2014 Oscar Rundown

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With the Oscars trailing not far behind the Winter Olympics, it seems that the ladies of the evening donned shades of our nation’s beloved red, white, and blue!  Hollywood’s “It” Girl Jennifer Lawrence (pictured, top right) sported her favorite hue in Dior Haute Couture.  Three of our favorites chose to wear different hues of blue.  Sandra Bullock (pictured, top right) seemed to be everyone’s top choice of the evening in her stunning sapphire Alexander McQueen gown.  With her sweetheart neckline, draped waist, and side swept curls, Bullock rocked old Hollywood glam with a touch of modern (notice the blue nails) and positively glowed in her custom Lorraine Schwartz jewels.  Ever the classy lady, Lupita Nyong’o (pictured, below) was show-stopping in her pale blue Prada gown, that deserved an award all its own.  Nyong’o has been hitting the red carpet in anything but pastels this awards season, but Sunday night she was a modern-day princess.  lupita-nyong'o-3The double-plunging neckline on the front and back was beautifully balanced with that full, gathered skirt.  From her head to her hands, she was adorned in multiple yellow gold and diamond Fred Leighton pieces ranging all the way back to the 1800s.  Amy Adams (pictured, below left) kept it all about the dress when she chose that deliciously dark royal blue Gucci Premiere number.  Adams swept her beautiful curls up into an interesting take on the French twist and pulled it off seamlessly.  She chose to keep the jewelry as delicate as her sheath with color coordinated Tiffany & Co. earrings and minimalist rings.  Kate Hudson (pictured, below right) looked fabulous in glamorous white, a matured and improved version of her other stunning look by Atelier Versace in 2003.  Other popular looks of the evening were nude or pale pink gowns with either metallic accents or an asymmetrical design.  Both Jessica Biel and Penelope Amy-Adams-9Cruz failed to pull off these trends.  With Biel’s enviable body, her dress choice should have been more detail-oriented.  Her Chanel Haute Couture nude and metallic number ended up looking cheap and like a last-minute decision, which is very hard to do in Chanel.  Cruz chose to wear a pastel petal pink Giambattista Valli dress which looked more like she was chaperoning a prom in the suburbs, rather than attending the Oscars.  Being a one shouldered frock, adorning a tiny black bow around the waist, and excess material at the other arm, this dress looked unfinished and like it didn’t know what it wanted to be.  But our final favorite was stunning couple Matthew McConaughey and wife Camila Alves (pictured, bottom).  America’s favorite Texan wore a winter white Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo, while his lovely wife, Camila, wore a pale pink Gabriela Cadena half-caped gown, which was the best one-shouldered look we’ve ever seen!  And just like the Olympics, McConaughey took home gold!matthew-mcconaughey-5-camila-alves-1

Look-of-the-Day

helen-hunt-4Tonight, the 86th Academy Awards will air, and our final “Look-of-the-Day” from an Oscar-nominated film is Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets.  Hunt won Best Actress for her portrayal as Carol Connelly, a single mom who works as a waitress, and ends up romantically-involved with an high-maintenance, best-selling OCD author named Martin Udall (played by Jack Nicholson).  It’s one of this editor’s all-time favorite movies.  Here, Carol enters for their first date in a lovely, patent leather-belted red shirt dress with white polka dots and matching buttons.  Ali Basye of On This Day in Fashion references costume designer Molly Maginnis’ comments about the outfit from the book Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design, “Jim Brooks told me repeatedly that this was the most important costume in the movie… It was important that the dress have the feel of a housedress and yet make Helen’s character feel like she looks great.”  Martin, always charming, takes the wind right out of her, by commenting, “I don’t get this place. They make me buy a new outfit, and they let you in with a house dress.”  Carol is ready to walk out on him, but he convinces her to stay, by revealing the best compliment of all. <3

Look-of-the-Day

thandie-newton-1This “Look-of-the-Day” is from the surprise 2005 Best Picture winner, Crash.  It’s a sublime film, and this is one of its many difficult scenes to watch.  Thandie Newton plays Christine Thayer, the wife of a successful Hollywood director (Terrence Howard).  The couple is pulled over (for their race, more than any other reason), while driving home after a party in LA.  Christine gets sexually assaulted by the arresting officer, while her intimidated husband looks on helplessly.  The white cocktail dress she has on is very sophisticated, with a draped collar, but it also has a hint of sexiness with low-cut side panels.  She looks picture perfect as a tasteful upper-class woman, but unfortunately, she doesn’t feel that way.  This is a great example of an outfit being able to tell a story: before Thayer is groped, she looks stunning and sure of herself, but here, she resembles a lost child with covered, hunched shoulders who has been scared, betrayed and hurt.

Look-of-the-Day

karen-allen-1In featuring Oscar-nominated film costumes this week, we had to come up with a gown for “Fancy Friday.”  While scrolling through past nominees, we forgot Raiders of the Lost Ark was nominated for Best Picture in 1981!  It probably isn’t the first film that comes to mind for glamorous outfits, but Indiana Jones’ love interest gets to wear some beautiful clothing.  Karen Allen plays Marion Ravenwood, a spunky bartender/journalist/adventurer who Harrison Ford’s character falls for in the Steven Spielberg film.  A sassy, blue-eyed, brown-haired tomboy that gets to run around Egypt and Europe with the sexiest archaeologist known to man?  As a child, I pretty much wanted to be her when I karen-allen-2karen-allen-3grew up.  (I got to do most of that, but I’ve yet to find a historian that happens to look like Harrison Ford… Or fight Nazis lol.)  At the climax of the film, Marion sports a beautiful creamy white satin gown (technically a nightgown) while she gets kidnapped by the villains.  Beforehand, she and Indy do get to spend some downtime together though… 😉  Costume designer Deborah Nadoolman told TheRaider.net, “Karen Allen’s character was hard to get right. It was tough to transition a self reliant trousered tomboy into a glamorous wench who could wear a white tulle gown followed by a very bare white bias cut satin slip.”  Well, we think she nailed it!  In the film’s fourth installment, the two characters cross paths again, and when Marion tells Indiana there must have been other women, he tells her they all had the same problem: “They weren’t you, honey.”karen-allen-4

Look-of-the-Day

donna-reed-8Our “Look-of-the-Day” posts this week feature looks from Oscar-nominated films, in honor of the upcoming award ceremony.  Here is one of our all-time favorite actresses, Donna Reed in From Here to Eternity.  The clean-cut Midwestern star was most famous for her classic 1950s/60s television show, but donna-reed-7what most people don’t know is that she won an Academy Award for playing a prostitute in the 1953 film.  Our editors always adored her from having watched It’s A Wonderful Life every Christmas since they were little.  While that movie seems to stand the test of time, From Here to Eternity feels extremely dated upon recent viewing.  Other than the iconic beach scene, the only memorable part of the film is Reed.  Her subtle performance far outshines the other major stars in the movie.  Here she is as Alma “Lorene” Burke in a sexy black halter dress with sequined straps, dark lipstick and chandelier earrings.  The sultry look was much different than the lily white characters Reed normally played, but she still manages to look very lovely as a lady of the night.donna-reed-9

Look-of-the-Day

jessica-chastain-4This Sunday, the 86th Academy Awards will take place, and leading up to the ceremony we’re featuring some of our favorite looks from Oscar-nominated films.  Here is Jessica Chastain in her first nominated role as Celia Foote in 2011’s The Help.  The beautiful redhead plays an almost unrecognizable curvacious southern blonde, who isn’t as ditzy as she seems, and is one of the most interesting characters in the film.  Here, Celia and her husband attend a local black-tie event, but everyone else’s husbands’ eyes are on her in this gorgeous hot pink gown that accentuates her hourglass figure.  Since Celia’s originally from a different social class (and she nabbed the town queen’s first love), her conservative neighbors of 1960s Jackson look on green with envy when she enters the room.

2013 Oscar Rundown

The 85th Academy Award Show was probably the first red carpet event in a while where no particular gown was extremely exciting to our editors on any of the main starlets.  We’ve mentioned in the past that we don’t really like featuring outfits of people at award shows who aren’t really affiliated with the industry (like actors at the Grammy’s, or Heidi Klum at the Oscars, or Kim Kardashian at anything…)  But this year our two favorite gowns were on guests of attendees!  The first was Harvey Weinstein’s young wife, Marchesa founder Georgina Chapman (pictured, top left), who looked ethereal in a flowing white gown with a jewel-encrusted top by, who else, Marchesa.  She’s expecting their second child in a month, and you could barely tell she’s pregnant!  Absolutely stunning.  It’s no wonder all of her brand’s gowns are incredible.  The second was Jamie Foxx’s beautiful teenaged daughter, Corinne Bishop (pictured, top right).  Since Foxx is kind of ageless, we thought she was a date at first, but we were stunned to learn that Bishop is only 19-years-old, and Jamie’s child!  She wore a gorgeous blue chiffon gown with a crisscross bodice and loose waves.  Future supermodel, perhaps?  We thought Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck looked divine together (as they always do) in Gucci (pictured, above left).  The couple that dresses together, stays together!  (Not really, but we hope these two will go the distance.)  Ben is sporting a Gucci tuxedo, while Jennifer wore a plum-colored gown with a ruffled train by the same designer.  She is a girl whose complexion looks great in any hue.  Her husband, Ben, was snubbed for a Best Director nomination, but did get to collect the Best Picture Award for his film, Argo.  Les Miserables newcomer Samantha Barks looked both lovely and sexy at the same time in a V-cut black gown by Valentino (pictured, above right).  The Irish beauty finished off her look with smoky eyes, swept-back hair, and a Waris for Forevermark diamond pendant.  She was our favorite soloist of the film, and we were surprised she didn’t get more credit for her powerful performance of “On My Own.”  Especially considering it was her first film!  Zoe Saldana looked lovely in her Alexis Mabille Couture choice (pictured, below left).  She wore this editor’s three favorite shades – black, white and gray, but did so in an unusual way.  Her multicolored train was definitely our favorite of the night.  The lace bodice was truly beautiful, upon closer inspection, but the ruffled trim, belt and ribbon were all a little much – a simple ribbon around the waist, or nothing at all, would have been more than sufficient.  Her stunning waves, and Neil Lane pearl earrings were perfect – Zoe just needed a little darker lipstick.  Our favorite “F.R.I.E.N.D.” Jennifer Aniston (pictured, above right) wore something a little out of her comfort zone in this bright red Valentino ballgown.  We thought it looked nice on her, and while her hair and make-up look pretty, we’d like to see her California waves in a pretty updo one day…  And now for the worst (although this year’s red carpet was mostly just boring, not particularly bad) – Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman did not glitter in gold, although Catherine Zeta-Jones did in Zuhair Murad.  Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams and Amanda Seyfried were all washed out in their pale frocks.  Cutie-pie, and new mom, Reese Witherspoon did not flatter her shape in a bright blue Louis Vuitton dress, which somehow made her bust seem low and her hips seem huge, which is not the case.  But the worst-dressed of the night had to be anyone with a breast issue – Brandi Glanville (a Housewife of sorts apparently) nearly fell out of her ill-fitting beige gown, while Anne Hathaway’s nips were front and center in her Prada dress.  Not cute.  Our final favorite of the night was the Belle of the Ball, (and our current girl crush of the past year) Jennifer Lawrence.  The 22-year-old (pictured, bottom) won her first Oscar for Best Actress wearing (and falling in) this blush Dior ballgown.  It’s young and pretty, just like she is, but it actually wasn’t our absolute favorite (even though she is).  We loved her smokey eye make-up and long pearl necklace draped across her back. <3  Even though the 85th Oscar ceremony, and the dresses, were just okay, we’re already excited for next year!

2012 Oscar Rundown

It’s the biggest red carpet event of the year… the Oscars!  Honestly, after seeing some great gowns at the SAG Awards and Golden Globes this year, we were a little disappointed with a lot of the fashion at the Academy Awards.  We’ll start with our favorites (as always!)  Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured, top left) was bringing it like she did back in the day in this caped Tom Ford creation.  Newcomer and first-time nominee Jessica Chastain (pictured, top right) looked glorious in a gold-embroidered black gown by Alexander McQueen with $2 million worth of Harry Winston yellow diamonds to go with it!  Chastain looked just lovely with her red locks half-up, half-down, which perfectly complemented her strapless dress (just like Blair’s prom gown!)  Penelope Cruz (pictured, below left) looked like she was straight out of 1950s Hollywood in a custom lavender Giorgio Armani gown, perfectly coiffed curls and 114 carats of Chopard diamonds!  E! anchor (and star of one of our own guilty pleasures Giuliana & Bill) Giuliana Rancic (pictured, below right) looked better than most of the people she interviewed in her stunning Tony Ward Spring 2012 couture gown!  She looked phenomenal, especially considering she just recovered from a double mastectomy.  New mom Natalie Portman (pictured, bottom right) looked adorable in her polka-dotted Dior Haute Couture dress (she is the face of Miss Dior), and one large diamond necklace from Harry Winston.  Octavia Spencer (pictured, bottom left) stayed faithful to Tadashi Shoji, wearing a beautifully-embroidered gown and 50-carat Neil Lane diamond earrings that looked like mini chandeliers!  While these girls looked just great, lots of our other favorites disappointed us.  We were bummed Viola Davis didn’t win Best Actress (although Meryl does get robbed nearly every year…), but we were equally disappointed with her ill-fitting Vera Wang gown, after looking gorgeous all season.  Kristen Wiig looks awesome as a brunette, but not in nude; Rooney Mara’s bangs and bondage dresses have got to go; and Emma Stone, take a cue from fellow gorgeous ginger-haired girl, like Jessica Chastain: avoid colors from the red family!  The color of her hair and gown was too close.  We would have preferred black, hunter green or navy on the funny lady.  And from our not-so-favorites?  Angelina Jolie… wow, you picked black again?  Shocking!  While we love the color black probably more than most things on Earth, we get it… so do you.  We did not like the thigh-high slit, red lips and constant posing.  We get it.  You love yourself more than life itself.  Stop shaking your hair like there’s a fan blowing it back.  Jennifer Lopez looked ridiculous with the skin-tight dress, slicked backed hair with a bouffant, and a nip slip to boot.  Otherwise, not much excited us fashion-wise last night other than these fashion stunners.  Better luck next year!  At least the show was entertaining!

Look-of-the-Day

Our favorite Hollywood couple – well, not exactly… Neither are actors, so not exactly a Hollywood couple, but definitely our favorite celebrity couple looked gorgeous, as always, at the Vanity Fair Oscars party last night.  Victoria Beckham looked glamorous in one of her own creations – a belted gray strapless gown from her Fall Collection, a large emerald cocktail ring, dark nails and the sexiest accessory ever – David Beckham in Dior!  Posh Spice posted a home picture of her getting ready on Twitter before the event in her own bathroom (which includes some sexy black and white photos of her husband on the right!)

The Way W./E. Were

We’re not exactly Madonna fans here at theSkinnyStiletto.  After viewing the more realistic “love story” between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII in last year’s Best Picture winner, The King’s Speech, and how much pain and embarrassment he caused his younger brother with a speech impediment, who would have to take the throne following his abdication, this romance certainly lost any allure that Elaine was yammering on about when she made herself sick on a piece of their wedding cake on Seinfeld.  Considering those two facts (and that this film opened to horrible reviews), W./E. wasn’t exactly on our must-see list of 2011.  But, the photos of the costumes are so delicious, we’re quite tempted to rent this flick!  English actress Andrea Riseborough plays the American socialite that throws the line of British royalty out of whack, when King Edward decides to leave the throne, in order to marry the twice-divorced American.  (Riseborough was fantastic in 2010’s Made in Dagenham, if you’re looking for a good movie to see her in.)  Even though W./E. didn’t get positive reviews, Riseborough looks pitch-perfect as Wallis Simpson.  In fact, she actually even reminded us of Madonna herself, when she played a 1940s dark brunette in A League of their Own (the only film associated with the Material Girl that has a good reputation.)  James D’Arcy was also exceptionally well-cast as the young, slender blonde king.  Some of the film’s stills look so real, they could pass for actual historical photos.  Madonna hired costume designer Arianne Phillips to create the outfits for the film, and was nominated for an Academy Award for her stunning work.  (We think she deserves this Oscar!)  Phillips began work on the film a year prior to filming even began, studying costumes at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York and Musée de la Mode et du Textile in Paris.  Many of Simpson’s original dresses have been kept in museum archives, which were unavailable for Madonna’s production.  Many couture houses offered to recreate outfits for W./E., including Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli and Balenciaga.  (Fun Fact: Madonna asked for a wedding dress from one of Phillips’ competitors for the Oscar this year, Michael O’Connor.  The gown was on display at the National Museum of Costume in Scotland, whose general manager agreed to lend Madonna the dress.)  Co-stars of the film also looked fabulous in their various looks.  Abbie Cornish (pictured, above left) plays a modern girl researching Wallis, and looked wonderful in an all black shift with a matching cardigan, purse and pumps.  Natalie Dormer (pictured, above right) looks fantastic as a young Queen Mother.  In the above scene, she’s being fitted for a hat by the famous milliner Stephen Jones, which is Elizabeth and her daughter’s go-to accessory.  Phillips told W Magazine, “To me, Wallis Simpson was a style icon, but I didn’t know she was a couture client well before she met Edward.  She was also a hungry whore for jewelry.  Edward gave Wallis jewelry to make her feel royal.  My first task was figuring out how to re-create those famous gifts.”  Phillips contacted Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels to replicate several pieces from Simpson’s jewelry collection, including a famous emerald cross bracelet Edward gave to her.  Phillips also got in touch with luxury goods company Alfred Dunhill and Savile Row to get original fabrics and wool from the mills that actually created clothing for King Edward.  Phillips’ work and research on the film was not only thorough, but absolutely gorgeous.  Any one of Wallis Simpson’s beautiful outfits is inspiring today, even 80 years later.  We’re rooting for Arianne this year!