2014 Academy Awards: The Best Moments and the Top 5 Best Dressed

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As we bid adieu to what was one of the heaviest rain systems we’ve seen in years in LA (yes, we’re OK!), we also say a final farewell to a powerful year in cinema with the biggest celebration of them all, the Academy Awards. I was so thrilled to see all of my predictions win the major categories. I was especially ecstatic to see Lupita Nyong’o and 12 Years A Slave take home well-deserved statues last night. Though I saw that film nearly 5 months ago, it still gives me the chills when I think about it. And to me, that’s the epitome of masterful film-making.

Ellen DeGeneres was simply delightful and managed to carry the broadcast forward with humor and grace. I can’t image a tougher gig to land in Hollywood, because it’s also the most critiqued the next day. What I found so refreshing about her was how comfortable and completely in her element she was, seemingly un-phased by the pressure. (And I’m sure Samsung is over the moon with that blatantly obvious product plug.) Overall, for a nearly 4 hour presentation – I thought it was well done. And if I do ever have a moment of doubt, I just think back to the year Anne Hathaway and James Franco  hosted and I’m suddenly more confident in my assertion.

And can I just stop and take a moment to salute:

  1. Pink on that incredible tribute to Judy Garland.
  2. Harvey Weinstein for tipping the pizza guy.
  3. Matthew McCounaghey for the most surprisingly engaging speech…
  4. …but Lupita Nyong’o for the most moving speech of the night. (We’re talking goosebumps, people!)
  5. And let’s just say that Pharell makes me “Happy.”

Now on to the fashion!

Like last year, I was a bit disenchanted with the night’s fashion. Don’t get me wrong, there were some fabulous dresses on the red carpet, but I had very few WOW! moments (there are only 2 on record). This is always quite perplexing to me. The night to really show-off and add that “I’m a movie star” glamour is on a night like this. My philosophy would be to go all out and make ’em jealous!

The good news is that there we a handful of starlets that got it right among of the many safer and less dramatic looks of the evening. Here are my top 5 best dressed on Oscar night, with honorable mentions to follow.

Who were your favorite looks?


 NUMBER FIVE: Lupita Nyong’o | Designer: Prada

What a stand-out on the red carpet last night. Aside from being the only starlet to boldly rock a bright color among a flurry of pale and darker-colored dresses; she was also the most playful, by creating a solid theme when coordinating this whimsical look. The Grecian-style design, paired with a sparkling encrusted headband is refreshing, yet sophisticated.  Lupita is and looks every part the goddess in this light blue number by Prada. Bravo!

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  NUMBER FOUR: Charlize Theron | Designer: Dior Haute Couture

What would look like something is totally missing on anyone else, not only looks complete, but oh-so-polished on Charlize Theron. The reason this dress works is because it’s a risk, and one of the very few of the night on the red carpet. Clear straps on a dress like this could look totally ridiculous, particularly as your eye is drawn to the bottom where you’d expect a simple straight line thinking “don’t overdo it, Charlize.” Instead, she greets you with two last embellishments: pleated organza strips creating a fuller more mermaid-inspired skirt…and a train! By far, she had on my favorite piece of bling of the night with that stunning Harry Winston drop necklace. Ladies and gentleman, this is a movie star!

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NUMBER THREE: Sandra Bullock | Designer: Alexander McQueen

It’s hard to believe this woman is turning 50 this year! Sandra Bullock is a testament that some things do get better with age (and perhaps some Botox – but to each his own, no judgement here if/when it’s done right). This midnight blue Alexander McQueen dress is such a stunner. I can only imagine that if this striking hue came across so well on-camera, how show-stopping it must have been in person. Aside from being my favorite color of the night, the elegant drapery at the waist paired with just the right amount of fabric at the train makes it the definition of evening gown glamour. The rest is in the details: the side swept tresses, the Lorraine Schwartz half lobe sparkling studs (so on trend right now, we’ll be seeing this A LOT), a simple bracelet, and yes, I even adore the blue nail polish. This is Sandy at her best. And to boot, I L.O.V.E. that she’s maintained such a positive reputation in Hollywood. Rumor has it, she’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. Bonus points!

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NUMBER TWO: Kate Hudson | Designer:  Atelier Versace

Kate Hudson was slated to be my dressed of the night when I saw her walk out onto the Oscar stage in this gorgeous silver beaded Versace gown with the best glow the night (I need to find out who does her facials and book an appointment ASAP!). The deep plunging neckline to the belly button is always a risk (hello, wardrobe malfunction), but she has the perfect frame to keep it sexy, yet classy. Minimal jewelry is the right way to go with a dress such as this because the intricacy and embellishment alone makes this gown one huge piece of fine jewelry. I’m infatuated with the simple knotting and drapery at the waistline to just below the hips giving a touch of exaggeration elevating this dress to one of the best of the night. To make things even better, the gown is still incredibly chic with or without the removable cape. This was one of two pure WOWs of the night. The other went to…

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BEST DRESSED: Jenna Dewan-Tatum Designer: Reem Acra

Jenna Dewan-Tatum is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorites on the red carpet. She nails it EVERY time in my book. I can’t image too many ladies being able to pull of a near flesh tone dress with such elegance. The silhouette is incredible and I adore the sequined bodice that subtly leads to an unexpected feathered tulle skirt. This dress was one the other WOW moment of the night. Her hair, make-up, and jewelry are impeccable. Channing Tatum is one lucky guy. Flawless.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

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Camilla Alves in Gabriela Cadena, Maria Menounos in Johanna Johnson, and Laura Dern in Alberta Ferretti.


**Disclaimer: Since it’s obvious I wasn’t at this year’s ceremony snapping high res photos, all picture sources are here, where you’ll need to drive through the slideshow to find it – except Jenna Dewan- Tatum sourced here. Honorable mentions are linked just below the collage.

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2013 Academy Awards: Fashion Hits and Misses

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What a picture perfect day in L.A. this past Oscar Sunday! Clear skies and not too chilly temperatures set the tone for Hollywood’s biggest night. I spent the evening with a few gal pals over appetizers, Italian sodas, and lots of laughs; ready to see if my award predictions rang true and to stare enviously at all things fashion. I have to say that overall, I was pretty underwhelmed by the red carpet this past Oscar night. Sure, there were some stunning dresses, but the hair and makeup would ruin the look; or the accessories were great, but the dress just didn’t grab me.

My biggest complaint was a lot of blush colored gowns set against pale skin tones that oftentimes washed a starlet out on-camera. I’m sure many of these dresses looked gorgeous in person, but our ladies (and their expensive Stylists) need to consider how a look will come off on-camera. A billion people are watching from their living rooms, only a few lucky people see it in person.

As glamorous as it seems (and likely is), it can’t be easy getting ready to face the world on Oscar Sunday. The fashion has become as pivotal to the night as the actual awards presentation and ALL eyes are on YOU. I can’t imagine the amount of pressure it takes to get it right and even if you didn’t in my opinion, I respect the courage it must take to face the world knowing that everyone is watching your every move and you showed up in something that you are proud of, regardless of what others think.

Alas, here are my top 5 Oscar Night fashion hits and misses. See you on the red carpet next year!


The Hits


AMY ADAMS| Oscar de la Renta

The color is a daring choice, it’s almost (just almost) a touch too light for her skin tone, but she pulls it off. The hair, the jewels, the makeup are all flawless.

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JENNIFER ANISTON| Valentino

Love the color, love the cut, love that she didn’t rock a necklace with this show-stopping ensemble. I do wish Jen would get a bit more creative with her hair. It’s typically the same thing over and over, but it works. She nailed it.

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JESSICA CHASTAIN| Armani Prive

A gorgeous gown that fits her so perfectly. The classic Veronica Lake hairstyle. A bold lip and a great smile. She looks like a walking Oscar statue. This look is timeless. She’s stunning!

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CHARLIZE THERON| Dior Couture

Long hair, short hair – this beauty can do no wrong and was a breath of fresh air in this white dress by Dior. I loved that she kept her accessories minimal and let that gorgeous face, body, and gown speak for themselves. Sexy sophistication at its best.

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NAOMI WATTS| Armani Prive

Naomi Watts was an instant standout on the red carpet in this silver shimmery number by Armani Prive. I love the cut-out on the upper portion of the gown, her hair and not too fussy, but just right makeup, made her look beyond elegant and a bit more fashion forward than anyone else. Best dressed of the night!

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This Misses


ANNE HATHAWAY| Prada

Rumor had it that Anne was expected to accept her first Oscar in Valentino…until she showed up on the red carpet in this blush Prada number at the last-minute. Unfortunately, the cut of the halter shaped bust and Anne’s “excitement” of the night got one distracting “wardrobe malfunction” that ruined an otherwise elegant, but safe, look. By far, she had on my favorite set of jewels in that striking necklace.

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NICOLE KIDMAN| L’Wren Scott

Perhaps this was one of those gowns that looked better in person, but Nicole Kidman missed the mark with this ensemble. The sequined gown sported an ombre feel on the top, into that random Batman-looking patch at the waist, to an even more random set of gold curls on the bottom. The dress is too busy. I adore Nicole Kidman, she’s hands down one of the finest actresses out there, but this didn’t do it for me at all and I heard through the grapevine her husband picked this dress!?! Hmm…

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KRISTEN STEWART| Reem Acra

The dress isn’t exactly horrible and I know that K-Stew was on crutches most of the night (poor thing!), but I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew she was coming to the Academy Awards, right? Her hair and makeup are way too casual; so casual, in fact, it looked like she didn’t even take the time to wash her hair…or run a comb through it for that matter. I realize red carpets and her don’t mix, and she’s completely uncomfortable in front of photographers, but this screams no effort outside of an expensive dress that deserved to be taken more seriously and styled to the nines.

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ZOE SALDANA| Alex Mabille Couture

Zoe Saldana is such a beautiful woman, but this dress doesn’t do her any justice. Between the detailed bodice, the crooked bow on the hip, the belt, and the multi-colored flowing hem, it’s just too much. I suspect I would have loved this dress without any of the adornments on the upper half, simply leading down to the gown’s big color reveal at the bottom. I also wished her make-up was a bit brighter overall. It’s too dark and doesn’t accentuate her features. A bold lip would’ve done wonders.

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RENEE ZELLWEGER| Carolina Herrera

I don’t quite understand what happened here. Carolina Herrera is a high-end designer, but this dress looks so uninspired to me. Renee’s lack of attention to impeccable hair and makeup,  gave off such an un-glamorous, blah feeling when she turned up in front of the cameras. The Oscars are THE night to show off and Renee didn’t. Not in the least.

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**Disclaimer: Since it’s obvious I wasn’t at this year’s ceremonies snapping high res photos, all pictures are courtesy of Yahoo.com! Photo sources are noted below:
Amy Adams
Jennifer Aniston
Jessica Chastain
Charlize Theron
Naomi Watts
Anne Hathaway
Nicole Kidman
Zoe Saldana
Kristen Stewart
Renee Zellweger