The Academy Awards
With close to a billion eyes glued to the screen, there is no greater fashion parade than the red carpet at the Oscars. At Sunday night’s 85th annual Academy Awards, a seemingly endless stream of stunning stars paraded, pouted, posed and plodded their way up the 300-foot red carpet. The stars were all clad in towering heels and gowns tailored within an inch of their lives — all while trying to mask their discomfort, nerves and utter joy under a veneer of graceful elegance and congenial reserve.
Every gown an actress wears during the award season is simply a prelude, a warm up act for this — the main event.
What she chooses to wear on the most important night of her professional career speaks volumes about not only her inner fantasies (“I want to be a princess” or “I want to be taken seriously”), but has enormous ramifications on how she will be perceived by the world. The right gown can open professional doors to everyone from directors to casting agents and event lucrative endorsement contracts, while the wrong dress (and there are fewer of these each year) can slam those same doors in their pretty little faces.
So let’s have a look at some of Oscar's most striking outfits to uncover what they really reveal about the wearer.
This was always going to be Jennifer’s night and she dressed the part: nothing understated or “supporting role” about this Best Actress winner's look. The Dior Haute Couture dessert-like tiered ball gown confection took up physical space, perfectly symbolizing her position as the main act.
The delicate floral brocade fabric in virginal white with touches of pale pink has a classic, pretty allure. It perfectly juxtaposes the smoldering smoky eye makeup. This is classic JLaw — at once fresh-faced and light but with a deep, darker sexuality and complexity that she brings to all of her roles.
The single strand of Chopard diamonds worn down her back as a necklace added a youthful, rebellious I-do-things-a-little-differently vibe to the look, conveying her desire to move away from convention and her resistance to conform.
Showcasing her new pixie cut and clad in an icy white strapless gown, Charlize’s look was very fresh and said “This is who I am, I have nothing to hide.”
The flawless white pillar Dior gown featured a spiked, almost modernist neckline that was the very embodiment of contemporary dressing. She is her own woman, empowered, proud and fearless — her dress expressed her position. There is nothing this girl can’t do and she feels she doesn’t need a man to feel secure or complete.
The impossibly talented Aussie was one of the night’s best and most daring dressers in her sparkling pewter Armani gown, showcasing the night's most unique necklines — half sweetheart/half solid boat neck.
This distinctive neckline is at once hyper feminine and has a deep strength and fortitude to it, a sign of someone who knows themselves and isn’t trying to conform to anyone else’s ideals about what they should be. She is as comfortable with being lighthearted, silly and girl-next-door as she is expressing her more serious, deeply passionate inner self. Having walked the carpet many times before, this daring look speaks to her comfort level with being in the spotlight and her ability to “play the game” but also switch off and go home to a normal life. She isn’t trying to be the princess in tulle. She’s moved past that and is taking risks with her dressing and her acting.
The Best Supporting Actress winner selected this unique Prada gown just three hours before she stepped onto the red carpet. The multitalented star admitted that her mother said the look was “all business at the front, party at the back,” yet this is not exactly what this dress conveys. Instead, it shows her desire to stand out from the crowd and push the limits creatively. She sees herself as an artist, not as a celebrity and this very artistic creation speaks to that need to express herself. Having recently gotten married, she has hidden her sexuality and cleavage, reserving it for her back and a flash of “side boob” as if to say “I will only give you a tiny glimpse of my sensuality… but it’s there.”
The short hair swept to the side is classic and brings the focus to her eyes which express her soul. She doesn’t want to distract you from her inner beauty.
Read on for more Academy Awards fashion
Photo credits: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com, Apega/WENN.com, Brian To/WENN.com, Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com