This year, the Oscars brought all the drama even before the telecast: host / no host; just some songs / nope, all songs / never mind, Kendrick’s not coming; cut a few categories / how dare you, put them back. Add to that the fact that the Best Picture race was considered one of the most competitive in years, and yeah, to say we were excited would be an understatement. The biggest surprise, though, may have been the trend that emerged quickly upon the stars’ arrivals: pink! Yards and yards of it as these dresses were billowy, flow-y, and even more dramatic than the lead-up to the broadcast.
But just like the Golden Globes, some looks, pink or otherwise, were cited as both a favorite and a least favorite…and that’s what makes red carpet watching so fun! Quick note: don’t miss our Oscars Best Beauty and Best Jewelry posts today, too.
Elizabeth, The Hive & The Shoe Hive: Gemma Chan stole the red carpet. I have read the book Crazy Rich Asians but have yet to see the movie. If the fashion is anything like what the stars wore on the red carpet, I clearly need to rent it. That color and I the way it moved was stunning. It seemed like she was floating. The makeup and hair were just and ethereal.
Rosana, DC Style Factory: Pink was having a serious moment on the red carpet. Gemma Chan in Valentino was one of my favorite looks of the evening (hello, pockets!). The “parachute” dress was a triumph, but I also loved the attention to detail of her look, especially the “love” hair pin.
Angela, Bellacara: I love pockets in a cocktail dress! Admittedly, not everyone could pull this off. There was a lot of fabric, however, the ruching, the collar, the pockets all worked so beautifully.
Meaghan, Alx&Co.: I like this! I would never wear it, but I really like it on her. It’s like a really elegantly draped duvet and it looks insanely comfortable and I’m 100 percent into both of those details.
Allison, Kiskadee: Wow. Love, love, love! The vibrant pink is incredible…simply gorgeous! It is a showstopper from the ruffled neck to the multiple silk tiers. I adored the full shape. It made body-skimming dresses seem pedestrian.
Angela: I love everything about this look. I feel like I shouldn’t, though. It feels a little boudoir-ish, but the ruffles seem so feminine and so over the top that I actually just love it. I’m so tired of all the cleavage dresses and thigh-high slits that somehow this feels sexy, but in a totally different way. Her makeup and hair are totally on point with this look.
Meaghan: Okay! Nolan, my toddler, says, “Wow. It’s beautiful.” He is deeply impressed, as am I. She’s pulling it off in a completely crazy way.
Amy: My BIG GIANT miss is Linda Cardellini. That dress overwhelmed her. While a fantastic actress, she does not have the height or chops to pull off a look Lady Gaga could carry easily.
Madelyn, Editor: Do I like baby pink? Nope. Do I like tulle? Even less. Ruffles? Tiers? Sparkling bows? No, no, and no. But do I adore this whole look? SO. MUCH. Her hair and makeup further elevate an already amazing red carpet presence. I’m excited to see how her look develops as her profile rises, and that is the sign of an awards show win.
Angela: Another pink confectionery dress. This tulle delight makes me smile. The feminine ruffles feel very old time Chanel.
Allison: I think she forgot to leave the cotton candy machine.
Allison: The beauty of this pink chiffon dress is how the color is reflected in Helen Mirren’s face…she looks radiant! And the swish of the ethereal fabric brings a color surprise and adds to the depth and dimension of a fabulous frock.
Angela: Another ethereal pink dress…and I am A-okay with it.
Meaghan: Aside from being one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen, she is carrying off this hot pink shade gloriously and rocking this dress like it’s nobody’s business. Do I love the dress? Not really, and I’m glad I’m not sitting to her right, but both of those feelings matter not to Angela Basset and that’s okay.
Rosana: This dress reminded me of my favorite Oscar dress of all time — Michelle Williams wearing Vera Wang in 2006. Constance’s custom Atelier Versace pleated gown in a punchy canary yellow was beautiful, but also made a personal statement. If anyone has read about the movie and its take on the Coldplay song, “Yellow,” you will know what I mean.
Meaghan: This look stood out to me immediately. It’s that amazing shade of yellow that has now been pulled off successfully by a grand total of three women in the last few years: Michelle Williams, Amy Adams, and now Constance Wu. It’s interesting because they all have such different complexions and yet this bright marigold shade looks equally stunning (and unique) on each of them. Love.
Ali, TSALT: Big ruffles took over the red carpet! Love how Elie Saab made this frilly gown work for a curvy goddess — no rules on this red carpet!
Meaghan: This fits her like a glove and the color is amazing. The single sleeve would confuse my body temperature all night and it makes me think of a bad leotard but if you pop that off, it’s the dress is a winner for me.
Ali: So simplistic, so elegant, and all together a show stopper. I love a good backless gown against a high neckline and a long sleeve. And I’ll tell you what, that Bulgari necklace really sealed the deal!
Meaghan: I stared at this for a few minutes trying to decide if I liked it or not. I think the answer is no, but I appreciate the effort. Also, it looks really uncomfortable. Now her jewelry…
Amy: While gorgeous, Charlize Theron did not win the night for me…and she usually does.
Meaghan: This color blue is so gorgeous, when I see it on the red carpet I always wonder why it’s not chosen more often. I love the juxtaposition of the very structured top with the softly flowing skirt and the whole dress fits her perfectly.
Madelyn: Too bad it’s so safe. 😉
Ali: So much leg and so much train. This Oscar de la Renta gown was everything.
Amy: She was one of my favorites at the Golden Globes and she is again tonight. The silhouette looks amazing on her, the hair is perfect, and the jewelry was just right. I want her stylist.
Ali: The queen wore McQueen. I love that she was one of the only big stars in black. It made such a statement against all of the pink, and did you notice those accentuated hips? Femininity overload! ❤
Amy: Lady Gaga was classic, elegant, and Oscar appropriate, but I was hoping for just a little more Lady Gaga-ness.
Madelyn: I didn’t see anything beyond that diamond, which had me swooning even before I knew just how significant it is! Also, I generally loathe opera gloves…but on Gaga? Sure, why not?
Meaghan: This gown is amazing! Elie Saab always manages to bring together contrasting elements so beautifully and his gowns display a beautiful sense of strong femininity in all the best ways. This dress is playful yet sophisticated. It references the beautiful silhouettes of the 1950s but the abstract floral detail makes it feel so very modern. Just gorgeous.
Allison: This dress is breathtaking. You can immediately tell the hours it took to finish the intricate and delicate beading. The colors and beading varied in tone and texture and swirled gracefully throughout the otherwise sheer fabric. Stunning.
Amy: She was my favorite of the night. Head to toe, I loved this look on her. The color was unlike anything else on the red carpet and it totally worked even if it was her hair and makeup color, too. Only she could pull off a mono-color this well. Emma has underwhelmed me as of late, but last night she showed us once again that she is a red carpet pro.
Meaghan: Oh yes. I love the color. You don’t see this shade of deep brownish burgundy on the red carpet very often, and the shape of the dress is unique without looking like an unwearable sculpture. It’s flattering and interesting and definitely something I would wear (if I had the occasion…).
Rosana: Amandla Stenberg’s stylist, Karla Welch, is one of my favorite celebrity stylists so it’s no surprise Amandla ’20s-inspired look was a knockout. Her Miu Miu crystal chain dress was giving so many ’20s vibes. The best part of, though, was her hair. Initially it looks like sculpted waves — retro plaits that are from the same decade. But upon closer inspection, they are modern braids. Her hair stylist created a single plaited S-wave laid in a wave across Stenberg’s hairline on top of knotted cornrows woven back into a bun. It was nothing short of stunning, edgy, and modern.
Ali: Glenn Close is such a moment, I can’t handle it. 53 pounds of Carolina Herrera. Takes an icon to stand up straight with that much gold on your back!
Elizabeth: My 11-year-old daughter Blair and I now watch the carpet together. We both agreed that the Awkwafina took a fashion risk and it worked. Pink, glitter, and bows are all things I love right along with most 6th grade girls. It could, however, not work together. This did.
Amy: Jennifer Lopez, of course. And Amy Adams redeemed herself from the Golden Globes.
Meaghan: This is elegant and chic and interesting and…yes, it even looks comfortable! Okay, I can see how the leather flap might harken to an apron effect but again, I appreciate the novel take on a design.
Rosana: I love a menswear-inspired moment. I loved Allison’s take on this with a tux-inspired gown that fit her flawlessly and felt equal parts feminine and powerful.
Amy: She is statuesque and stunning. And, nine times out of 10, she hits the perfect note. Last night was one of those times. Because she won last year, she played down her look and she did so masterfully. It was powerful without overpowering.
Angela: So, I am sure this is controversial, but I loved this. I love what he said, that he wanted to push the boundaries of fashion and question social norms. We are used to women wearing tuxedos, but not used to seeing men wear a skirt. He wore his hair a bit longer than usual, with tight curls and a structured goatee.
Meaghan: A+ execution by Melissa McCarthy. It’s such a flattering, interesting take on the classic pants and crisp white shirt concept and the cape makes it feel more fun than stodgy. I think she looks amazing and true to her own taste, which can be hard achieve on the red carpet.
Madelyn: I could not agree more. One of my top looks of the night and I would wear this in a second. Capes have been a staple on the carpet for a few years now, but this version feels fresh.
Meaghan: Way to take a plunge with the raspberry tuxedo jacket, Richard E. Grant! I think the lapels look a bit stiff and probably would have worked better in black, but I appreciate his zaz.
Henry Golding looks super handsome and also like he is going to start dancing to Puttin’ On The Ritz.
Ahhh, the velvet tuxedo of my dreams. David Oyelowo’s tux looks so soft… like I want to take a really luxurious nap in it. I love that he chose to add the little jacket chain, too. I would wear this head to toe.