Looks from the 2019 Oscars I won't soon forget - for better or worse

I’d be lying if I said that I was wowed by the films of 2018 and early 2019. But while some films impressed me and others sufficiently disappointed me, I couldn’t resist tuning in to see who would take home a golden statue and what everyone would be wearing on Hollywood’s biggest night. Keeping in tradition with last year’s top and bottom looks list, let’s get into the hits and misses on this year’s red carpet

Disclaimer: The following are my personal opinions on the garments people wore on the red carpet to the 2019 Oscar awards. I am going based off my personal taste, as well as my perspective from either seeing them on TV, or in red carpet photos the next day. This list is not based on what garments are the most fashion forward, or represent the fashion industry at the moment, and my views on the garments do not represent an opinion of the artist wearing them, or their personal appearance.

 

Lady Gaga

For Better

Gaga never ceases to amaze me with her impeccable taste. I love the fact that she knows that at some award shows, showing up in an egg or a meat dress is the best choice to garner attention and press, while classy gowns like this one will dazzle at The Golden Globes and Academy Awards. Her Alexander McQueen gown was a beautiful shade of black that looked great at the awards show and even better on the red carpet. And its avant-garde square hip shape was the perfect homage to Gaga’s style, but in a way that was Oscars appropriate. It was styled with matching opera gloves and a drop dead gorgeous jewelry set that included a $30 million yellow diamond, previously worn by Oscar-winner Audrey Hepburn. Could Gaga’s big win on this night plus her jewelry of choice mean that she could follow in Hepburn’s footsteps as an EGOT recipient in the future? Only time will tell.

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Emma Stone

For Better

Now let’s get to my other favourite looks…See what I did there? While this didn’t pop on the red carpet so much for me, once the lights were shining on her in the audience as her The Favourite co-star Olivia Colman accepted her award, I fell in love with this jeweled number. Something about Emma Stone’s physique looks excellent with these column-like dresses. And the simple hair-do gave way to the sleeve detail. Overall, I thought this was a gorgeous number for her to wear. Being that this Louis Vuitton gown took 712 hours to make, I’m sad that it never made its way onstage for more eyes to see!

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Rachel Weisz

For Better

I know this look is quite polarizing at the moment, but in my opinion, this two-piece latex Givenchy dress was heavenly on Rachel Weisz. While I do think that the hair-do was a bit subdued for a look this edgy, I thought that this was really different from the rest of the looks, and something I expect from an ambitious actress like her. The cape-like top didn’t swallow her up, the cinched waist was amazing for her figure while also remaining a bit abstract, and the red latex really popped on TV. I love when unconventional materials are used for formal events. This is an example of when breaking the rules goes so right.

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Amy Poehler

For Worse

When Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph entered the state at the beginning of the show, it was bittersweet for me. I half-smiled at the fact that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have done a great job co-hosting award shows together, and I assumed I’d be in for a few good laughs. But I also winced at the sight of their ensembles for the evening. While Tina Fey’s dress was a bit of a snooze, I was more focused on what Amy Poehler was wearing. Now I love when women wear suits to award shows, and even when women wear more masculine looks in their everyday lives. I have seen masculine suits on the likes of Emma Stone, Cara Delevingne and of course Janelle Monae that blew me out of the water. But this suit on Poehler - while it featured a nicely fitted trouser - featured a jacket and ruffled blouse combo that made her silhouette seem incredibly stocky up top. While there is nothing wrong with wearing masculine silhouettes, you don’t want to look like your outfit is inspired by an outdated and unstylish man. And frankly, that’s what this Alberta Ferretti suit looked like to me.

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Maya Rudolph

For Worse

Sadly, I felt that Maya Rudolph looked like she stole her gown from a septuagenarian. The gown, which featured an empire waist and a high neckline, would have been fine if it weren’t for the fact that there wasn’t much flow to the skirt. It looked ill-fitted and neither played to her curves, nor flowed away from her body enough to create a dynamic Eastern empire waist moment. The skirt fell in the middle volume-wise which made it read much older than she is. And with the cape added, it looked like it was trying to cover up the poor fit of the dress. I do always appreciate that Maya Rudolph is somewhat a fashion rebel in that she doesn’t go with the silhouettes everyone else her age is going for. But I always feel that whatever she’s wearing is always just a bit restricted-feeling. If she wants to do an abstract shaped suit, I want her to go more abstract. When she wants to do androgynous, I want her to go more androgynous. When she goes a little matronly, I want her to take it to the extreme so that all of the styling choices feel deliberate. Right now, they always feel like mistakes and after-thoughts.

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Marianne Farley

For Worse

The way Marianne Farley dressed on this evening reminded me of when I try on a vintage piece at a consignment store and realize that it’s just not for my bodytype. This gown looks like a publicist stuck her with it against her will for the night when they ran out of options. It looks tight, uncomfortable, and like it’s trying to force her to into a shape she’s not. With her curves, the possibilities are endless. But frankly this 80’s prom dress sleeve, combined with the overly tight column skirt and high slit under Little House on the Prairie-looking buttons was not going to do anyone favors no matter who was wearing it.

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Regina King

For Better

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do a high slit dress in white. Regina King looked absolutely beautiful as she accepted her award for Best Supporting Actress. While it did look uncomfortable to walk in as she stumbled up the stairs, it was a beautiful fit on her, a gorgeous shade of white, a fabric that flowed glamorously and had a slit that really gave all the drama so that the rest of the gown could remain more subtle.

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Amandla Stenberg

For BETTER

While this dress may not have popped as much on the red carpet, I can tell you that it had me in awe while she presented the Best Picture award. She looked so elegant, so youthful and so sexy in this number. While the hem of the dress looks a bit unfinished the more you stare at it, the bodice was a perfect shade of nude illusion under perfectly placed fringe details that made me double-take and wonder if she was exposed or not. And that’s exactly what you want from a nude illusion. The sex appeal and shock value of looking almost naked, with the tastefulness of actually being covered up in the right areas.

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AWKWAFINA

For Worse

Similar to Amy Poehler’s look, Awkwafina arrived in a suit comprised of nicely fitted pants…and a jacket and blouse combo that made her look a mess. I actually like the idea of Awkwafina coming to the Oscars in a suit that’s a unique shade of pink. I think it says a lot about her personality. She’s different, she’s funny, she’s outgoing. She’s not going to kowtow to your fashion standards. But this ill-fitting jacket and messy bow neckline were just too difficult to ignore. And wearing her hair down with the giant details on her chest made her look suffocated. Someone needs to call up Janelle Monae or Ellen Degeneres’ stylists. We need their expertise on fitting women for androgynous suits for the 2020 Academy Awards. Because this just isn’t working for me.

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MICHELLE YEOH

For Better

This Elie Saab gown was absolutely enchanting on Michelle Yeoh. Seeing her come back into the spotlight after the release of Crazy Rich Asians has been a joy for me. Throughout the years, she’s always maintained so much class and youthfulness, making her wardrobe a sign that you don’t have to be in your 20s to experiment with your style and be proud of your body.

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Gemma Chan

For Worse

While Gemma Chan has turned gorgeous looks at other events in the past, this one was a miss for me personally. And it’s all because of one element of the dress: The fabric. This Maison Valentino gown gives an extremely stunning shade of pink, beautiful voluminous train and a silhouette that really pays homage to Eastern fashion. I absolutely loved many elements of it. But that fabric and the type of ruching they decided to give it, made it look like a the same cheap fabric that casual dresses for little girls are made of. It took a high fashion collar and skirt, and made it look extremely cheap and child-like. I was so disappointed, as I think this could have been a show-stopper otherwise. But I will give her points for admitting she stowed cookies away in its pockets. Very relatable.

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Linda Cardellini

For Worse

While I have to admit that I don’t hate the silhouette of this look, I hated just about everything else about it. It was one of those shades of pink that wasn’t bright enough to be neon, but not dark enough to be a jewel tone. It hit this awkward grey area of fuchsia that to me, always looks like a dye job mistake. The light pink bow in the middle of the mess as well as the casual hairstyle added to the chaos. While I’m glad she’s taking more fashion risks, this was just a step in the wrong direction.

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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

For Better

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While most couples on the red carpet are a combination of hits and misses (as much more effort is put into dressing and styling the celebrity, than their spouse or partner,) Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez looked like a gorgeous, put-together and tasteful yet hot couple at the Oscars.

While J.Lo unsurprisingly dazzled in her futuristic mirrored Zuhair Murad dress, her partner - athlete Alex Rodriguez - looked equally stunning in a black and white suit combo that complimented her gown without looking matchy-matchy. It’s hard to look good on a red carpet standing next to J.Lo, but count on the beloved A-Rod to pull it off.

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Sarah Paulson

For the Worst

When Sarah Paulson entered the stage that night to present an award, my jaw dropped. But for all the wrong reasons. Her dress had one of the most heinous bodices I’ve ever seen on a red carpet. It wasn’t the color of the dress or even the ruching details so close to her face that offended me. It was the bizarre way that the dress was cut out at her waist that gave off an extremely unflattering peek-a-boo to her mid section. It reminded me less of a sexy red carpet moment and more of a romper a teenager on spring break might wear. This dress somehow found a way to be both mumsy and too revealing. It’s not even the location of where she was exposed; It was the way that the dress exposed her. Paulson has the figure to pull off many silhouettes, and of course could do a backless or cut out moment on the red carpet if she wanted to. But this dress somehow found a way to take such a classy gorgeous woman and make her look unfinished and cheap. She’s lucky this dress didn’t come in purple or she would have looked like a Crown Royal bag. Why didn’t her partner Holland Taylor say anything to her as they left the house? She looked put-together that night.

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Billy Porter

For The Best

God bless Christian Siriano. The Project Runway veteran turned major fashion designer has done it again, dressing Tony Award winner Billy Porter in a beautiful and unconventional gown for the evening’s festivities. This look blew everyone away with its unique twist of feminine and masculine silhouettes, pairing a tight tuxedo fitted torso with an elegant skirt that swished beautifully on the red carpet. Accompanied by his husband Adam Smith, Porter absolutely stole the show - not just by taking a risk, but by doing it well. Moments like this open the floodgates for more dynamic mens fashion looks in the future. Typically, men don’t get a lot of attention for their looks at these award shows, because of how limiting the dresscode of a formal event can seem for them. May this emind us that you don’t have to be dressed by specific rules to make a splash at the Academy Awards. You just have to showcase your taste and class.

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While at a first glance I thought this was a pretty disastrous red carpet, the more I looked into each garment and past the pink ruffles, the more I found pieces that I liked. And all in all, while it wasn’t an Oscar’s season full of movies I watched and adored, I felt genuinely happy for all the winners. It felt like every film got their chance to shine in their rightful departments, and that much trailblazing took place. And that’s more than I could have asked for. Until next time!