Another red carpet season with Maggie has come to an end. She’s spent the past month sorting through countless photos of every awards show in existence in order to determine her favorite (and most hated) looks of the season. What did she choose? Read on to find out! (Also, your moms are so proud of you, Marshmallow.) –Kim
FIVE BEST OF THE SEASON
Saoirse Ronan, Oscars
Looking back, Saoirse’s gown picks were a little uneven for me, but there’s no question: This is the best look from anyone all season. Everything about this works: the sparkling emerald-green (and whose heart doesn’t melt at the fact that she chose it to represent Ireland?), the classy and sexy silhouette, the perfectly tousled hair and low-key yet dramatic makeup, even the mismatched earrings. It wasn’t Saoirse’s year to win, but I think we know she’s a contender and she’ll be back.
Kate Bosworth, Golden Globes
I know, I’m like a raccoon, I can’t resist shiny things. But this dress! How does this pink beading with silver accents manage to look understated? I think Kate looks so lovely here and I know people use “old Hollywood glamour” to death, but this look is the epitome of that feeling to me.
Jennifer Garner, Oscars
Well, well, look who came to play. Jen only had one appearance this season and she certainly made it count. There are always so many black gowns on the red carpet, so they’re not always memorable and they don’t always stand out from the crowd, but this one. This one is flawless. You can see the interesting details in photos, it’s not flat, it’s sophisticated and flattering. She looks beautiful and completely at ease. Well done.
Krysten Ritter, Critics Choice Awards
THIS. IS. A. MOMENT. We didn’t cover the Critics Choice Awards (although maybe we should have, you’ll see several looks made it into this post), but Kim was watching and she texted me a picture of this dress “for future reference.” And looking over the season, it was an immediate lock for the Best list. I’ve loved Krysten Ritter for years (Veronica Mars, Apt. 23, anyone?) but I’ve never seen her look like a star before. She commands your attention in this (burgundy? Brown? Who cares what the color is, it’s gorgeous) gown that’s perfectly suited to her statuesque figure, raven hair and pale skin, and I think she styled it perfectly (the rare occasion I approve of no bold lip!). With Jessica Jones, she’s found the role she was always meant to play and I feel confident she has a long career, and many red carpets, ahead of her, which I couldn’t be happier about.
Alicia Vikander, Golden Globes
I know this look is divisive but I loved it on the night and I love it now. I think it’s just out of the box enough without going too far. It’s deceptively simple. The ruffles, the belt, the subtle stripes and the way the skirt moves. It all works for me. Easily my favorite white of the season (and there were A LOT of white gowns, seriously).
FIVE WORST OF THE SEASON
Brie Larson, SAG Awards
This remains one of the most significant bummers of my lifetime. I can’t find anything about this that I like, not even the glacier shade of blue. There’s just so much going on from the twists of fabric to the slash over the bust to the sparkle ties on the side to the slit and can we not even mention the orange luggage strap on the back? No, you’re right, we have to mention it because why. Just why. That’s all I want to know. WHY.
Kate Winslet, Oscars
During one of our many heated discussions about Kate’s style at HOF headquarters this season, Kim insisted that at this point in the game Kate would be choosing fit over flare. And I understood that about her early picks, bored though I was. But look at this, you guys. It makes her gorgeous figure just look… wide? I hate even typing that but this liquid metallic trash bag isn’t flattering, it does nothing for her. It’s just sad.
And you guys know I’m pro-eyeglasses at awards shows (so that, you know, people can see), but you have to straighten them before you walk out on stage. Kate, just like keep an eye on Reese, a real friend would have fixed them for you.
Jennifer Lawrence, Golden Globes
No, absolutely not. Okay, I mean, I like this shade of red. But that’s it. It’s kind of matronly, no? And believe me, it feels weird saying that about a dress with cutouts, but here we are, Dior, are you happy now?? I wish I could see it with her hair down (and maybe not quite that shade of blonde). And whoever tacked on that necklace needs a firm talking to.
Julianne Moore, SAG Awards
When she misses, she really misses. I fully hate this. I could have been convinced to get on board with the color but that fabric just looks so itchy to me and I hate the strap/bandeau/cutouts/weird trim of it all. Hard pass.
Rachel McAdams, Oscars
I don’t think this shade of green is doing her any favors, this (wrinkled!) fabric was a terrible choice, and it just looks cheap. Period.
You thought you could get me with a train, Rachel? Nice try, but I remain unmoved.
BEST OF BAFTA: Julianne Moore
I find that I either love or hate Julianne’s red carpet looks and it should surprise exactly no one that I loved this. All I wrote in my notes was “Hell fucking yes, this is what I live for.” Especially in a season that was not kind to my beloved black and white combo, if you’ll allow a small tangent…
My very scientific data shows there were 14 black and white looks this year out of the 239 considered for this post, so that’s 5-6%. And yes, I ranked them. You remember Patricia Arquette’s bow from the Golden Globes?
Right in the middle.
And Jennifer Jason Leigh did the Brenda/Kelly spring dance twin look at the Critics Choice Awards better than Amy Schumer at the Golden Globes:
Any other year, I’d probably be so bored by this, but it feels charming and fresh right now. Sigh.
BEST OF CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS: Constance Wu
This ethereal mermaid realness is the most I’ve loved flowy in a while, it just looks perfect on her.
A Star Is Born: Alicia Vikander
I want Alicia to have a great and lasting career because she’s talented and seems delightful but also because I want to see more of her on the red carpet. She kept it so interesting, you guys. I loved the white Golden Globes dress, as you know, and got to use the phrase “trophy wife of a Wall Street crook at a society party in an 80s movie” for her SAG look. Now look at her Critics Choice Awards dress:
It might sound like a backhanded compliment, but I mean it in the best way when I say this look is interesting. I vaguely see peacock in this pattern? And it’s not like pretty pretty, but I love it.
And did you see this silver-embellished leather gown from the BAFTAs?? I looooove it. And even if you don’t, you have to admit that her apparent deal with Louis Vuitton is a hell of a lot more interesting than the JLaw/Dior deal we can’t stop lamenting.
MOST DISAPPOINTING SEASON: Rachel McAdams
I know, I’m sad about it too. I love Rachel McAdams, but looking back I can’t deny it. I’ve turned on her Golden Globes gown:
In hindsight, I think I was seduced by the pattern, which is okay but not much to write home about.
This gown from the SAG Awards? Kind of the definition of meh.
So then we get this great look at the Critics Choice Awards, but even then Krysten Ritter did it better at the same event. (Also, I think the lip was the wrong choice and I can’t stop fixating on it.) And we’ve talked about her look for the Oscar ceremony, but have you seen what she changed into for the after parties?
It’s about a thousand times better than the ceremony dress, but I think it really shines so much just in comparison. It’s good but it’s not to die for, and I actually think she was wise to hold off of wearing it to the ceremony to avoid the Gwyneth moment, that Anne Hathaway recreated, when she was clearly not going to win for Supporting Actress (although cheers again for Spotlight!). When you look at her season overall, it’s just a letdown.
SHE’S CATE FUCKING BLANCHETT, SHE CAN WEAR WHATEVER SHE WANTS
What I love about Cate Blanchett is, no matter what, she is wearing the gown and the gown isn’t wearing her. I don’t think there’s a look in existence that would overwhelm her, but if there is then she’s way too savvy to even try it on. Could anyone else pull off the pink and fringe she did at the Golden Globes? Or the sea-foam flower confection from the Oscars? And you haven’t even seen this warrior goddess look from BAFTA:
But what you really need to know is how effortless she made this peacock hipster delight look at the Independent Spirit Awards:
*sigh of content* It’s just really refreshing to see someone so casually make the red carpet their bitch like this.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: Brie Larson, Independent Spirit Awards
If you’ve read the red carpet posts this season, you already know that I’ve been disappointed about Brie’s gown picks. I wasn’t expecting her to go in the direction that she did and I don’t think those looks really did her justice. I’m starting to consider the possibility that maybe Brie is one of those people whose personal style isn’t really suited to major award show red carpets. I’d say Amy Schumer falls into that category, and maybe even Jennifer Lawrence (deal with Dior aside, I feel like I don’t get a sense of Jennifer’s style from her gowns). So let’s take a look at Brie at the more casual Independent Spirit Awards:
So much better, right?? This feels so much more organic to me and I think this look, although it might hew a little costumey especially when paired with the sunnies, is so much more flattering to her petite but curvy figure. I love the color and the pattern and I just think she looks so put together.
WHY TF DIDN’T YOU DRESS LIKE THIS ALL SEASON: Kate Winslet, BAFTA
I am so angry, you guys. I didn’t really get to do a deep dive of the BAFTA red carpet until after the Oscars, so I was expecting to be bored by Kate Winslet yet. a. gain. And she has the audacity to show up looking completely and utterly flawless? She has basically the same expression in every red carpet photo because she is a fierce bitch and she looks hot and she knows it. Why the f*#$ wasn’t she dressing like this all f*#$ing season??? I KNEW SHE HAD IT IN HER, THAT’S WHY I KEPT CALLING HER OUT.
THAT’S SO ROONEY: Rooney Mara
Listen, I don’t respond particularly well to it, but you can’t deny Rooney has an aesthetic. Everything she did this season, from the Globes to the Oscars to the BAFTAs, was just so Rooney. I think her SAG Awards choice was my favorite although I will never not be mad that I didn’t see her cape on the red carpet. And side note:
Did we know this was a thing?
DESIGNER WANT TO SEE MORE OF: Victoria Beckham
Hear me out, I know what you’re going to say about Emilia Clarke at the BAFTAs in Victoria Beckham: It’s too tight. I know, I know, but the gown is lovely. Properly fitted, this could be a dream. I am ride or die with Posh Spice, I’ve been a fan for years and love her design work, and I would love to see more of her looks on major red carpets.
DESIGNER WANT TO SEE LESS OF: Christian Siriano
I loved Christian on Project Runway S4 as much as you did and I am glad that he’s doing well. But he dressed five ladies this season and I just don’t think he really did any of them justice. Rachel Bloom made my worst list at the Golden Globes (remember that, like, forest green?) and I stand by the When Bad Gowns Happen to Good People superlative that I gave Christina Hendricks’ wrinkled tapestry dress at the SAG Awards. I’m underwhelmed by his designs for Katie Lowes (at the SAGs) and Samira Wiley (SAGs again), but let’s take a closer look at Anna Chlumsky:
Listen, I know I’ve criticized her choices in the past and I do think she and I just don’t have similar tastes, but does it really seem like he took care of her here? I certainly don’t think so. To quote this designer you might have heard of, it’s a hot mess. I think he needs to step up his red carpet game before I’m ready for another five looks in one season is all I’m saying.
I DON’T THINK ROMONA KEVEZA CAN WITH THIS BITCH EITHER: Kaley Cuoco-
Your favorite feminist and mine, Kaley Cuoco wore Romona Keveza to the SAG Awards this year — and so did her co-star Melissa Rauch. Looking at them side by side, you tell me if Romona Keveza can with this bitch.
SISTERS ARE DOIN’ IT FOR THEMSELVES So stylists have dominated the red carpet scene for a long time at this point, thrust into the spotlight mostly? by Rachel Zoe. I’m not mad about it, but every year you hear talk about how inorganic the process has become and how it makes red carpet choices less interesting. Fair enough, I just don’t particularly CARE. I do think it’s interesting when a star forgoes the route of stylist securing a sample size directly from the designer. In the case of Bryce Dallas Howard, who attended both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards this year, it was simply a practical necessity: In order to have options to choose from, she had to buy her size six gowns from Neiman Marcus because designers aren’t providing them.
A size six? Clearly disgusting, am I right? No, it’s ridiculous that designers aren’t begging this stunning, sexy woman to wear their looks and I’m glad she’s mentioning it during interviews.
Jamie Lee Curtis bought her size eight Oscar de la Renta gown for the Golden Globes at 50% off from a boutique. I get the sense she’s not invested in playing the game, so to speak, so good for her. You do you, Jamie, although I’m never going to watch Scream Queens.
Last but not least, Demi Moore apparently chose this Zac Posen from her closet to wear to the SAG Awards this year. Described as “vintage,” it’s from a 2003 collection. I graduated college in 2003, am I an antique??
MOST IMPROVED: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Golden Globes
I hated her looks last year, as you may recall, but this. This is so much better, you guys. I love the silhouette, the pattern, the shoulder detail. I think she accessorized well for the most part, but I’m hating the pink lip. The hair is to be expected. But still! So much better!!
UNDER RADAR BEST: Gillian Anderson, Golden Globes
I’m sad that I didn’t see her on the red carpet or during the ceremony, although HOF friend Kelly assures me she was there, because this is lovely. I love the soft tiers, the neckline, the black belt against the delicate gold.
UNDER THE RADAR WORST: Priyanka Chopra, SAG Awards, Oscars and Vanity Fair Oscar Party
I respect Priyanka’s hustle and I have been meaning to catch up on Quantico, but I just don’t like any of these. The best of the three is the white she wore to the Oscars ceremony and even then the Fug Girls accurately described it as “the gown J Lo was considering for her fourth wedding.”
BEST NOT FULL LENGTH: Marisa Tomei, Critics Choice Awards
The vast and overwhelming majority of gowns on the red carpet are full length but every once in a while someone mixes it up, with varying rates of success. Now, fierce figure skater doesn’t usually work for me but this look totally does. Sure it’s a little frouffy from the side, but I think she looks both lovely and badass, which is kind of hard to pull off.
PANTS IT’S PANTS YOU GUYS: Aya Cash, Critics Choice Awards
Okay, like Kristen Wiig and Lady Gaga and any other ladies who wore pants on the red carpet this year can just go home because Aya Cash is shutting it down. I am in love with this look. I think the blazer could be a touch more fitted? But overall, I am so happy with it, I think she looks amazing and maybe now I should start watching her show?
STRIPES: Constance Zimmer, Critics Choice Awards
I was so excited to see stripes on a red carpet that I was temporarily blinded to the issues with this gown, but now they’re all I can see. There’s kind of a weird panel on the side of the bodice? It’s not quite right at the shoulders, and it just kind of looks like she forgot to get the length tailored. I love that she won for UnREAL, but let’s be real here, Quinn never would have let this happen.
WHAT IS JENNIFER ANISTON UP TO THESE DAYS? Jennifer Aniston, Critics Choice Awards
The same old bullshit.
BOLD LIP CLASSIC THING THAT I LIKE: Naomi Watts
For someone who never wears lipstick, I really do love a bold lip on the red carpet and my fave, Naomi, knows how to deliver. Sure it’s partly because of her L’Oreal endorsement deal, but also I think she just really understands her face and what works well for her, which is not something you can say about everyone. #goals
WHO IS THAT: At each of the three awards show we covered this year, there was one moment where I saw someone from a distance, sat up straight and said aloud “who is THAT?” I’ve identified all three mystery ladies and need you to know how amazing they each looked.
Portia Doubleday, Golden Globes
Portia was in Youth in Revolt, which I saw and enjoyed, but I didn’t recognize her when I spotted her on the stage with the Mr. Robot cast. I was determined to find out who she was because that DRESS. Honestly, this might be my favorite metallic of the season. It’s so disco ball but in like this restrained, classy way?
Sola Bamis, SAG Awards
I don’t know Sola from her work on Mad Men, but I think I want to marry her after spotting her on the SAG red carpet. I love a bow, not even sorry. I even liked Katy Perry’s awful Golden Globes dress better when I saw there was a bow on the back. So I can’t resist an oversized bow and a bold yellow and a red lip, I’m only human.
Jackie Miranne, Oscars
Jackie is Joy Mangano’s daughter and you can tell from her twitter bio that she’s a hustler just like her mom, so of course she picked this stunning chartreuse Balenciaga for the Oscars. I am living for the polished beauty here from the bun to the belt to the pockets, I love everything about this.
I STUDY RAINBOWS: Much like reigning HOF Most Handsome Young Man Harry Styles, I study rainbows and I thought it would be fun to pick the best of each color from this season.
Red: Anna Faris, SAG Awards
She’s so precious, yet so glamorous and sophisticated. I will never be over how this red was executed to perfection.
Pink: Emilia Clarke, SAG Awards
There were a lot of pinks in various hues this year, including two other bold pinks like this at the SAGs alone, but this is the clear winner.
Orange: Angela Bassett, Golden Globes
There were only two to choose from (sorry, Olivia Munn) and this tangerine gown isn’t perfect but Angela still looks gorgeous.
Yellow: Lily Rabe, SAG Awards
This looks like something I would wear as First Lady to an Easter brunch and I mean that in the best possible way and as someone who has always wanted to be First Lady.
Green: Marisa Tomei, SAG Awards
Listen, your fave — green — is problematic. It’s very tricky to pick the right shade for the red carpet. Saoirse pulled off emerald at the Oscars, and Marisa somehow made this muted, darker green work for her (no doubt helped by the sparkles). It’s still one of my personal favorites from the season.
Blue: Julianne Moore, Golden Globes
Now this is a LOOK and I am INTO IT. I love the sleekness of the shape with the sparkles, and that velvet detail really pulls it together for me.
Purple: Kate Bosworth, Vanity Fair Oscar Party
This lilac speaks to me, it’s so delicate and yet not fading away if that makes sense? I think this gown plays into her cool Hitchcock blonde vibe so well and it makes me want to see more of her next year.
MAYBE I CAN WITH THIS BITCH AFTER ALL: Sofia Vergara, Vanity Fair Oscar Party
I actually really like this, and I definitely like it better than the ceremony gown. It’s still her without being SO HER, you know?
THE HUMAN EQUIVALENT OF DULL DISHWATER: Jessica Biel, Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Sorry not sorry.
YOU’RE NOT ELIZABETH TAYLOR AND YOU NEVER WILL BE: Anne Hathaway, Vanity Fair Oscar Party
I don’t like the build someone up, just to tear them down aspect of celebrity culture and I know we’ve done that to Anne Hathaway, but I get such an inflated sense of self vibe from her, I can’t help it. And this look is just reaching so hard, she’s one step away from showing up somewhere in a turban. I’m sorry, but you don’t get to present yourself as some kind of icon while you’re making movies where Robert de Niro has to explain feminism to you (yeah, The Intern lost me about halfway through).
BRITTA FOR THE WIN: Gillian Jacobs, Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Listen, Gillian Jacobs means a lot to me. I met an entire friend group, including my beloved Kim and Sage, through Community and I actually got to hug Gillian at CommuniCon because that precious sunflower made it her business to attend all three, even the one that was on her birthday. I am so happy for her success, I loved her on Girls and I think Life Partners should be required viewing for female friends in their late 20s/early 30s. I haven’t seen Love or the documentary short The Queen of Code that she directed (check out her adorable fangirling!) yet, but I will. Okay, sorry sorry, but just. You know? Anyway, I thought Gillian looked stunning at the Vanity Fair party. This pattern is fresh and interesting, the look is flattering, and I think she got every detail right, except the nude lip. But what I love most is this anecdote I found online while researching this post:
Less star-struck, however: ‘Love’ star Gillian Jacobs, who was hanging out with ‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke. Jacobs was more interested in those beignets. While waiting for her ride, she grabbed a bag of the Bouchon donuts — guests were given to-go packets upon exiting — and tossed a few in her mouth. And that’s how you end an award season right.”
How could you not love her??
BEST DATE: Kate Winslet
Leo knew this was his year and instead of enlisting a random model to tag along as date, he chose friend and soulmate? Kate to share the experience with. As I’ve said, they don’t really do anything for me, but I’m glad they were delighted to spend time together and that my friends were delighted to see it.
WORST DATE: Blake Shelton
Gwen looks absolutely beautiful, if more than a little thirsty, but look at this doofus escorting her in jeans and a blazer. Are you kidding me with this? I can understand that he might think everyone will be looking at her anyway or something, but this just feels kind of disrespectful to me. Put on a suit, god.
As for the rest of the men… Okay, you know I get bored. But there were some highlights this year.
I always look forward to seeing saucy little mix Eddie Redmayne, if only for his posing. (Who is coaching him? Is this just raw natural talent? I would love to know.)
David Oyelowo, a fave from last year, kept it lively at the Globes.
I’m really into Mark Ruffalo’s Oscar look, he looks like part of a doo-wop group but I mean that in the best possible way.
And I always look forward to seeing Common.
MVP OF THE SEASON: Jacob Tremblay
If anyone won this awards season, it was clearly Jacob Tremblay. It was so refreshing to see these events through his eyes; it was like how we would be if we got to attend, meet our favorite stars, and fangirl over Star Wars. And you can’t begrudge him a minute of it because he so clearly enjoyed it, didn’t take it too seriously, and he kept bringing his hot detective dad.
What were YOUR favorite looks of the season? Let us know in the comments!