Red-carpet rundown - The Oscars 2012

So, last night was the night for all fans of films, fashion and seeing Ryan Seacrest get covered in the supposed ashes of Kim Jong-Il. Yes, the 84th Academy Awards. Predictable in terms of prizewinners, The Artist winning all the big'uns while the dunderheaded sops who thought War Horse, Hugo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close were contenders (a 2012 update of Ricky Gervais' observation 'do a film about the Holocaust, get an Oscar') and a few nice surprises including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo getting Best Actress Editing. Of course, Meryl Streep snatched a third award (after a 20-year wait) from under the nose of my beloved Rooney Mara and the talented Michelle Williams and Viola Davis (but more on this later), and Jean Dujardin (who, as some cloth-headed womens' mag pointed out, has a surname meaning 'in the garden') toppled Judi Dench off the podium named 'Fewest Lines Ever Said By An Oscar-Winning Actor'. 
But we all know you didn't come to me for a subtle, nuanced breakdown of who won what and why this is good/bad. You came for my sardonic sartorial insights! Well, wait no more. 
You will note that I didn't bother with the BAFTAs due to the fact that, by and large, the looks were duller than the list of winners. As much as I'm a fan of black, I doubt even I'D wear it to the most glamourous event of the year. 
So it's joyous to note that there was so little of the shade on this year's red carpet. 
Well, with one notable exception. 

With a pose and cheesy smile better reserved for Jessica Chastain's character in The Help, Angelina certainly made an impression. Gorgeous Atelier Versace gown and doing well to put the whispers of excessive weight loss to rest, and the nicely tousled hair looks glossy, touchable and youthful. Can't get over the pose, though.
Now that's a red carpet pose - another fan of the red lippie, Mila Jovovich looks like a kick-ass Grecian goddess (a look that was big on the red carpet this year.)
Talking of goddesses...
She's come a long way from sobbing in pink tulle - in a regal, majestic and simply flawless Tom Ford gown, Gwyneth steals the show. 
Simple white gown + red lippie is made even cooler by Rooney Mara, who could have made a bin bag look chic, but instead takes a simple Givenchy gown and lets it do all the talking. She may not have walked away with the award, but she's the best dressed Best Actress nominee, hands down. 
Former Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock looked demure, regal and flawless in a drop-waisted gown by Marchessa. 
Taking to red carpet fashion like Hallie Steinfield did before her, The Descendants star Shailene Woodley  plays it simple and safe in Valentino.
While Jessica Chastain proves, finally, that she has some fashion kudos and that she's MADE for McQueen.
Penelope Cruz looks fit to waltz into a fairytale in Armani...
...while Viola Davis seems to have escaped from someone's nightmares in Vera Wang. Sure, it's a great cut and lovely colour, but something about the severe hair and the strange frond-like details just make me think of an aquatic Doctor Who villain.
Talking of strange green dresses and ill-advised hair...another Oscar hopeful Benerice Bejo foregoes the '20s beauty she is adept at in The Artist for a lighter hair colour and a pretty yet dull dress by Ellie Saab.
Similarly, comedy darling Kristen Wiig swaps her blonde locks for brunette, with mixed results, with a nonetheless inoffensive dress by J. Mendel. 
J-Lo, however, is resolutely sticking to her personal style mantra of 'if I've got it, I'll flaunt it' in a Zuhair Murad dress which, weirdly, I rather like. 
Cameron Diaz does sun-kissed surf-girl chic in Gucci.
Natalie Portman does vintage Dior, looks decidedly mumsy but definitely MILF-like.
Meryl Streep may or may not have chosen this Lanvin gown to coordinate with the award she was inevitably going to win. Very smooth, Ms Streep.
Michelle Williams looked cute and inoffensive, for a change, in Louis Vuitton.
And Emma Stone just looks amazing in Giambattista Valli. In my next life, I'd quite like to come back as her. THEN I'd have a pocket full o' sunshine.  
(All images via Harpers Bazaar and The Guardian.)


  1. Oh Angelina! Gone are the gothtard days of blood vials, incest and billy bob tattoos.