Let’s get some housekeeping out of the way: I didn’t watch the red carpet on E! this time. Their coverage is great in that you probably see the most attendees possible in a short amount of time, even if some are only from the waist up or from a distance. But I haven’t really enjoyed their actual coverage in a long time. I’ve never liked Ryan Seacrest or Giuliana Rancic, and the boasting over ridiculous camera angles and mani cams and 360 cams and whatever other kind of cams? No, thank you.
The #MeToo and Times Up era has made it harder to watch for me. One producer has claimed she was let go after letting a Catt Sadler mention go to air at the Golden Globes; Giuliana asked Alison Brie to defend James Franco at the SAG Awards instead of asking, you know, James Franco; and now we get to the network closing ranks and keeping Ryan Seacrest on the Oscar red carpet despite the accusations made public against him. I’m not here to tell anyone what to do, but personally I just needed a break. And sure, ABC’s coverage – and Michael Strahan, in particular – was a little clumsy, but at least it was earnest.
So if you notice any major looks missing from this post, that may be why. No one does it quite like E!, but also no one does it quite like E!, you know what I mean?
Okay, with that said, onto the looks!
(All images via popsugar, unless noted otherwise)
Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace
Lupita joked that her dress was Vibranium but I’m inclined to believe it because this is fucking incredible. And I love that she brought Danai Gurira (in Gabriela Hearst) as her date. Danai looks a little bridesmaid to me, but like a really fierce one.
I love the details in her hair, what a great complement to the gold in her gown.
And, as always, she has the best taste in eyewear.
Allison Janney in Reem Acra
Can we discuss the DRAMA of those sleeves? I am here for it. I love her for going bold red and styling this look perfectly, too.
She’s a woman in her prime, guys. A prime woman.
Gal Gadot in Givenchy
I’m basically a raccoon is how attracted to shiny things I am, so this is right up my alley.
And who doesn’t love a dress with movement?
Also you have to see that necklace closer up, it is gorgeous, no?
Mary J. Blige in Versace
Look at thiiiiiiiiiis. So glam and elegant. I’ve noticed this red carpet season just how particular I am about beading, and I love this bodice. It’s perfection.
The detail at her waist, where the fabric kind of wraps around? (Very professional commentary, I know.) For a split second I thought it might be too bath towel-esque, but it really doesn’t bother me. And that slight hint of a train! Although, while I love the purse and hair and makeup, I’m not quite sold on the jewelry.
Mary J. also knocked it out of the park with her performance gown, let’s take a look.
This Vera Wang is gorgeous on her. I love this color and how it contrasts with the white and diamonds of her other gown. The tulle sleeves might not be my fave, but they don’t kill the look for me.
Dee Rees in Thom Browne
How much do you love this because I’m not even sure I can quantify it. We’ve seen more pants and menswear on the red carpet since I started writing these posts, but I feel like we haven’t seen it done quite like this. This is entirely unique, no one else is going to pull it off in the same way. And shout-out to Dee’s wife Sarah Broom for working that cape.
Allison Williams in Armani Prive
Ladies and gentlemen, our most improved player from the SAG Awards. How beautiful is this gown? I don’t always expect her to be able to carry something like this off, but this gown isn’t wearing her, she’s definitely wearing it.
And this hair! It’s so much better than the last time we saw her.
Meryl Streep in Christian Dior
Meryl can be a little uneven on the red carpet, shall we say, but this is divine. I love how it’s streamlined, almost simple, but not boring.
The belt cinched it for me, pun very much intended.
Emily V. Gordon in J. Mendel
I’m a little annoyed that I wasn’t able to find a good photo of Emily posing alone, but I guess I get it – even though she was there as a nominee, her husband Kumail Nanjiani was nominated with her. (Side note, when can he host? Next year?) Anyway, I knew from the limo pic that Kumail posted that I was going to love this look and I was not wrong. The gold, the beading, the ruffled tiers – it’s like this was done just for me, I love it.
Jane Fonda in Balmain
Literally all I wrote down in my notes was “OH SHIT.” This structural white gown is well fit and works perfectly on her, and I’m so into the shoulders and long sleeves. She is shutting it down.
Ashley Judd in Badgley Mischka
I know, it’s a little basic – but beautiful, and I can’t resist my faves.
Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein
I thought Saoirse was going to win when I saw her in this gown because it’s so clearly her Gwyneth moment, right down to the ill fit. It’s just not well executed? It could be so much and just chooses not to be.
Her face is basically how I feel.
Salma Hayek Pinault in Gucci
I love Salma, I can’t see the forest for the cheap sequins.
Greta Gerwig in Rodarte
I’m very particular about yellow in addition to beading and this misses the mark for both for me. And it’s almost a little shapeless? I just don’t think it’s doing enough for her, but thank you to the bold lip gods for providing.
Camila Alves-McConaughey in Vivienne Westwood
*sing-songs* You’ll love cracked-out bridal.
Maya Rudolph in Valentino
Not even the fact that this was secret pants could save it for me, guys.
MEN ARE BORING: OKAY, FINE
Remember my plea for a more diverse group of male attendees at the SAG Awards? Ask and ye shall receive.
Chadwick Boseman in Givenchy
The real story is the jacket, but every individual piece is gorgeous (look at that fucking blouse).
I love him.
Daniel Kaluuya in Brunello Cucinelli
WHAT DO WE CALL THIS COLOR OF VELVET JACKET BECAUSE I AM INTO IT. Also, notice the attention he paid to the details (the buttons on the shirt, the pocket square), which all adds up to polish.
Jordan Peele in Calvin Klein
I am not always one for the off-white jacket, but he is pulling this off. (Side note, Chelsea Peretti, you look amazing, sweetie.)
I think it’s the shiny white lapels; they help transition the off-white to white. And in this pic, you can just see the antler pin he was wearing, a killer detail.
Sufjan Stevens in Gucci
If you’re like me, 2018 is the year that you learned there is a person named Sufjan Stevens and not a band named Surfjam Stevens. #TheMoreYouKnow
Now, THAT is a jacket. I would like to thank Sufjan for filling the Harry Styles-shaped hole in my red carpet heart.
Most Handsome Young Man in Blue.
Common in Giorgio Armani
Gorg. I love him always.
Oscar Isaac should always be wearing velvet.
I think Gael Garcia Bernal agrees.
Mahershala Ali in Berluti
Let’s be real, all he has to do is show up.
The Hero We Deserve: Frances McDormand
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t rooting for Frances to win this year, but I’m so glad she did because her speech was straight fire and now we all know what an inclusion rider is.
Pick Someone Supportive – Female: Leslie Bibb in J. Mendel
Leslie’s wild enthusiasm for longtime partner Sam’s awards recognition has been a highlight for me this season. It’s so pure and something we need more of nowadays. Going by his cufflinks, I think Sam would agree.
And she looked gorgeous.
Pick Someone Supportive – Male: Julius Tennon
These two are another joy on the red carpet (and while I love the bold pink, I suspect Viola’s gown is somewhat of a Monet).
Photo-Only Best: Betty Gabriel in Tony Ward Couture
Let me explain – I try to only include people who I saw walking the red carpet or during the awards ceremony, because you can’t always tell from photos. But THIS. I feel confident that this would have made my Best List if I had only seen it in movement. I love this color, the gown is gorgeous, and I don’t even care about the illusion netting.
Honey, What’s This: Jennifer Garner in Atelier Versace
So, here’s the thing: That’s not a bad gown. It’s not a bad color. It just doesn’t feel like Jennifer Garner to me. She said on the red carpet that she chose it because it was the option that her mom liked best and, listen, if I wore everything that my mom liked best, I wouldn’t look like myself either. I can’t help but want to quote that Polonius guy and say, “Jen, to thine own self be true.”
She’s Nicole Kidman, She Can Wear What She Wants: Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive
I should have realized when the macaws Gucci dress made my Best List for the SAGs last year that Nicole has reached icon status in my eyes. Sure the material is kind of weird and it’s basically just a big bow, but who cares? She can do a n y t h i n g.
I’ll Drink to That: Rita Moreno
In case you haven’t heard yet, Rita wore the same gown that she won her Oscar in from 1962. And she did it like a boss, accessorizing it to per•fec•tion.
Can You Ever Just Be Whelmed: Margot Robbie in Chanel
So, this is lovely, but it’s fairly similar to her SAG Awards gown, no? I think this would be doing a lot for me without that precedent. This time, I’m just kind of… meh.
Welcome Back: Annabella Sciorra
It did my heart a lot of good to see her, honestly.
A Fantastic Woman: Daniela Vega in Maria Lucia Hohan
I feel like I have some notes on the execution, but that pink gown is fantastic, right? I haven’t gotten a chance to see the movie yet, but I loved this interview with Daniela.
Representation Matters: Rachel Shenton
Rachel promised Maisie Sly, the profoundly deaf 6-year-old actress who starred in The Silent Child, that she would sign her acceptance speech if they won. And I haven’t seen the short film yet, but my heart is very full that she got a chance to fulfill that promise.
Not being a part of the community, I can only imagine the impact of an Oscar winner signing her acceptance speech.
PANTS YOU GUYS IT’S PANTS: Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton
I think the jacket needs work, but PANTS, YOU GUYS.
Achievement in Jolie Leg: Taraji P. Henson in Vera Wang
This gown is a little (unnecessarily?) complicated, but she’s pulling it off.
This Shouldn’t Work And Yet: Emily Blunt in Schiaparelli Haute Couture
Seriously, what is this and how is she making it work?
And how soon can we get these three in a movie together??
Best Accessory: Jodie Foster
I think Jodie was actually injured skiing or something, but how much do you love that she used her crutches for this bit?
Side note, I do enjoy Jodie’s tux and I think I like JLaw’s Dior? The hair kills it a little for me, but the Law-Dior partnership has yielded incredibly worse results, so I’ll pick my battles.
Call Me By Your Shirt: James Ivory
Are there any Grinches out there who weren’t charmed by James Ivory’s custom shirt or his plan to gift it to Timothée Chalamet? No, I didn’t think so.
For Your Consideration: Tiffany Haddish
Listen. I don’t know if Tiffany Haddish’s whole persona is genuine or a schtick, but even if it IS a schtick, I hope she never stops because she brings me SO MUCH JOY. She radiates gratitude and a genuine sense of awe that she can’t actually believe that she is where she is, and her trip on the Oscar Red Carpet was nothing different. Much in the vein of the Black Panther premiere, Tiffany came dressed in a traditional Eritrean dress called a zuria to honor her heritage. She also did it to fulfill a promise she made to her late father. “He said one day I would end up here, and if I ever end up at the Oscars to honor my people,” Tiffany said on the carpet. She looked magnificently regal; a Queen looking like a true QUEEN.
For her presenting duties, Tiffany changed into her signature McQueen white gown that she wore for the Girls Trip premiere and her SNL hosting duties, because dammit if she isn’t gonna get her money’s worth from that investment. Tiffany is living her best life, and that can’t be seen any better than this photo from the Vanity Fair party where she changed into a beautiful yellow gown and flailed with Frances McDormand with Oscar Isaac watching fondly in the background. Never change, gurl.
I Can’t With This Bitch No Matter What She Wears: Kaley Cuoco
Every time. Even when she doesn’t show up.
Let us know what you thought in the comments! Your best, your worst, your thoughts on beading.