Red Carpet Rundown: 2012 Oscars.

Oscar time– go hard or go home.

Lots of red, white and nude gowns. I was pleasantly surprised by the red carpet– a lot more hits than misses.

The Best:

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Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli. Very well done, Ms. Stone. Quite reminiscent of Nicole Kidman Oscars 2007, yes? She’s had an impressive red carpet season. This gown is gorgeous. Great color on her, love the simple hair, the chunky bracelet and the cat-eye. The dress moved well too, and looked comfy enough to actually eat in. Definitely beats trying to sit in something super tight, don’t you think?

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Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen. This was a work of art. So, so pretty. Exquisite detailing, still bold and almost in-your-face, but Jessica wears it so well. Love the soft hair (updo’s are really overrated); it kept the look from being too runway (and a McQueen runway can be a slightly scary place).

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Giuliana Rancic in Tony Ward Couture. A really great nude on Giuliana. Love the swan-like detail around the shoulders, and how it frames the dress down the waist. Gorgeous bead work, and I love the simple raw tulle hem. My only qualm with this look is the severe hairstyle– it makes her face appear very gaunt. Something loose and full would’ve been better suited.

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Natalie Portman in vintage Dior. Finally, finally Natalie wears a dress that totally works. There’s nothing jutting out awkwardly from her hip, no phantom pouches that add girth, etc. A simple, flattering dress in the statement color of the evening with an interesting– and somehow not cutesy– polka dot. Love the lacquered box clutch and her vampy nail. Gorgeous jewelry, too. So nice to have Natalie on my best list again.

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Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab. So sick. Head to toe sequins and a really sculptured shoulder. And does Milla age? Seriously. Flawless.

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Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton. Really, really well done. Perfectly crafted, yet seemed effortless on the carpet. Love this poppy color on Michelle, love the layered skirt and the cute peplum. Thought the pink clutch was a nice touch too; going with metallic or red would’ve been too easy. Definitely one of my favorite looks of the night.

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Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad. Another Fountain of Youth. Jennifer looks amazing and super fit in this gown. Love the contrasting stripes, and leave it to our JLo to completely sex up the carpet. Happy to see that she left her background dancer boyfriend at home (at least until after the show); will someone please explain to me why she continues to slum it with randoms? You had Bradley Cooper and you traded down for someone named Casper? I can’t.

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Shailene Woodley in Valentino. I’ll cop to not loving this at first. I had to see a few times before I warmed up to it. It was different, it was conservative, it was a little old-fashioned (especially for super young Shailene). But I would rather this route for Shailene over the Sex Kitten option any day of the week. People are still arguing over whether this dress was vintage or part of the 2012 Valentino line. Either way, it definitely has a vintage vibe. Love how the cream-on-cream detail almost looks like fondant. Very pretty.

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Angelina Jolie in Versace. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this Angelina. Amazing construction– really like the way the bodice fits. There’s some volume at the waist, which Angelina definitely needs (homegirl is thin). The slit was super sexy, and basic black peep-toes were a classic choice. Love the Bardot bedhead and red lip. It did seem like she was trying a little too hard though, yes? I understand she kept jutting that leg out during the actual show, i.e., while she was presenting. A little too much try, I’ll agree. But the still photo is gorgeous.

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Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford. Did you hate the cape? I didn’t know how to feel about it at first, and then I suddenly loved it. (Fashion can be fickle.) Who else could pull this off? No one. Gwyneth’s got everything you need to make this look work: height, grace, confidence and the body. The cape was removable, which I thought was a nice touch. (Who wants to sit through an entire awards show in a cape?) I loved the shoulders and neckline of the actual gown itself. And that cuff is sick, no? Totally gorgeous.

The Meh:

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Penelope Cruz in Armani. Boring, right? And this color does absolutely nothing for Penelope. Washes her out, drabs her up.

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Stacy Kiebler in Marchesa. Why do you look like an Oscar statue? Gold dress, super tan, blonde hair, gold accessories, gold makeup. This was not wise. However, I love the cut of the dress– until you get to the rose business on the hip. It creates that weird draping over the lower part of her abdomen; not flattering. And is this lamé? I feel like it is. And lamé is so hard to wear because it tends to lay wonky and photograph really cheaply. And consider the following: George was up against Jean Dujardin for Best Actor. Jean Dujardin is one of Harvey Weinstein’s boys, and the contender that Harvey threw his weight behind this season. Harvey is married to Georgina Chapman– aka one of Marchesa’s lead designers. Think Georgina tossed Stacy a less-than-fabulous dress on purpose? Hmm.

The Worst:

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Viola Davis in Vera Wang. Love the color, and love that she chose to wear her hair au natural. But everything else is bad. I cannot understand why people were losing their minds over this dress– the bust is too small (holy squish!). And that mermaid fishtail (literally, not figuratively) thing happening from the knee down weirds me out. It’s odd against the smooth, almost shiny material of the rest of the dress (is that brushed taffeta?). And someone please explain to me the slash at the knee, because I really don’t get it.

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Sandra Bullock in Marchesa. Maybe I take back that Georgina Chapman/Stacy Kiebler theory. Clearly, this was the uglier option. This feels so old. The entire top half of the dress is so lazy; it’s supposed to be loose, yes, but it comes off really unfinished. Like a sheet. Or a hospital gown. The gold at the shoulders doesn’t save it, and the gold at the waist doesn’t pull the top and bottom together like it should. Oy. And is it me, or has Sandy had some work done?


That’s my take; what are your thoughts?


  1. Love your take on the carpet- agree on Michelle and Shailene! They were my favorites. HATED Viola- that dress was gross. Wasn’t even that big of a fan of the color, tbh.

    Great review!

  2. I really loved Michelle Williams, Angelina and Gywneth! That cape was really stunning- and it was good that it came off, too.


  3. My best: Emma Stone. GORGEOUS!
    My meh: Penelope Cruz. You’re right- that color did nothing for her.
    My worst: Sandra Bullock. SO BAD!

  4. Best- Michelle Williams. She really stepped it up.
    Worst- Sandra Bullock. That dress was really, really bad!

    Great review! I love your blog. 🙂

  5. Really, REALLY loved Jessica Chastain’s dress. So amazing! And didn’t care for Sandra or Viola’s dresses. I didn’t see Melissa Leo’s until I read this- and yes, that’s really bad!

  6. At first, I didn’t like Gwyneth’s cape- it was kinda weird. But the more I saw her on TV, walking the carpet, the more I started to like it. By the end of the night, I loved it! You’re absolutely right- fashion can be fickle!

  7. Love your review! Definitely agree that the Marchesa Stacy Kiebler wore wasn’t a good fit- and HOW AMAZING would it be if you were right about the whole Harvey/Georgina thing?! Totally makes sense.

  8. My top three — in order:
    1. Jessica Chastain
    2. Gwyneth Paltrow
    3. Angelina Jolie

    Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the fashion this year. It was MUCH better than the last.

    P.S. THANK YOU for agreeing with me on Viola Davis’ dress. Every time the camera panned to her, I yelled, “Boobs!”
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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