With its lack of host, endless organizational stumbles and too-close-to-call categories, no one really knew what to expect from the 2019 Oscars. But it turns out the big surprises came on the red carpet. It was a night filled with whimsy, colour, ruffles, shapes – and SO MUCH HOT PINK. Check out our picks for the best and worst looks of the night at the 91st annual Academy Awards:
BEST DRESSED AT THE 2019 OSCARS:
Jen: I thought Jennifer Lopez was going to be my favourite metallic look of the night until I saw Brie Larson‘s outfit, which I think edges out JLo’s because there’s clear strategy behind it. This is exactly what Larson needed to do before her big debut as Captain Marvel: look great but also like a goddamn superhero who can kick anyone’s ass. She rises to the task with this sexy, slinky Celine that fits her like armour. Take that, haters!
Nicole: Emma Stone’s Louis Vuitton gown is elegant and sculptural, with sleeves that look like tiny wings and sequined material that clings to her. I love that the sequins are layered so they didn’t lay flat. It fits perfectly and she keeps her accessories and makeup to a minimum to let the gown do all the work. It a bit of a weird look which is appropriate given the film she’s nominated for (The Favourite, which is also lovely and weird) and it feels like a grown-up choice. Love.
Jen: Yellow is a hard look to pull off on the carpet, but when it works it’s spectacular. Constance Wu‘s marigold Versace gives me memories of Michelle Williams’ iconic Vera Wang moment during Brokeback Mountain’s year and I heart it.
Nicole: I adore Rachel Weisz’s Givenchy gown. It’s a conventionally pretty gown with a flowing skirt – and then it’s topped with A HOT RED PLEATHER CROP TOP. God, I love writing those words. I’m on a real red tear right now so this immediately plays to my style obsession, plus the contrast of materials both in texture and shape make this such a daring and cool choice. She keeps her accessories tone-on-tone, opting for a black manicure and simple makeup. The headband brings the whole look back to feminine. Again, this weird gown feels wildly appropriate given the film she’s nominated for.
Jen: When I first saw Amy Adams I was disappointed by the colour because it felt too bridal and boring to me. But every time I caught another glimpse of her Versace dress, I feel more and more in love. I still wish it was in a brighter hue (paired with a stronger lip), but the fit is impeccable and it photographs SO well.
Nicole: Oh my god, Sarah Paulson in Brandon Maxwell is so awesome (I was going to write weird, but I have to stop calling all these amazing gowns weird). It’s the colour of the night and the shape is both unconventional and voluminous but also immensely flattering. Sarah is styled by Karla Welch, who often takes calculated risks with her clients (see also Tracee Ellis Ross in the same colour and volume of dress several times this year), however although she’s really pulled towards this colour and shape for her clients, this is one of the best iterations because it manages to be super interesting and lovely.
Jen: Pink was the surprise colour of the night, but IMO no one did it better than Gemma Chan in Valentino. Unlike Linda Cardellini‘s fuschia moment, Gemma’s wearing the dress instead of the dress wearing her. I think you have to be a “fashion” girl to really pull this off, and no one has been rocking couture this awards season as well Gemma. Plus it looks really comfortable and it has pockets (and she was using it to hide COOKIES!!), which always gets bonus points from me!
Nicole: Helen Mirren is so hot in this simple, flowing, vibrant pink Schiaparelli gown with a tulle overlay. It’s feminine, fresh and pretty. I’m not sure why people on social media were going after her makeup – I was so happy to see a bright lip on the red carpet. *sets out fuchsia lipstick for tomorrow*
Jen: Billy Porter hosted the Oscar red carpet preshow but he stole the entire show in this in voluminous Christian Siriano number. I could watch him spin all night long. Werrkkk!
Nicole: When I first saw Angela Bassett on the red carpet, I wrote “wowza” in my notes. I adore the structure of this fuchsia Reem Acra gown and although I wish the material looked less wrinkled, the shape is immensely flattering, the flowing low pony is so feminine and she looks every inch a goddess.
WORST DRESSED AT THE 2019 OSCARS:
Nicole: Glenn Close actually looks like she is wearing a 42lb gown – which she is. I feel like this Carolina Herrera gown is heavy, not at all flattering and it comes across like she is trying way too hard. When I think about Helen Mirren’s simple and flattering gown and hold the two side by side, Glenn looks overwhelmed. I guess 4 million beads will do that to a woman.
Jen: I had high, high expectations for Lady Gaga – if only because I assumed she would bring the weirdness. So imagine my disappointment when she showed up in this understated, underwhelming McQueen, with oddly jutting hips as its only distinguishing feature. She doesn’t even give us a bold red lip! At least the infamous Tiffany necklace is stunning.
Nicole: I actually like Melissa McCarthy’s Brandon Maxwell… outfit? I mean, I can’t call it a gown because IT’S PANTS. At the Academy Awards. I was a bit heartbroken because otherwise the shape is perfect, the colour suits her and the cape is amazing!
Jen: If Gemma Chan is my fave pink look of the night, then Kacey Musgraves is my least fave. She gets lost in this fluffy, cotton candy coloured mess of a Giambattista Valli gown. Tiered tulle is nobody’s friend.
Nicole: I want to love Charlize Theron’s Dior gown but damn. Although it highlights her tall, lean shape, the open back is not flattering and her whole (I’m guessing?) braless situation does not work. I also feel like the colour is doing her no favours. At least there isn’t a weird back strap on her dress like Irina Shayk’s. So there’s that.
Jen: No other nominee had a fairy tale narrative like Roma’s Yalitza Aparicio – but that doesn’t mean she had to dress like a princess. I wanted so much for her…and this Rodarte wasn’t it.