girlfriend Helen Lasichanh were easily the worst dressed couple of the night. Williams looked fine from the waist up, in a black dress coat, cleanly pressed white button-down and sharp black bow tie. The slim-fitting black dress shorts that he chose over full-length dress pants was the problem. This is the Academy Awards! Why on earth would you wear shorts to a formal, black-tie awards show? Lasichanh managed to get full length pants on, but still looked foolish in her wannabe-formal suit that fit awkwardly and didn’t flatter at all. Couples should rarely, if ever, try to match each other on the red carpet. Remember that time Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears wore His and Hers Denim in the form of tuxedo and gown? It was bad, just like this duo’s looks.

The men
Jared Leto could have been okay with his black and white tuxedo. His red bow-tie was even a nice touch. But that hair. It is ombre and longer than mine, looks drier than sand paper and is just not working. Who is letting you grow out your hair, Jared? Why didn’t they get you a hot-oil treatment before you went to pick up your Best Supporting Actor award?

Leonardo DiCaprio continues to make hearts flutter in a navy tuxedo with swept back hair and handsome scruff along his chin. He even added a crisp white pocket square to his suit, just as a leading man should. With his mother on his arm in a gold dress, he was undeniably perfect.

British import Benedict Cumberbatch tied with DiCaprio for best dressed male. His black suit fit exceptionally well, his shoes gleamed and his reddish-brown hair flopped youthfully on his head.

The women
Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong’o, was my favorite of the entire night. Her skin was luminous, her diamond tiara was precious and the light-blue Prada gown she selected was stunning. She was the princess of the Academy Awards.

Runner-up for best dressed female goes to Kate Hudson. She wore a silky, white, gloriously draped Atelier Versace dress that featured a train and a cape. Her golden hair was styled into soft waves and smoky eye makeup completed this look.

Jennifer Lawrence wore red Christian Dior with a fiery little peplum and looked radiant. Her hairstyle aged her, but her makeup and reverse necklace was just right. However, somebody definitely needs to teach her how to walk in long dresses; she took a tumble once again this year, only this time not while walking up for an award. She is only 23 years old, after all.

Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett was pretty and pale in Giorgio Armani dress embellished with flowers and sequins. The shape of the dress was lovely, but what about some color? Even her make up was colorless. On a woman who is so fair skinned, a little contrast in the form of an jewel toned dress can go a long way.

However, the absolute worst of the evening was Anna Kendrick. The young actress wore a disjointed dress by J. Mendel that had unfortunate illusion mesh cutouts, an awkward knee high slit and an ugly red and black floral beaded section at the waist. Her hair looked greasy and her makeup was not the right colors. The back of the dress was quite interesting, mostly because it didn’t fit at all with what was going on in front. Most offensive was when Kendrick tried to pop her leg out of the slit like Jolie did two years ago and ended up looking very uncomfortable.

Everyone else who attended the show mostly played it safe, which was just so boring. A little more fun but also more fashion failures came from dresses and suits worn during the after-parties. Next year, I recommend all nominees come find me – I’ll happily help them up the ante in a chic way.

Noel Hemphill is a junior ECLS major. She can be reached at hemphill@oxy.edu or on Twitter @WklyNHemphill.