I’m super excited for this post, because it is my very first time hosting a GUEST BLOGGER! This blogger happens to be none other than my sister, Amy Ackerman, a fabulous fashionista and a wordsmith with a razor-sharp wit. It’s been a crazy-busy semester for me, so when Amy requested an Oscars fashion recap, I asked if she would be willing to help me, and she agreed! We’re co-authoring this post, and each of us chose five outfits: four we disliked (to varying degrees) and one we liked. And may I just say? I think this is my blog’s finest fashion post ever.
So without further ado, celebrities, step up and prepare to be judged!
(Well, prepare to have your overpaid stylists’ choices judged, anyway.)
Jared Leto: D-. Look, on one level, I get it. You want to stand out in a sea of clean-cut, tux-wearing male movie stars. On another level, you look like an out-of-work ballroom dancer who is going to dinner at the Golden Corral. Red piping and a giant carnation on your Adam’s Apple makes you look like an octogenarian in the buffet line. And for the love of all that is organic and gluten free, please stop grooming yourself like flannelgraph Jesus. It’s making us all uncomfortable. The only reason you don’t get an F is that your suit fits to perfection. Oh yeah, and the double thumbs up? NEVER DO THAT. The only person who looks cute giving thumbs up is Malia Obama when her sister is meeting Ryan Reynolds.
Alicia Vikander: D. Oh, Alicia. Where to start? First of all, you are wearing the sartorial equivalent of a banana cream puff covered with sparkly bike tire tracks. Second, bubble hem. If your stylist ever comes to you exclaiming, “Oh, I found you the best dress for the Oscars, it has a BUBBLE HEM!!” you do the same thing you do when you accidentally set yourself on fire: STOP, DROP, and ROLL. If your stylist doesn’t get the point you’re making, dismiss them immediately.
Jennifer Lawrence: B-. Lots of people thought this was a really chic look. And it isn’t
terrible…until you think, “Oh look, black Big Bird is molting from the top down,” and then it’s kind of bad. I know that for many starlets, there’s something deeply appealing about feathery
embellishments that float and whisper as you strut down the red carpet, but there is the off-chance that your look will devolve into vulture-from-The-Jungle-Book territory.
Cate Blanchett: C. Look, again, it’s not bad. It makes a rather nice first impression, even if it does venture slightly into the “craft project” realm. BUT SHE’S WEARING A DRESS THAT IS THE COLOR OF TOOTHPASTE. Fake flowers stuck on a toothpaste-green dress does not say “Armani” to me (which this dress is, by the way). It says “mom bedazzled Grandma’s dressing gown so I could go to the 8th grade dance.” Also, we all know Cate can do much, much better. Just look at this dress from earlier in the awards season:
Now that is a DRESS that you bring home a TROPHY in. Check out that fabulous, flowery, feminine, embroidered, Amazonian body armor. You can’t feel like a winner in the toothpaste dress.
Here’s one I liked…
Olivia Munn: A+. She gets extra points for ‘high degree of difficulty.’ I know the shape is simple, but the color is extremely complicated. When you’re wearing a Big Orange Dress, not only can it turn you into a six-foot Oompa Loompa, but it can also clash painfully with the red carpet. She found a shade of orange that makes her olive skin glow and also doesn’t look atrocious on the RC. The clean lines, minimalist jewelry, and elegant one-shoulder style are all just right. Nicely done.
Brie Larson: C-
Un-brie-lievable. I did want to like this attempt by Brie Larson. The exaggerated V neck does work well with her figure, and the flowy train adds a touch of elegance. However, the details that should have elevated this dress to ballroom-ready instead take it to prom-ready (or perhaps the Price is Right-ready.) The skirt is apparently being seized by a many-tentacled sea creature; I’m not sure how he mistook this blue monstrosity to be part of his marine homeland, as this shade of blue is not found in nature. To complete the look, Brie adds a belt that would make John Cena envious; perhaps she even had to wrestle him for it. Hey, you never when some one is going to ask you to an Oscars after-party in space, and you need to add some additional weight to hold you down in low-gravity.
Do I even dare say, the dress that Brie is wearing is just too cheesy?
Rooney Mara: F
A day may come where Oscars fashion does not invite comparisons to tablecloths and armchair doilies. When we don’t accuse starlets of swiping their grandmothers’ curtains and piecing an outfit together 20 minutes before red carpet, Scarlet O’Hara style. But that day is not this day. This day we have Rooney Mara.
Of course there are hazards to having your grandmother make your dress. You may run out of vintage coverlet part way through and have to awkwardly shorten the sleeves until your wrists dangle out, like a caveman. You might accidentally tear the front and have to cover it with a frill made from leftover piñata pieces. Your aunt who used to do synchronized swimming for the Ukraine may insist on doing your hair. You may miss a button, leaving an an award diamond cutout at the front; but hey, at least it is perfect for storing snacks!
Heidi Klum: F
Being Heidi Klum is hard. You never know when you could be lounging by the pool, sipping a mojito and planning a Chihuahua wedding, and suddenly you get a last-minute invitation to the Oscars. How unexpected; you haven’t been in any movies this year! however, as Heidi Klum, you are also resourceful. No dress? Take the tulle leftover from your quinceañera and make a skirt. No tailor? Ask a preschooler to make you some tissue paper flowers! No left sleeve? Eh, who will notice?
As the old saying goes, when you invited to a huge award party for an industry you are not a part of, ask yourself, “What would a one-handed, Civil-War-bandaged Barbie tooth fairy princess wear?”
Tina Fey: B-
While this may not be the look you remember a year from now, Tina Fey pulls off a simple column dress with a flattering wrap. True, both the unnatural purple color and blocky updo are a bit of a throwback to a ‘90’s Kool-Aid Man, but a stunning coordinating necklace draws sparkly attention to Tina’s glossy smile.
It is all set to be a Tina-rrific night, until…
Reese Witherspoon: F for plagiarism
Keep smiling, Reese. Nothing can hide the fact that you stole Tina Fey’s dress… And apparently forgot to size it down. Like a left-handed oven mitt or Barack Obama’s earrings, some things are just not one-size-fits-all. I guess after you’ve won an Oscar, you needn’t bother coming up with original looks anymore, or even covering up your bra.
SOMEone’s going to have to go home and change.
Mindy Kaling: A+
Mindy Kaling know how to go to the Oscars; she owns this look. The black sheath flatters her curves instead of trying to conceal them; the deep blue train commands attention, and a matching sapphire cocktail ring adds a perfect hint of sparkle. This is no wild avant garde look that Mindy will regret as soon as she checks Instagram the next morning. This is the timeless, sophisticated glamor that women dream of wearing to the Oscar’s.
I’d like to believe that Mindy fulfilled all women’s other Oscar party fantasies, as well. Perhaps she hit up a gourmet buffet shunned by other rail-thin stars? Perhaps she hugged Leonardo DiCaprio after his big win, lingering for an awkward moment too long? Perhaps she even unfolded her glamorous clutch into a small tote just big enough to smuggle a neglected statuette home.
Keep livin’ the dream for the rest of us, Mindy.