When it comes to Oscar 2011, there was good news and bad news.
First the good news: Most everyone looked good.
Now the bad news: Most everyone looked good.
Maybe it’s just me, but I wanted more “wows,” and I also wanted some total train wrecks. Although glam was certainly abundant, I’m not certain anyone really rocked the carpet the way most of us expected. I personally had hoped for outfits that might even start a trend or at least be unforgettable. Perhaps the stylists have gotten it so right that they’re afraid to take too many risks. How I miss over-the-top hot messes. Don’t you?
What I liked: Sexy, body-revealing gowns, mermaid silhouettes and a return to sleeves, trains and a few bustles. Amongst a sea of neutrals, there was lots of color (especially plums, lavenders and reds), interesting metallics, big jewelry, soft hairstyles and subtle makeup.
But rather than bore you with an endless rundown of who wore what, I’ve narrowed down my picks to three hits and three misses. All of them encompass my personal choice for the four essential elements of a total look: Fashion, Accessories, Hair and Makeup.
THE OSCAR RED CARPET HITS
Red Carpet Hit # 1: Jennifer Hudson
Fashion: Oscar winner, Jennifer, showed off her newly svelte figure, but played up her curves in a show-stopping vibrant tangerine Atelier Versace halter gown, which revealed her great shoulders, hugged her bodice and flowed into a train of one-sided ruffles. Her plunging neckline screamed sexy but the fit needed a hint of tweaking at the bosom for a more flattering décolletage. Unexpected purple shoes gave the outfit a modern twist.
Accessories: Three Neil Lane platinum and diamond wide bracelets, a large diamond ring, and a pair of long diamond basket earrings added the perfect bling to the perfect outfit.
Hair: Sporting a classic and polished hairstyle, Jennifer’s off the face, high swept, uber shiny hair could not have complemented the outfit more.
Makeup: Jennifer’s skin looked flawless, although her foundation appeared a tinge too orange and needed some finessing at the hairline. Bronzer gave her a beautiful glow, and her brows were perfectly groomed. A neutral eye shadow with a sweep of black upper eyeliner (winged at the outer corner) achieved a clean look. Faux lashes added pop. A color-coordinated translucent lip color tied in beautifully with the dress.
Red Carpet Hit # 2: Hailee Steinfeld
Fashion: Props to first-time Oscar nominee, Hailee, for her amazing blush-pink, tea-length princess dress, which she co-designed with Marchesa. At only fifteen, Hailee brought her “true grit” to fashion for her first walk on Oscar’s red carpet. The embroidered tulle, ballerina-esque dress, was eye-catching, yet age appropriate. Delicate embroidered crystals on an “illusion netting” around the neckline seamlessly twinkled from her pale skin. Champagne-colored Ferragamo peep-toe, platform shoes complemented the dress exquisitely.
Accessories: Hailee’s Fred Leighton platinum and diamond narrow headband was the perfect finishing touch to complement her outfit and proved that less can be more. A feminine Fred Leighton platinum and diamond ring and a silver satin Ferragamo envelope clutch completed her look.
Hair: Hailee wore her hair pulled back in a high, twisted bun, which brought out her face, elongated her neck and created a ballerina effect. It was the perfect choice for her statement headband.
Makeup: Inspired by the pink tone of her dress, Hailee’s eye shadow consisted of soft pinks, beiges and a hint of plum. A daub of gold liner was placed under her lower lid. Pink was also used on her cheeks. A pinky-rose lipstick with a hint of shimmer in the center of her lower lip was her finishing touch.
Red Carpet Hit # 3: Halle Berry
Fashion: Oscar winner Halle rarely disappoints when it come to showing off her smoking hot body. Her dazzling nude-colored, strapless Marchesa corset gown with a crystal-encrusted bodice accented her curves, emphasized her signature shoulders and complemented her skin tone. She seemed to glide along the Red Carpet with a billowy, ruffled organza and silk tulle train. She donned Louboutin peep-toe heels. And all of it worked incredibly well together.
Accessories: Sans necklace or bracelets, Halle kept it simple with a delicate pair of Neil Lane platinum diamond drop earrings and a platinum and colored diamond ring. Good choices for her outfit.
Hair: Halle’s short and piece-y, pixie-style hair brought focus to her extraordinary face.
Makeup: Her skin was glowing, her eyes were smoky and her brows were meticulously manicured – all of which help bring attention to her beautiful face. Brown eye shadow with black inner eyeliner brought out her exquisite eyes and a nude, glossy mouth complemented the dress while keeping Halle’s look soft and modern.
THE OSCAR RED CARPET MISSES
Red Carpet Miss # 1: Cate Blanchett
Fashion: This Oscar winning star was fashion forward, but Cate’s gown was simply odd. Typically an award winning stunner, this time graceful Cate may have walked the Red Carpet but she sure didn’t rock it. She chose a pale lilac, pleated chiffon Givenchy Couture gown with structured action-hero shoulders and an armor-like front with accents of neon yellow near the neck. The same neon yellow is repeated in a huge crisscross on the back. At the chest, the dress has a large unadorned circle, surrounded by an embellishment of pearls, in a design reminiscent of a bakery cake decoration. The overall detail felt much like a confusing Rorschach test – it could either be an ornate lobster bib or the back of a Louis XIV chair – can’t quite decide.
Accessories: Cate kept it simple with a pair of gold and diamond earrings and a single yellow and gold tassel bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels. That worked.
Hair: Her short and straight, parted do was simple and chic.
Makeup: Understated, clean-looking makeup with taupe and gray shimmery eye shadows and nude lipstick harmonized beautifully with the color of her dress.
Red Carpet Miss # 2: Scarlett Johansson
Fashion: Scarlett wore a Dolce & Gabbana plum-colored, lace floral column gown. The high neck, sleeveless frock bordered on being boring, dated and aging for the otherwise sexy Scarlett we have come to expect. If the lace had been more see-through and delicate perhaps she would not have appeared to be wearing a doily tablecloth.
Accessories: Scarlett’s jewelry was kept minimal with an Anna Hu cocktail ring. It was her only piece of jewelry and a fun statement for the ensemble.
Hair: Her hair may have been edgy, but the new shag came off as looking messy and unkempt for the Oscars.
Makeup: Scarlett’s smoldering copper and gold eye shadow paired with a pink-toned lip color was movie star modern and good look.
Red Carpet Miss # 3: Helena Bonham Carter
Fashion: Oscar nominee, Helena, dressed outside the box, but also outside the century. She wore a black velvet and taffeta bustle gown by costume designer Colleen Atwood. The 18th Century style goth–esque corseted dress was certainly a lovely homage to the costume designer, but it would have been a nice change of pace for the beautiful star to have raised a few brows by wearing something current. At least something from this century.
Accessories: Helena wore Solange Azegury-Partridge jewels – but then chose a ten-dollar accessory for her hair that’s usually used to decorate flip-flops. What’s up with that? She added a British Union Jack garter and toted a Lulu Guinness fan-shaped clutch to complete the ensemble – neither one great choices.
Hair: Helena’s hair was very curled, very high and very tendrilled.
Makeup: With everything else going on, Helena’s makeup was actually sedate and quite good. She wore warm-toned eye shadow, brown liner and individual lashes. That, along with a pinky-beige mouth, looked contemporary, which fortunately and unfortunately didn’t relate to her period hair and attire. With that said, you can’t help but love her originality and zest for fashion and beauty. She’s a one of a kind …and we’ re lucky to have her!
To listen to my interview with Joan Bryden from WPCR Radio on Getting Red Carpet Ready click here!
Originally Published on Colette’ Bouchez’ Country Dutchess.com