Best (Dressed) Actress
The following actresses were nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role. We all know that they each did a great job in their respective roles. What you really want to know is what our own Lauren Dimet Waters and Joseph Ungoco thought of their dresses. Here is She Said/He Said for the 2014 Oscar Red Carpet.
He Said: I’m a HUGE fan of navy for eveningwear. I think this dress is exquisite – deceptively simple and brilliantly executed. The workmanship required to sculpt a dress like this is – that appears formfitting yet moves without straining the fabric – is simply BEYOND! Kudos to Frida Giannini at Gucci.
She Said: It’s not as fun agreeing with you, but I have to on this one. People (OK, E!) kept commenting on navy for evening-wear. I love it! Navy is the new black…deal with it!
He Said: This Armani Prive gown is simply stunning. It employs all the hand crafting techniques of true Haute Couture without looking fussy or old fashioned. The blush/nude color palette is so important for fall and several actresses wore it to varying degrees of success. My big concern with this dress is that the Oscar red carpet is so hugely influential over the bridal market and I really want brides to think long and hard about whether or not they can really carry off this look. I shudder to think about how many bridal crimes against fashion will be committed this June…
She Said: At first I was not sure how I felt about this color (or lack thereof) on Cate. However, once I looked at her in it working the red carpet, I grew to love it. It was a true fashion moment from head-to-toe. What scared me the most was Giuliana Rancic’s (Paolo Sebastian – er, who?) dress…she was wearing a bridal gown! I only hope more brides go with the blush/nude color…of course if they can carry it off. I for one would look like a corpse.
He Said: I predicted that she would step out in an ultrafeminine look to compensate for the somewhat masculine role for which she was nominated. I’m glad she went for glam goddess rather than pretty princess in pink. Sarah Burton has done an amazing job evolving the legacy of the late Alexander McQueen who was more known for embellishment than draping. This gown carries the brand high quality standards onto Madame Gres’ turf.
She Said: The dress was gorgeous. No doubt. However, she could have used a necklace, her hair was too stiff and she needed some damn lipstick! What is the deal with everyone not wearing lipstick on the red carpet? It’s just dreadful for evening. If you wear a gown, wear some freaking lipstick on your pucker! Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
He Said: She looks fine; she always looks fine. Not a showstopper, but dependably chic. Meryl Streep has been nominated a total of 18 times over her career. Her 2012 win for The Iron Lady was 29 years after her last win in 1983 for Sophie’s Choice. In between she was nominated – and lost – 12 times. After all that, maybe she finds it hard to get enthused about a dress and picking a dress that says “I’m a winner.” This dress says “it’s an honor just to be nominated”…
She Said: I couldn’t agree more. She knew she wasn’t going to win so she dialed it in with Lanvin (get it?)
Best Dress in a Supporting Role
While supporting actresses get a nod from the Academy, their red carpet dresses are sometimes overlooked. Our own Lauren and Joseph shine a spotlight on the dresses that supported the supporting actresses on their big night.
He Said: This is the type of dress that I expected Amy Adams to wear – even the color. Less educated fashion (ahem) journalists called this duck egg blue, but it really is Robin’s Egg Blue. Check your Pantone Color Chart or maybe I should say look in your Crayola Box next to Purple Mountain Majesty. Sorry for ranting, I just hate it when ignoramuses present themselves on television as “Fashion Experts.” Regardless, she looks amazing. She has the perfect body for this look. Do not try this look at home if you are over a B-cup! Unless you’re a Marilyn Monroe impersonator…
She Said: Actually Joseph, you are all wrong. According to Lupita, it’s called “Nairobi Blue” because she told E! the color reminded her of home. I thought she looked magnificent! The color and the cut of that Prada dress were perfection. I loved how it made her arms look toned and her skin flawless. The biggest shock to me was that this gown was Prada! I love that Lupita seemingly appeared out of nowhere and as a probie, has killed it on the red carpet! That said, she easily won one of the best dressed for the evening…along with her well deserved award. Cheers!
He Said: See “Difficult Color Green.” She looks terrible. Easily one of my worst dressed of the evening. This looks like something a grandmother would wear to tap dance (slowly) at a sad senior center variety show. I’m all for looking your age and looking your best, but this dress does neither. There are many actresses over umm 50 and not a size 2 who manage to look great. She would do well to look to them.
She Said: Oh lighten up Francis! She’s 84 years old and dating Jared Leto (or so it was confirmed to Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet). OK, so the gown did nothing for her. I love her anyway. She won my heart.
He Said: Uggh – I’m torn. I should love this Valentino gown. I do. It’s just that it overpowers her. The color palette is right on trend, the beading is exquisite, but it’s just too much dress for her. I normally reserve that comment for dresses that are too much volume for an actress’s height, but here is the perfect example of how something slim and streamlined can still be too much.
She Said: I agree 100%. This dress overwhelmed her. However, had she worn her hair up and applied some colored lipstick (and blush), we might be singing a different tune.
He Said: Ordinarily, I am not a fan of red dresses on the red carpet. They usually disappear, leaving a disembodied head floating down the step-and-repeat. That said, she looks great. The dress flatters her figure, the silhouette is totally on trend, and – despite her tripping on the way to the red carpet – the dress doesn’t overwhelm her figure. I do have to say that I find it a little disturbing that she looks like Charlize Theron’s Mini Me every time she hits the red carpet now that she has her own Dior contract for Miss Dior. What’s up with that?
She Said: I think she has a balance problem. Gorgeous, but a total klutz.
He Said: Umm – yeah – ok… Remember what I said about plunging necklines and having the right figure? Well, Julia is a 34B and should be perfectly fine. I don’t know what happened – maybe her southern upbringing took over and she thought she needed a modesty shield. Ordinarily a Givenchy gown would have me swooning, but this looks like she clipped something to her bra that she bought from a late night infomercial for two easy payments of $9.99. Not quite my worst dressed for the evening, but headed that way…
She Said: Yeah, she’s not really doing it for me fashion-wise these days. I’m all for aging gracefully, but she is NOT as old as she is dressing! A color on her would be a welcome change from her typical black. Meh.
Better or Worse
Traditionally, the Best Actress from last year presents this year’s Best Actor award. The same goes for the Best Supporting Actress and vice versa for the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Because of this we get to see Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway take to the stage this year as presenters. Lauren and Joseph weigh in on whether these two did better or worse than last year with their red carpet fashions.
He Said: Worse. In general presenters either “take it easy” or try to “tone it down” a year after they win, supposedly to keep the spotlight on this year’s winner. That could explain her choice of dress this year, but then again she’s also nominated for Best Supporting Actress this year and should be trying to look like a winner. I know I said last year that her Dior gown was too much for her (and possibly the reason she fell going up the steps to the stage), but she looked much better last year than now. Who knows? Maybe this year her dress was too tight and that’s the reason she fell going to the red carpet from her car. Don’t get me wrong. I like her dress this year. I just like last year’s better. It’s more classic Christian Dior – more classic film star. The red one is clearly Raf Simons for Dior – and a little sporty.
She Said: I can’t really compare the two gowns because they are so vastly different and her role this year was as a presenter, not a fairy princess. I have concluded she is the new Chevy Chase.
He Said: Better. Frida Giannini really channeled the Gucci warrior princess of tomorrow with this dress. I love this so much more than the pink Prada she wore last year when she won. This is much harder and edgier, yet somehow much more feminine – in a glamazon way – than last year.
She Said: Um, der. The only way she could have looked worse then last year is if she had worn her sheet directly from bed! That was a disaster last year. The only place she could go from there was up. Right?
Presenting the Presenters
Fashion commentators often contend that there is less pressure on Oscar presenters when they hit the red carpet with the year’s nominees. Not so when our own Lauren and Joseph train their eyes on them. Here’s what they thought of the women on stage who opened the sealed envelopes.
He Said: There was something a little too bridal about this winter white look. Calvin Klein Collection is known for being the pinnacle of American sportswear and we have come to expect modern, almost athletic, silhouettes. As a proponent of winter white I should like it but it just looks like a wedding gown – a third wedding – you know, the wedding to the yoga instructor…
She Said: I feel you. I wanted to like this dress as much as the Armani she wore last year which literally took my breath away. It didn’t happen. How about a third wedding to the tennis instructor at the club?
He Said: An endorsement contract with Dior comes with access to the best dresses they have to offer. Charlize clearly takes advantage of that perk and Dior does well to always kit her out in their finest offerings of the season. She looked every bit the glam movie star but the color pulled it back a bit to let the nominees – and the winners – shine. Definitely one of my best dressed of the evening.
She Said: That’s a very good point. She wore black so others could shine. Little did she know the other color of the evening was white or no color! Look, Charlize could walk out with a shaved head wearing an orange prison suit and she would look amazing. Wait, unless she was channeling Aileen Wuornos again in the movie Monster (for which she won an Oscar). She looked pretty bad in that…but I digress.
He Said: I should love this dress. In fact, I DID love this dress on the most recent runway. J Mendel did a wonderful job of scaling this look down for the diminutive Kendrick – she’s like 5’2” – but somehow the overall effect was lost on me. Perhaps I’m haunted by the otherworldly beauty of seeing it live on a 5’10” model, but it just looked flat on her.
She Said: I don’t know if it’s the dress or her I don’t care for. I don’t know her, but I mean to say her look last night was very off-putting. I feel she is too mousy to pull something off this edgy. Maybe a Monique Lhuillier gown would have been better for her. Something more airy and whimsical. This is actually one of my worst dressed of the evening.
He Said: Standing on the red carpet this dress was stunning and all the things I loved about the summer of Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby, but when she walked out on stage to present… I thought they had cut to a new commercial for Swiffer Dusters! So many actresses had chosen fishtail gowns that seemed to float across the stage that the madcap flapper moment of her entrance seemed incongruous with the tone of the evening. Not worst dressed at all – but not my favorite either!
She Said: I thought she looked amazing! I never tire of a Great Gatsby moment. Ever. Besides, there is nothing better than feeling of fringe when you walk across a stage (not that I really know). That said, more than her Oscar de la Renta gown, I thought her hair and makeup were spot on.
He Said: On its own this Elie Saab dress isn’t bad, but it looked a little sad, somewhat elegiac – and dowdy. I would have liked to have seen more metallic on the red carpet this year, but in brighter tones. The overall effect of the darker beads seemed mournful – almost like a dark angel of death…
She Said: OK, how can I say this? The dress looks odd in the chest area. And I don’t mean because she had reconstructive surgery…I literally mean it’s the top half of this dress that is unflattering. The bottom half is stunning. Also from the neck up is stunning. Isn’t she always? She is truly gorgeous.
He Said: We can blame Jennifer Lawrence for the “wear your bed sheets out” trend. In this case, the polyester satin sheets from some sleazy no tell motel in the Poconos with a champagne saucer-shaped hot tub. I get the challenges of being fashionable in the third trimester, but this look just smacked of “giving in”… From flawless Balenciaga to this in a just few weeks – how quickly the fashion forward fall from our good graces!
She Said: Hey! There is a law you can’t make fun of pregnant women unless they are dressed like Drew Barrymore at the last Golden Globes. Now THAT was tragic. Actually at first, when I saw her, I thought Kerry looked stunning. It wasn’t until I saw the photos did I notice how wrinkled this gown became. I have been pregnant and I can tell you, getting black-tie dressed is almost as sucky as child birth. She has also popped quite a bit in the few weeks since she wore that Balenciaga. Trust me, one day you can actually wake up during your pregnancy and look down to see a huge baby bump. Her face is also fuller. But I think she looks gorgeous! She is also wearing lipstick! Thank you.
He Said: At first glance I thought she too had gotten caught up – literally – in the bed sheet trend, but now that I look at more closely at this Giambatista Valli gown I think that it looks like the toilet paper she used to stuff her bra cups is flying out over her shoulder. I know that most of the actresses bucked the pale pastel trend that most fashion pundits predicted and this is dead on that trend, but the overall effect was lackluster. She had to keep fussing with the extra fabric as she walked. The staged photos looked great, but the motion capture was awkward.
She Said: Seriously. If I got to sleep next to Javier Bardem I would never want to get out of bed and if I had to I would probably only wear a bed sheet too! (Sorry honey). I actually really liked this gown, but you are right…when you see someone constantly fussing with their gown, that means something is wrong – either with the fit or the construction.
Difficult Color Green
Maggie Smith said it best as the Dowager Countess of Trentham in Gosford Park: “difficult color green.” Lauren and Joseph weigh in on the actresses who took up the challenge of wearing green on the red carpet.
He Said: To be fair, she was just an attendee and not nominated nor presenting. That said, she looked like she just came from a gig in Battery Park posing with tourists as the Statue of Liberty. Is her career on the rocks? All she needs is a crown and a torch! Green is hard enough as it is, but let’s “just say no” to this hideous shade of patina’d copper. Lady Liberty is the only one who can carry off this otherwise hideous shade of green.
She Said: I heard Viola say she picked this dress because it zipped. That’s not really good enough criteria. Also, allow me to digress – what was with everyone at E! asking stars on the red carpet if what they are wearing is their first choice? How rude and what a stupid question. “Um, actually I wanted to wear this gorgeous Dior dress, but that bitch Charlize got to wear it, so I went with this backup.” How insulting to the designers too. Anywho, yes this dress was hideous and didn’t fit. Lady Liberty! Bah!!!
He Said: This Vera Wang gown is lovely. Not cutting edge fashion, but it suits her figure. As for the color – I actually LOVE this shade of green. It reminds me of OPI’s Here Today Aragon Tomorrow. Hmm… after years of pushing midnight navy as an alternative to black for evening, I may have to consider dark green.
She Said: Isn’t this the Vera Wang wedding dress she can make in her sleep only in green? It is lovely as is the color. I just don’t like the way the bust fits. I actually liked the dress she wore to perform in better. Her voice is beyond amazing, by the way.
He Said: We already talked about her among the Best Supporting Actress nominees, but I have to say that the color of her dress is the least of her problems. A potato sack in any color is still a potato sack!
She Said: OMG. Joseph, I love you to pieces, but leave her alone! I hope to have my mind, much less a sense of humor when I’m 84 years old!
– Joseph Ungoco (He), Lauren Dimet Waters (She)
Photos: People.com, E! Online, Daily Mail
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