The crescendo of suspense at this year’s Academy Awards started to be relieved by the red carpet arrivals of nominees and famous presenters. Overall, the fashion mood was demure and just a tad underwhelming relative to the anticipation.
The stars opted for white and various shades of cream punctuated by shouts of red with textural interest, and even Lady Gaga whose currency is “shock factor” failed to wow.
Not surprisingly, the fashion police in all of us reared its judgmental head—one of the must-do’s of any serious Oscar’s “circus” spectator.
Epoch Times enlisted the Instagram trigger-happy internationally renowned fashion expert, celebrity stylist, and media personality, Derek Warburton to weigh in on the debate as to who wore what and how.
Here are our choices for best, worst, and honorable mentions for most improved in the fashion stakes.
Rosamund Pike in Givenchy
Derek Warburton: I thought that Rosamund Pike just blew it out of the park. She looked gorgeous. I loved her in that Givenchy. She looked fabulous.
Kati Vereshaka: Yes she looked great and confident in that gown that flattered her slim silhouette. Despite the fact that red is so popular at the moment, I’m not a fan of this particular shade outshining her great complexion.
Laura Dern in Alberta Ferretti
Warburton: I thought it was so chic. I love pewter—to me pewter is the third metal. Her pendant was fabulous, her hair was down—she looked sexy. She was in Alberta Ferretti. I loved that.
Vereshaka: How often do you see pewter? It’s a great compromise between silver—always tricky to pull off, and gold—which can easily outshine the wearer. I vote “more pewter” on the red carpet. This is what Joan of Arc would have worn if she attended the Oscars—liking it a lot.
Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein Collection
Warburton: Lupita was great but the bodice wasn’t tight enough because when you have such heavy beading on it’s hard to get it tight enough.
Vereshaka: When people say “one of a kind” it might be true or not, but for this creation it’s so true. This gown is a sculpture in pearls—so dramatic, and Nyong’o wears it so effortlessly. She takes the best-dressed prize for me.
Emma Stone in Elie Saab Haute Couture
Warburton: I loved what she had on on. She’s a cute girl but that made her look stunning. If you’re a ginger, it’s all about the color. It was really fresh.
Vereshaka: The Elie Saab creation was so exquisite as far as the texture, and what an unusual mustard-yellow hue. I loved it as soon as I saw the first photo of her shoulder. The front slit could have, should have, been a bit more modest, hence less precarious. But overall, it was one of the most memorable gowns of the night.
Scarlett Johansson in Atelier Versace
Warburton: One of my favorites. She was the only one wearing a strong emerald color. She really stood out. Her big statement necklace and the ear clips, I thought “OK, that is how to go cool and edgy at the Oscars.”
Vereshaka: Johansson was a show-stopper. Her silhouette, the unique color, and of course the jewelry pushed it into the “elegant & edgy” category. Clean, dramatic, different.
Jennifer Lopez in Elie Saab Haute Couture
Warburton: I thought she looked sexy. No one wears nude like J. Lo. She looks better as she gets older. She looks so good in nude colors, she looks great in pastels and she has a beautiful skin color and the hair is right. They just know how to “do” her. She has a great team and they’re always having to go a little further with her. She has to upstage her last look—which is tough.
Vereshaka: J.Lo seems determined to be the real life Cinderella, despite her age. Just when you think that she can’t surprise again, she does. Will nude ever have such a huge moment in fashion again?
Rita Ora in Marchesa
Warburton: I loved that dress. She’s usually so edgy and this time she was cool but classic at the same time. That’s such a big night and it felt like she was really respecting it. It was a real “Wow!” moment with her.
Vereshaka: I concur with Derek. In the context of what Ora wears on the red carpet, this mermaid gown was a lovely surprise. She was very elegant and knew exactly how to move in it to achieve the best effect in photos. A Vogue-worthy dress.
Oprah in Vera Wang Collection
Warburton: I loved Oprah. Every Oscars season we see women that are not size 2 and every time they get it wrong. But I thought Oprah got it right. She looked chic, she was [dressed] age appropriate, she was covered and it worked on her.
Vereshaka: I’ve seen Oprah wearing better gowns, but it was OK. It’s hard not to feel constrained just looking at the design overall. Not one of my favorite Oprah outfits.
Marion Cotillard in Dior Haute Couture
Warburton: I thought she got paid [to wear that]. It was classically beautiful—it was an interesting dress for sure, but if that had a head-piece and she was at the MET Gala I would love it. But it’s the Oscars and I didn’t love it for the Oscars. You have to look good from the front. At a ball when you’re dancing you can give interest in the back but at the Oscars it’s not about the back. The front was a little boring.
Vereshaka: She is always so uniquely elegant. This Dior gown was just OK when it should have been so much more. The absence of front detail and the texture of the fabric were the main let-downs. What stylist would not realize that at the Oscars the star you’re styling will be photographed from the front? A perplexing choice for a style icon such as Cotillard.
Dakota Johnson in Saint Laurent
Warburton: I loved that all the interest was about the bodice and the décolletage with that metal. She looked simple, easy, elegant. She’s not fussy so that was a good dress for her.
Vereshaka: The asymmetrical metal detail on the shoulder was interesting but overall, underwhelming.
Naomi Watts in Armani Privé
Warburton: The Giorgio Armani. It was OK but silver is not great on her. I just didn’t think it was a good color.
Vereshaka: Perhaps the silvery fabric was too clashing with her blond hair. The same dress on a brunette would have been a “Wow!” The gown was lovely and flattering to her figure though.
Julianne Moore in Chanel Haute Couture
Warburton: I thought, “Is that your Oscar dress?” She had no waist! It wasn’t good enough. She looked washed out on her. White never works well on TV. She’s a ginger—she needed some color. But her make-up was gorgeous.
Vereshaka: I didn’t care about the color, or the cut. Moore didn’t “own” this look and were it not for this dress, I would have never known that she has no waist. Styling such a waif-like body structure should not be rocket science. A bit disappointing for an Oscar-winner.