by Keava O’Loan and Bronwyn O’Neill
It’s finally that time of year everyone has been looking forward to, the main event in red carpet season. Well, we here at The Ink Ladies, at least, have been eagerly anticipating this year’s Academy Awards!
At this year’s Oscars, there was a backlash from some of the stars about the pressure put on women who step out on the red carpet. Lena Dunham tweeted: ‘Ask her about the causes she supports, not her support garments #oscars #AskHerMore’. It brings to mind Yves Saint Laurent, who famously said: “I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” We want to stress the respect we have for many of these women: strong, empowering, accomplished females who are so much more than just an outfit. Please remember when reading this post that not only is it a celebration of the craftsmanship that goes into these incredible dresses (custom-made, hand-sewn, painted – these gowns are a labour of love for the seamstresses and designers who create them), but it’s also just for fun! So without further ado, settle back with a cuppa and get stuck in to our Oscars style masterpost!
Bronwyn: Julianne really let me down here! There’s literally no shape to this dress. Such a shame, I had high hopes!
Keava: You are looking at over 80,000 hand-painted sequins here, people! This dress is beautifully crafted, in particular the sapphire embellished ‘belts’ which ran around the neckline, drop-waist, and base of the dress. I would maybe have liked a little more definition at the waist, but in general I just thought this was such a special, unique gown. Her deep side part and sleek side-bun was elegant and allowed focus to remain on the dress. The berry lip added some fun to what was otherwise a really classic, beautiful look.
Bronwyn: Beautiful girl. Amazing actress. Bad fashion sense.
Keava: I always think Felicity looks so elegant, but this dress just totally missed the mark for me. The petals of fabric and crazy intricate pearl embellishment (think this is special, wait til you see Lupita!) definitely deserve a round of applause, but the heavy, Victorian-style skirt is just too much. I get the up-do to show off the high, collar-style neckline, but it’s just lacking for me.
Bronwyn: I still stand by my opinion that Pike should have just won every award this season. Well, she can win my award for smoking hot. This dress is absolutely flawless. The neckline, the overlay and the leg reveal can be summed up in one word. Stunning. If I had one complaint, I would have added maybe a bracelet or earrings.
Keava: After the shapeless horror she wore at the Golden Globes, I almost forgot how amazing Rosamund can look! A lot of people say you shouldn’t wear red on the red carpet; I think this look just proved them all wrong. She looks so unique, so special, so elegant. Apparently this dress took over 2,000 hours to make. I think it was worth every second.
Bronwyn: She looks incredible, so elegant. And her speech was amazing.
Keava: This dress was custom made for Patricia by her childhood friend, Rosetta Getty, fulfilling a promise they made when they were little that one day they’d grow up to become an actress and a designer, and that Rosetta would dress Patricia. She said it was ‘like wearing love’, which only makes this classic look more beautiful.
Bronwyn: I feel like this is a look you will either love or hate. I really love it. For me, Stone can do no wrong. This risqué Elie Saab flatters, showing that taking a risk can pay off. Especially when you’re Emma Stone. The colour, although repulsive to some, looks absolutely stunning next to Stone’s skin tone.
Keava: EMMA!!! I really love this. How did she match the colour of her dress to her shoes without looking try-hard? Because she’s Emma Stone, and she always looks effortlessly cool. Hair is gorgeous: side-swept, old Hollywood, glossy waves (are we sensing a hair trend yet?) and makeup is beautiful. In a dress that has potential to wash out us pale-skinned ladies, Stone’s coral pink lip and peach blush brighten up her face perfectly.
Bronwyn: Johnson hasn’t worn anything note-worthy the entire 50 Shades tour. However at the Oscars she is beautiful. This red dress, like so many others this year, has a daring slit up to her thigh.
Keava: I loved this sizzling red YSL gown on Dakota, but am underwhelmed by the hair and makeup – it’s just a little too safe for me. The ponytail feels a bit schoolgirl for the Oscars. One of her best red carpet outings so far though, and props for not wearing one of the 50 shades of grey.
Bronwyn: This quite went from ‘YES, SLAYYYY!’ to ‘NO, STOP!’ The front was gorgeous, but the back… not so much.
Keava: From the front, there’s a real Audrey Hepburn vibe to this. From the back, there was… a different vibe. I get it was an exaggeration of the drop-waist look from the 20s, but it just wasn’t flattering. That being said, if anyone could pull it off, it’s Marion.
Bronwyn: This monochrome look is probably one of the most figure flattering dress of the night. Witherspoon lost out on Best Actress, she won on the fashion stakes. This gown is simple yet stunning. It pulls in her already tiny waist and draws the eye to her fabulous curves.
Keava: I am a major Reese fan, and this look only fuels my love. She never ages; her hair and makeup are so simple but yet so pretty; and a dress that should be kind of boring looks phenomenal. 10/10.
Bronwyn: Streep is flawless and this beautiful look is no different. A step away from traditional gowns, shows Streep’s moving forward perhaps with her age. (Although if I looked this good at 65 then I will count my blessings) A lot of women have tried and failed to successfully pull of a suit-esque look. Streep slays this look.
Keava: Meryl always looks so graceful and elegant. She makes masculine tailoring look feminine. I do wish, however, that with such a classic, simple colour scheme, she had played with her makeup more: maybe a statement lip or stronger brows?
Bronwyn: This is a no for me. Not a fan of the design of the dress, especially the cut-outs at the sides.
Keava: Naomi is always a red carpet favourite of mine, and last night was no exception. Her tousled waves teamed with this divine Armani Privé dress ares the perfect clash, and the lips follow the berry trend that dominated the carpet. Gorgeous.
Bronwyn: This Zuhair Murad gown may be daring but she looks absolutely stunning from head to toe. Her man is sweeping up awards whilst she kills it on the red carpet. She hasn’t put a foot wrong this whole award season and dominating at the Oscars is a nice way to wrap it up.
Keava: Sticking to what she knows with metallic glitz and lots of skin on show (God, that front split is risqué!), Chrissy looked amazing. Her beautiful sideswept waves were Old Hollywood meets beach babe, and the berry lip added a nice twist to what could have otherwise been a predictable look.
Bronwyn: I wasn’t overly fond of Kendrick’s look last year, however this beautiful pink dress makes every fashion faux pas melt away. I cannot fault this Thakoon gown. Everything about this look is absolutely flawless.
Keava: This custom made peach wonder from Thakoon is amazing. I’m kind of over cut-outs, but the interesting placement keeps it current. The up-do is perfect to show off that amazing neckline, and her soft smokey eye keeps the look from being too cutesy.
Bronwyn: Although Aniston may not have been nominated last night, she certainly looked amazing. The nude Versace gown hugs the 46-year-old’s stunning figure. The minimum accessories make sure all attention is focused on the statement gown. I don’t know if this look or her grabbing Emma Stone’s behind last night was Aniston’s highlight of last night.
Keava: I normally find JenAn quite boring on the red carpet (nine times out of ten, it’s a black dress), but I might need to reassess. I love everything about this dress. And how bangin’ does she look for 46?! My only (very minor) complaint is that I’m a little bored of her California, beachy blonde locks. But then again, is it really Jennifer Aniston if she doesn’t have her trademark hair?
Bronwyn: Knightley is usually one of the most fashion forward stars. However this dress just doesn’t cut it and I won’t listen to the excuse that she’s pregnant. Jessica Alba looked flawless in 2008 even with a baby bump.
Keava: I love Keira, but I can’t defend this look either. It looks like it was made from my granny’s tablecloth instead of custom-made by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel!!! Hair and makeup are flawless though, and as always, she has the best brows on the red carpet by a landslide.
Bronwyn: The dress, the gloves, the Adam’s family slick back. All of this is just a big no-no.
Keava: Ahh, the gloves that launched a thousand memes. This is the first time Azzedine Alaïa’s designs have been worn at the Oscars, though, which is very cool. I actually really like the hair and makeup! It’s so polished and glam – definitely a side to Gaga that I can get on board with.
Bronwyn: I’m not blown away by this look, really nothing special in my opinion.
Keava: This flowing Jenny Packham dress was a complete winner for me. An ombré effect from teal into sea-foam green, this gown is giving off major Grecian goddess vibes. Her beautiful, glossy waves are pushed back to show off those amazing earrings, and fresh makeup lets America’s natural beauty shine through.
Bronwyn: I love ScarJo. I do. And it breaks my heart to see this beautiful woman in such a monstrosity.
Keava: It looks like there is poison ivy wrapping itself around her neck. I think that style of up-do needs to be a little more disheveled, as well. Definitely not my fave of her looks, but her figure is incredible: ultimate hourglass.
Bronwyn: I don’t know where to start with this look. So perhaps I will just leave the picture here and let you come up with your own conclusions. Too 1990s. Not Oscar worthy.
Keava: Disagree, Bron! I know exactly where to start with this look: amazing. Her haircut is so modern, the length and colour flatter her face perfectly. More than that, she just looks so happy and comfortable in herself. -I can’t remember the last time she looked this radiant. I think the dress is cool and fun; I like to see slightly older actresses pushing the fashion limits. The belt, although a bit weird on its own, breaks up the dress perfectly. Winner for me.
Bronwyn: There doesn’t seem to be anything right with this look. The colour, the beaded bodice, the matching shoes and the necklace… no.
Keava: Well, from the neck up, she looks amazing. I think she has such a beautiful face, and I love a redhead. She’s insanely radiant here, no? In terms of the dress, I want to like it because I really like her, but I just can’t. I think it’s the fact that her breasts look like they’re struggling to escape.
Bronwyn: I want to love it. It’s just that it’s beaded. After last year, I expected so much from Nyong’o.
Keava: Just like with Felicity Jones’ gown, I am in awe of the craftsmanship. There are a ridiculous 6,000 pearls on this custom Calvin Klein badboy! Imagine hand-stitching this. Overall… I just don’t know. I want to love it, but there’s something missing; I can’t put my finger on it. Not that Lupita could ever look bad, but this just isn’t my favourite red carpet offering from her.
Bronwyn: It’s definitely better than last year. However, Robbie is still wearing the harsh black, goth-esque look. If it didn’t have sleeves I think it would have been one of the best dresses of the night.
Keava: I actually really loved this! It’s about as far as anyone pushed the fashion boundaries last night, and I think it paid off. Margot debuted a sleek lob, which obviously looked amazing, because she’s Margot Robbie. Her statement pendant was originally created for the Duchess of Windsor in the 30s, and really took advantage of the plunging neckline of her YSL gown. Orange-red lips completed the look. There were a lot of elements here that you wouldn’t think to team together, but it really works.
Bronwyn: It’s beautiful but the neckline really takes away from this. Is it worthy to be one of the best dressed?
Keava: Normally I’m all for mixing up your style, but I dunno, a princess gown just looks a bit weird on JLo. Back to slinky, sexy, superstar, please.
Bronwyn: Zendaya looked amazing, although I think there’s too much heavy material swamping her petite frame. Beautiful girl, but not my favourite dress for her.
Keava: Can you believe Zendaya is only eighteen? She has so much confidence and poise. Something about her kooky style and effortless way of making the weirdest things look amazing gives me major Rihanna vibes. The dreads are unbelievable, I love that she debuted them at the Oscars! Very reminiscent of Lisa Bonet, which is always a good thing in my book. Her Vivienne Westwood gown, which she said made her feel ‘goddessy’ is stunning, like something the coolest bride on the planet would wear.
Bronwyn: JHud looks stunning! The colour of this dress is everything, and no-one rocks a short crop quite like her.
Keava: Oh, wow. Wow, wow, wow. I love this. Like really love it. I have such much love for yellow, I don’t know why it’s not a red carpet staple. The lemon shade absolutely sings on her skin, and the emerald jewellery is amazing. Easily one of my favourites. Maybe even my best dressed of the whole night.
Bronwyn: OH MY GOD. This is just stunning. Woah.
Keava: I honestly think Jenna is incapable of looking anything less than spectacular. This Zuhair Murad gown fits like a glove and shows off her incredible body to perfection. The sleek hair, strong brows, and glossy orange-red lip bring this look to the next level. And can we please admire those diamond earrings?
Bronwyn: Stunning. Flawless. SO MUCH WOAH.
Keava: So glad she’s ditched the harsh blonde, this is much more flattering. Gotta say, I’m loving all these red gowns on the red carpet! And the glossy red lips, which in theory should be too matchy-matchy, tie the whole look together. One of her best looks ever.
Bronwyn: I think I should like it. However the uneven layers and the huge skirt just isn’t doing it for me. Or is it? I’m not sure!
Keava: Kelly Osbourne always wears too much makeup, and I think I’m over the lilac hair. It was cool at first, but now I just find it a bit dull. I’m also majorly over black lace sleeves and mullet dresses. Probably my worst look of the night – sorry, Kells.
It seems that deep side parts, tumbling waves, and berry lips were the call of the day for Hollywood’s leading ladies, but what about the fellas?
Brownwyn: Not only did he win Best Actor, he also won on the red carpet. Love this blue suit.
Keava: Style wars between Redmayne and Ansel Elgort (below)! I think Eddie won this one. Handsome, classic, perfect. Also, the moment he won his Oscar was one of the cutest things ever.
Bronwyn: He broke hearts in The Fault in Our Stars and now he’s breaking hearts on the red carpet. And he brought his mom as his date.
Keava: Bonus points for bringing his mum, so sweet. I love a blue suit, as well. This is a well dressed man.
Bronwyn: A red suit this time. The Selma star looks amazing!
Keava: It’s so refreshing to see men step up their style game on the red carpet – dress up isn’t just for girls. This sartorial risk definitely paid off.
Bronwyn: British style, going for the James Bond look. Although most of the media focused on the fact he brought a flask into the awards, I still think he looks amazing. His wife also looked flawless.
Keava: The hipflask was so badass. Not a massive fan of white tux jackets, but he looked dapper and I respect that. Side note: literally couldn’t find a photo where he wasn’t attached to his new wife, Sophie Hunter. Very cute couple.
Bronwyn: Back to plain black suits for Pratt, however he still looks amazing.
Keava: This man can do no wrong in my eyes, and that’s all I have to say. That’s it for our Oscars roundup! We hope you enjoyed. Please share your thoughts with us – who were your best and worst dressed?