We couldn’t let awards season come to a close without Maggie offering her final thoughts and dress rankings. Who won Awards Season 2015? What were the best and worst looks? Take it away, Maggie! –Kim
MVP: LUPITA NYONG’O
This was an interesting awards season with strong contenders but just about everyone whiffed it somewhere except for LUPITA, queen of the red carpet and my heart. Lupita brought it hard every time, just to present — no nomination, no one particular project to promote. I couldn’t have blamed her for phoning it in this go round, but that’s not our girl’s style. No one works color like Lupita does, from the burst of purple at the Golden Globes to the insane technicolor dream gown at the SAG Awards. But she doesn’t need color for a wow moment, as proven with her sleek, rich pearled white gown at the Oscars. She has an innate sense of what works well on her, yet her looks never feel safe. Truly, Lupita is in a class of her own. She’s my clear winner for Overall Best Makeup of the season and how does any one person look as good as she does on stage in eyeglasses? It hardly seems fair, except that she comes across as such a genuinely nice person who’s worked hard, and is grateful, for her success. Congrats, Lupita. We can’t wait to see you again next year.
TOP FIVE LADIES
1) Rosamund Pike, Oscars
It was a rocky debut season for this Hitchcockian blonde, but she brought it when it counted. Unlike some of the other looks we’ve seen from her, this gown (finally) did her justice. Stunning shade of red. Perfectly fitted corset. Gorgeous neckline. She has class for days, yet that slit serves as a subtle reminder that mothers gets to be sexy too. There was no one better suited to shatter the cool girl ideal, and no one better suited to this dress. As Sage put it, she finally looked like a contender.
2) Julianne Moore, SAG Awards
I think we can all agree with Kim that Julianne should have saved this gown for Oscar. It is perfection on her. I die for this shade of green with her complexion and ginger hair. And the beading. Seriously, the BEADING. She’s a red carpet mermaid here, and honestly that is the highest compliment from me. I think her hair looks lovely, although a simple updo would have worked just as well, and I just love the purple earrings, they were such an interesting complement.
3) Reese Witherspoon, SAG Awards
I think Reese went into this season knowing she wasn’t going to be the big winner, but determined to do right by Wild. She somehow managed to bring her A game while sticking to mainly subtle whites and silvers (don’t worry, we’ll get to that amazing purple BAFTA gown further down) so as not to pull too much focus. This is another classy, yet decidedly sexy look. It’s fitted like a dream. I love a one shoulder, and the cap sleeve pulled the whole look together for me. And I mean, she wore a sassy ponytail. I can’t resist a sassy pony.
4) Tatiana Maslany, SAG Awards
I’m not much of a pusher, but I will Ms. Norbury the crap out of you if you haven’t watched Orphan Black yet. Tatiana slays every episode and some recognition is overdue. Sadly, Tatiana only had one outing this awards season but she made it fucking count. I am insane for this look, head to toe. I repeat, I can’t resist a sassy pony. Earrings? Amazing. Red lip? Perfection. And this black and white striped gown seriously renders me speechless. It is just. It’s everything.
5) Jessica Chastain, Golden Globes
You cannot deny the sheer impact of this look. I think everyone watching the Golden Globes red carpet sat up a little straighter upon first seeing Jessica in this gown. This is a moment. The bronze color. The old Hollywood glam. The fit. Everything about this just works, including her ginger locks over one shoulder. It’s definitely one of the more memorable looks of the season and the more I look at her, the more I love her.
WORST FIVE LADIES
1) Rosamund Pike, Golden Globes
When we first thought of doing a red carpet wrap-up post, I had no idea that my number one best look and number one worst look would be from the same person, but here we are. Now, I love Rosamund Pike, she is so talented — and beautiful. I thought she could pull off just about anything, although I was worried she would go too edgy on the red carpet. And, well. I just still can’t believe Vera Wang did this to her. This was the first major look of the first red carpet of the awards season and it remains one of the most significant bummers of my life. Nothing works here. Nothing.
2) Amanda Peet, SAG Awards
I look at this and all I can think is that I hate so much about the things that you choose to be. Why, Amanda? You seem like the loveliest person, why do you insist on doing this to yourself?
3) Julianna Margulies, SAG Awards
I don’t understand how Julianna left the house like this without a get-a-grip friend stopping her. The hair is… unfortunate. (She’s the clear winner for Overall Worst Hair of the season, especially when you take into account her hair at the Golden Globes was equally as… unfortunate.) The color is beautiful! But the gown is horrible. The shoes don’t even work. This look is a mess, start to finish.
4) Marion Cotillard, Oscars
I don’t really understand this look. Is this just too high fashion for an awards show red carpet? I mean, I love a polka dot as much as the next girl, but this texture-y pattern is not working for me. From the front, it’s kind of okay if you squint, but you look at her waist, you can tell something’s not right. And then this just… swath of fabric for no discernible reason. I just don’t get it.
5) Kerry Washington, Golden Globes
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Star Trek Prom.
I’m sorry it hasn’t exactly been raining men in these posts, you guys, but let’s be honest. Even when men on the red carpet are exciting, they’re still pretty boring.
Some of my favorites from this year are Jared Leto and Common, who managed to mix it up a little and have personality without going too far off the deep end. I mean, admit it: even Jared’s Oscar look pretty much worked on him, right?
I think the absolute worst of the season was probably John Travolta at the Oscars. Actually, I don’t know how I managed to forget this creepy vampire in the Oscars post, but maybe it’s better if we block it out entirely.
Ladies Supporting Ladies
The support and mutual admiration among this group of Best Actress nominees really made this awards season special. If you haven’t watched Julianne’s acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards, you need to. Immediately. And just as a bonus, that picture from the nominees luncheon makes my life.
ScarJo won the season in one fell swoop at the Oscars, that’s all there is to it. I repeat, when are we getting our Black Widow movie??
Eddie Redmayne. The season wouldn’t have been the same without this saucy little minx mixing it up with velvets and blues.
“Like any great love, she keeps you guessing…”
Emma Stone. She went unexpected every time. I was dead wrong about what kind of look she would go for at each and every red carpet. From pants to a blazer/sheer skirt combo to a 30s inspired Chartreuse (did we decide on Chartreuse?) long-sleeved gown, she kept it interesting and kept me guessing.
VICTORY IN OUR TIME
God bless every A-lister who rebelled against the dreaded mani cam at the SAG Awards, because it was thankfully absent from the Oscar red carpet. Maybe check out the #askhermore campaign instead of forcing stars to “walk” a tiny red carpet for their manicures, E!.
Joan Collins. This grand, classy broad is the one celeb I wish I had seen on the SAG Awards red carpet, but I totally missed her that night. I hate to beat a dead horse, E!, but less focus on the mani cam and more focus on making sure I see my Joan Collins.
(No, but really, my one frustration with this amazing fashion journalism opportunity is that it’s impossible to see absolutely everyone on the red carpet.)
Actual Disney Princess
Anna Faris. As I was going over my notes from the individual red carpets, I was surprised and delighted to see that I had written Frozen for Anna for both of her red carpet looks. And looking again, how can you miss it?
Also Chris Pratt is a superhero and their degree of happiness together is just not fair to the rest of us.
Tina Fey. There was really no competition for this one after seeing our queen Tina in that tux at the Golden Globes. Bow down.
Lorelei Linklater. I was going to do a mean superlative for Lorelei after she made my worst list twice in her first red carpet season, something like “Better luck next time, kid,” but you know what? You do you, baby girl. I don’t get it but you do and, even though we have fun with red carpet critiques, that’s all that really matters.
Viola Davis, SAG Awards. I’ve always been a little wary of white on the red carpet because it can go bridal very quickly. But there were several successful (and several not so successful) white gowns on the red carpet this season and I have to shout out Viola here. She is simply stunning.
You Humble Me
Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews at the Oscars. This moment, you guys. Chills.
Amy Poehler. I would like very much to give Amy a Best Pregnancy Style superlative for her sparkly SAG Awards gown alone, but… is that kind of gauche when she hasn’t confirmed a pregnancy? I mean, I think we all know she is. But… is she? I don’t KNOW because she’s being such a crafty little jackrabbit. Respect.
Naomi Watts, Golden Globes. This gorgeous snake necklace was the perfect edge to Naomi’s soft, classic look.
Amal Alamuddin Clooney, Golden Globes. It’s rare for an accessory to torpedo a whole look like Amal’s white gloves did, right? But honestly, try to imagine the look minus the gloves. A thousand times better, right? Classic, understated, beautiful. But as is, all I can see are those mismatched (and ill-fitting?) gloves.
Lena Dunham, Golden Globes. Here’s what bothers me about the heavy eye and lip that Lena wore with that red Zac Posen: the makeup does nothing to enhance her features. It’s not that Lena isn’t beautiful, she is. And the right makeup can only make her look more beautiful — and more herself. I think that’s been Lena’s real challenge during awards seasons, trying to maintain her sense of self while dressing appropriately for a red carpet.
Laura Dern, Oscars. Look at this hair. It is, dare I say, Britton-esque. And I do not use that compliment lightly.
Under the Radar Best
Jenna Dewan-Tatum. There are a lot of looks to cover at each awards show and some people flew just under the radar. But looking back, Jenna looked amazing at both the Golden Globes and Oscars. I think she escaped notice because she was on trend, color wise, at both and went for understated glamour as she was there more to support Channing.
Under the Radar Worst
Maggie Gyllenhaal. How did Maggie not end up on a worst list this season? I can’t deal with either of the looks she wore. A gem from my notes: “WHEN WILL MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL LEARN TO DRESS HERSELF?”
Best of BAFTA and Critics Choice Awards
We didn’t do an individual post for these red carpets, but I thought it would be fun to choose a best from each because there were a lot of great looks.
BAFTA: Amy Adams. Lately, I’ve just been so bored by Amy, which is disappointing because I love her. But she’s the new Renee Zellweger in Carolina Herrera to me: yawnnnnnn. BUT THIS. This crisp white gown is fresh and exciting, while still classic and beautiful. I would love to see her mix things up with more looks like this.
Critics Choice: Diane Kruger. This is pure blond-haired, blue-eyed Delft china perfection.
DIOR: Do we j’adore?
Dior has been dressing Jennifer Lawrence for two years and at each of those red carpets, I‘ve heard my friends bemoan this contract. It just doesn’t seem to be a designer-star marriage made in heaven. But JLaw sat this season out and I couldn’t help but wonder, how do we feel about Dior in JLaw-less season? Well… not great. Dior had a strong start at the Golden Globes with Felicity Jones and Amal Clooney (if only she had left the white gloves at home), but for me personally, it was all downhill from there. At the SAG Awards, I wasn’t a fan of Rosamund Pike’s look and Emma Stone’s look seemed to be a love it or hate it. I didn’t like Felicity in Dior at the BAFTAs and neither of Marion Cotillard’s Diors worked for me either (and the Oscar gown landed Marion in my season worst list!). I think I just don’t j’adore.
Stella McCartney Giveth and Stella McCartney Taketh Away
There were four noteworthy Stella looks for me this season and it seems like I either love Stella or I don’t, there’s no middle ground. She gave us two amazing purple gowns this year, Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes and Reese Witherspoon at the BAFTAs. I got to mention Amy’s in my Globes post, but can we discuss Reese’s? It’s perfection on her, from the color to the fit, and I want to see her like this more often. On the other side of the coin are Amy’s other two looks from her Globes hosting gig, both blue and both… well, not disasters per se. But not holding a candle to either purple gown either.
Designer I want to see more of: Naeem Khan
I only noted three major red carpet looks from Naeem Khan this year — Ellie Kemper at the Golden Globes, Natalie Dormer at the SAG Awards, and Diane Kruger at the Critics Choice Awards — but each one is beautiful and memorable. I love to see a successful print on the red carpet, it’s more challenging than one might think, and Naeem Khan achieved it effortlessly thrice. More, please.
Designer I want to see less of: Miu Miu
There was a lot of Miu Miu on the red carpet this season — Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and Kate Mara at the Golden Globes; Jenny Slate at the Critics Choice Awards; Kerry Washington and Chloe Grace Moretz at the Oscars — and there was something I didn’t like on each of those looks. I think the most successful one is actually Jenny Slate, but is that just because I love her so much? I just didn’t realize until this season that Miu Miu, in general, isn’t to my liking.
Jennifer Aniston. There was no competition here, Jen, sorry not sorry. In a way, I appreciate that you have a very specific sense of style. But must it be so colorless and bland? (Or stolen from David Oyelowo?)
Why so serious?
Camila Alves McConaughey. I’ve noticed that Camila favors heavy, draping fabric and she doesn’t seem very lighthearted on the red carpet. Is it her modeling background and she’s just giving us her best Blue Steel? Or maybe she’s just the serious yin to Matthew’s alright alright alright yang?
Dakota Johnson. Please, won’t someone help us save Kate Fox?
Mother of the Bride
Gina Rodriguez, Oscars. There was a bit more competition for this one than there really should be amongst 20- and 30-somethings on Hollywood red carpets. I got a slightly MOB vibe from Chrissy Teigen at the Golden Globes, that was Sage’s take on Chastain at the Oscars, and Gwyneth was channeling Regina George’s mom at her wedding, but when it comes down to it, Gina was sadly the clear winner. And that’s kind of what her Oscar look was to me, just sad.
But between the hair and the cut of the gown, there was no other choice.
I Can’t With This Bitch No Matter What She Wears
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting. Every time. Even when she’s not there.
I Can’t With This Bitch No Matter What She Wears Runner-Up
Jennifer Lopez. I am just SO OVER her whole diva schtick, you guys.
Three cheers for what an amazing job Maggie has done this season! We’re trying to convince her to do a best and worst of the Met Ball this spring so we don’t have to wait till the Emmys to get her sass and sparkle back. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!