Indeed, the 92nd Academy Awards were oh so woke and the fashion was mostly oh so awful. To be fair, there were a handful of knockouts from some of Hollywood’s most beautiful people.
Here, I break down the top 11 best and worst dressed from this year’s Oscars — the honest red carpet commentary you won’t find anywhere else!
Renée Zellweger in Armani Prive — Best Dressed
Actress Renée Zellweger was like a tall glass of white wine in this Armani Prive gown that she chose to close out her stellar award season — which not only ended with her taking home the ultimate prize — but with a wardrobe that will be remembered as timeless.
This asymmetrical gown checked off all the necessary boxes: Sparkling, beautifully cut, fine details that must have taken hours of handwork, and accessories that only add to its regalness. Aside from those boxes, it takes quite the woman to fill out the shape of such a gown. Naturally, Zellweger nailed it just as I expected her to.
Saoirse Ronan in Gucci — Worst Dressed
Little Women star Saoirse Ronan could have worn anything — she’s beloved by both the film and fashion industry, giving her effectively limitless options for the red carpet. Why she chose this custom Gucci number is beyond my understanding.
From the jutting rippled peplum to the plunging black neckline to the woodgrain periwinkle skirt and its matching eyeshadow, there is no explanation as to how one of Hollywood’s anointed young actresses wears such a hideously designed gown.
And I haven’t even mentioned that her new bangs look as though she accidentally took a kitchen scissors to her hair. How much time do I have? I’m afraid not enough.
Cynthia Erivo in Versace — Best Dressed
It’s almost like Harriet star Cynthia Erivo was born to wear a custom Versace. In this stunning gown designed by Donatella herself, Erivo keeps a striking monochromatic color palette that is pitched perfectly against the asymmetry and vah-vah-vah-voom moment.
The nipped-and-tucked bodice is so impeccably constructed and fitted, and it’s even better than Erivo did not want to stop the glamour by any means — choosing to throw on as many diamond rings as she could and wearing stacked white heels that likely lifted her seven inches off the ground.
Geta Gerwig in Dior Haute Couture — Worst Dressed
Actress-turned-director Greta Gerwig — out of all others — needed to turn it out on the Oscars red carpet, not because she’s a leading lady but because she must show the Academy what they wrongly snubbed when they failed to nominate her among the boy’s club of Best Director nominees.
Instead, she royally missed that chance when she arrived in this Dior Haute Couture gown in a horrendous shade of peridot and made of a thick satin trimmed with the trimmings of an old oriental rug.
Natalie Portman in Dior Haute Couture — Best Dressed
Natalie Portman’s statement on the Oscars red carpet in this Dior Haute Couture look may have been too much for some, and I understand that thinking, but I found it subtle, appropriate, and refined — light years away from the shouting and shrieking of less-talented actresses like Connie Britton and Jessica Chastain.
Portman, if you were not aware, emblazoned the last names of the female directors who were not nominated for Best Director this year. They were printed in small script along her black tuxedo cape, not too flashy and nothing preachy.
Statement aside, Portman’s new hair is modern and her gown with antique undertones was romantic in nature. Romanticism is something we don’t see as often as we should. Maybe Portman will help bring that back?
Janelle Monae in Ralph Lauren — Worst Dressed
Apparently, singer Janelle Monae is auditioning for the next Star Trek movie in this Ralph Lauren creation. When you look closely, there is really no point to anything she is wearing here. Fashion does not always have to be about utility, but it should always serve some sort of tangible or abstract purpose.
Monae’s hoodie is like a cheap, dated rendition of a Grace Jones Halloween costume. Her red lipstick has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the carpet she’s walking on is red. Why the sleeves? Why the Hobby Lobby plastic stones covering the gown? Why the lamp-shade skirt? Why the back cut-out?
And my last question, why are we being force-fed Janelle Monae and her bad taste?
Florence Pugh in Louis Vuitton — Best Dressed
Actress Florence Pugh is a young vibrant gorgeous newcomer so why not show what she’s all about in this colorful Louis Vuitton gown which features giant ruffles. I love so much the monochromatic aspect of Pugh’s choices to match her satin dress to her strappy satin stilettos with her hair tied back in knots.
There is something exceptionally youthful about this look and it may just be that it’s a lot of fashion without exactly coming off as being too much fashion all at once, if that makes any sense. First impressions are everything. This was an excellent one.
Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture — Worst Dressed
As loyal Fashion Notes readers know, I’ve wanted to put actress Charlize Theron on one of my best-dressed lists all award season because she’s like the alpha female of Hollywood. I’d hoped to that for the Oscars, but alas, I just could not with this poorly designed Dior Haute Couture gown.
Let me be clear, the only issue here is details of Theron’s gown. Her hair is a good shade of platinum right now, her jewelry looks exquisite and expensive, her makeup is natural, and her black nails with her strappy black heels are edgy and exude that alpha quality.
The issue with Theron’s look are those details of this Dior dress that have unfortunately broken the whole look. For example, the unnecessary peplum at her waist could be ditched and the asymmetry of her sleeves look sloppy rather than elegant. Likewise, the odd dip of the neckline is refreshing but it clashes against the skirt’s thigh-high slip — again, another unnecessary cut on this garment.
Theron’s performances have always been about the details and precision she puts into them. With her fashion this award season, those qualities became her downfall.
Timothée Chalamet in Prada — Best Dressed
Loyal Fashion Notes readers will know that I rarely put men on my best and worst dressed lists, but I am starting to branch out a bit here so why not add Timothée Chalamet in Prada to this particular piece.
I loved the guts it took to arrive at a Hollywood evening with strict dress codes in a suit that really isn’t a suit upon further inspection. Chalamet, channeling a greaser, opted for a boxy navy zip-up coat, matching paints, a glittery patch, and boxy chunky leather boots — sort of like a school uniform.
Black-tie formal generally means a tie is a must, that is until the boy-version of Tilda Swinton decides it’s not.
Kristen Wiig in Valentino — Worst Dressed
I can’t quite grasp what exactly actress Kristen Wiig was attempting to say on the Oscars red carpet in this Valentino look, or if she was trying to say anything at all. First I thought that this was a failed attempt to take a 1960s vibe and make it modern.
Then, on second thought (and after a friend gave me the idea), this awful gown has a food vibe. It’s like giant pasta noodles are growing out of her hips.
Now, imagine we rip those pasta noodles off, cut off that terrible train, and changed out her shoes to a matching red pump. This look could actually work and feel like a Twiggy moment. To Wiig’s detriment, though, it’s just funny looking. And I don’t think Wiig is laughing.
Lily Aldridge in vintage Ralph Lauren — Best Dressed
Model Lily Aldridge decided she’d wear a vintage gown for the Oscars this year, against the usual tide where actresses generally want to be in next season’s clothes, not last season’s. By the looks of this old Ralph Lauren gown, I wish we’d see more vintage pieces on the red carpet.
Aldridge was old Hollywood and pretty effortless, almost reminding me of Kate Moss’s chic bohemian wedding dress. The rich red lip and its matching red flower on the hip is just enough color. Less truly is more in the overwhelming majority of fashion decisions.
Of course, I’ve always got a list of those who didn’t quite make the cut in terms of being one of the dest or worst dressed of the evening. So here are a few of my honorable mentions:
Margot Robbie in Chanel — Best Dressed
Laura Dern in Emporio Armani — Worst Dressed
Mindy Kaling in Dolce & Gabbana — Best Dressed
Gal Gadot in Givenchy Haute Couture — Worst Dressed
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.