Welcome to Award Season Round-Up 2016. This is the final instalment for this years award season. It’s been largely dull—as you may have recognised from my uninterested tone throughout the season. The Academy Awards are the holy grail of award season. The 2010 edition was my personal favourite. The fact that I remember looks from six years ago speaks volumes. I can barely remember who won last year, let alone what they wore. That will be the same this year, I reckon. However, there were some few looks that were wonderful on Sunday night.
In a time when the red carpet was starved of glamour, the original goddess of the red carpet triumphantly ended her reign on the red carpet—I am of course referring to Cate Blanchett. Slaying her red carpet opponents fearlessly, her seafoam Armani Privé gown was embroidered delicately with matching-coloured florals. With understated Tiffany & Co jewels, the Queen left an indelible mark on the carpet. Another actress that could’ve had the same impact was Jennifer Lawrence. Unfortunately, the Joy actress was let down by a limp hair style. Her Christian Dior Haute Couture gown in black, layered lace was beautiful. All it would take is an updo for this to be the best look of the night.
Rachel McAdams was an actress who maintained a great record for the Spotlight star ensured the spotlight was on her—and an unexpected designer choice. Gliding down the red carpet with an extended train, her August Getty Atelier gown in a deep emerald colour featured a thigh high split. A red carpet darling! Likewise, Lady Gaga has opted for interesting red carpet choices since January. Before delivering a tremendous performance inside, Gaga’s red carpet look came courtesy of her friend Brandon Maxwell. The strapless jumpsuit had a sculptured bustier and a flowing skirt. The monochromatic look is Maxwell’s specialty. Tried and tested formulas are tackled from different angles by Gaga.
Brie Larson was an actress (who deservedly won Best Actress for her role in Room) who hasn’t pledged allegiance to any designer during award season. She’s tried Calvin Klein Collection, Atelier Versace, Monse and to close the season it was Gucci. Alessandro Michele’s sumptuously cut chiffon gown in was in a deep purple hue. The gilded belt styled with the look added a necessary oomph.
Kerry Washington was on presenting duties at the Oscars. The Scandal actress is the one of the last remaining red carpet risk takers. Her Atelier Versace gown featured a leather bustier. Twitter was abuzz with debate about the controversial bodice. Personally, I find it refreshing to see different fabrication.
Charlotte Rampling didn’t step too far out of her comfort zone. Her slightly shapeless Armani Privé gown with exaggerated shoulders and an op-art print was paired with satin point to heels. Had there been more definition to the dress or a flare on the skirt, this look would’ve been amplified. There’s no denying, however, that she doesn’t look amazing.
Naomi Watts is another pleasure to see at events like the Oscars. Supporting husband Liev Schreiber, Naomi chose her favourite designer for the night: Armani Privé. The strapless column gown was enriched with purple, blue and red sparkling embellishment.
Saoirse Ronan ended her award season with glittering embellishment. Francisco Costa continued his effortless red carpet weightiness with another winning look. The emerald, Calvin Klein Collection, slinky gown was accessorised with Chopard jewels.
Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress for her turn in The Danish Girl. Literally, she was the Belle of the ball with her custom designed Louis Vuitton gown that referenced Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The strapless gown with a silver embellishment was a nice departure from some of the other looks she’s worn from them over the past two months.
There was a lot of predictability on the red carpet. Rooney Mara wore a Givenchy Haute Couture gown that was impossible to elevate given that we’ve seen her wear a similar piece one million times—give her Proenza, J.W. and Prada, please. Margot Robbie looked gorgeous in a golden Tom Ford look. Charlize Theron’s red Christian Dior Haute Couture gown and Harry Winston jewels were nice but not as impactful as expected. I’m not a fan of Charlize’s style but this was better than usual. Kate Winslet wore a Ralph Lauren gown in a liquid-y fabric that resembled an Armani creation from years ago. She did look nice—not as good as her Antonio Berardi at the BAFTAs. Presenter Julianne Moore chose Chanel Haute Couture, as she did last year. The black gown from the Spring 2016 collection is quite lovely. The look was surprisingly light and pleasant. Jennifer Jason Leigh’s look was always going to be a toss up between Marchesa and Rodarte. In the end it was a Marchesa gown in a blush hue that won. I would describe it as her best look all season.On the men’s front the red carpet was a rather drab affair. Chris Rock made reference to the dearth of interest in men’s red carpet dressing in his opening monologue. Leonardo DiCaprio donned a Giorgio Armani tuxedo and Christian Louboutin shoes. The Weeknd, who took a risk at the awards luncheon refrained from excitement at the show by choosing a Dior Homme suit. There’s many other, more idiosyncratic looks too choose from. Sam Smith was polished in British label Dunhill. His three-piece suit was somewhat better than the other looks. When you have style maven Jared Leto on the red carpet you needn’t cast a glance on the rest of the bunch. The Suicide Squad actor is a brilliant actor and a stylish man. He chose—fittingly—a Gucci tuxedo. His charcoal-hued look featured red piping and his black shirt had a red flower in place of a tie. He’s years ahead of everyone else. (And here’s a fact for you: he attended the awards with Alessandro Michele).
At the after parties—the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party was the only interesting one—there were more looks to feast your eyes upon. Naomi Campbell posed on the carpet in a silky Atelier Versace gown with a ruched waist. Only a model (or a couple of actresses I have in mind) have the ability to pull off an elegant number like this.
Jennifer Lawrence’s monochromatic night continued with an all-black Versace crop top and skirt at the after party. Louboutin heels finished the look. I can’t help but crave for more. However, the hairstyle works well with this look.
Zoe Kazan was another Gucci darling at the Oscars. For the VF party, she upstaged the mundanity easily. The floral printed gown had gold foil and a berry coloured rose pinned to the grosgrain waist accent. I can’t wait to see more from Zoe on the red carpet. She’s one of the good ones.
Rebel Wilson looked stunning at the after party. The Grimsby and How to be Single actress donned a black wrap dress with a spangly embellishment creeping around the waistband and shoulder. Another look to add to Rebel’s hall of fame.
Rachel McAdams opted for a second surprising designer choice after the main event: Naeem Khan. I associate sparkly florals and ballgowns with Naeem Khan. This was sparkly, but it was deft and slinky. The pale pink gown with a plunging neckline and a thigh high split (like her earlier look). Though her first look was in a stronger colour, the shape and fit of this dress is much better. Kerry Washington also changed into a different look for the after party. Her second Atelier Versace gown of the night was in a crisp white, enhanced by intricate beading and a neon yellow body chain. On the runway the Atelier Versace collection was rather unimpressive, but every red carpet derivative has oozed resplendence.
Clutching her first Oscar, Brie Larson was all smiles for the photographers at the after party. The breakthrough actress donned a gown from a breakthrough brand. Her velvet, off-the-shoulder Fall 2016 Monse dress came in a rose colour. Though I love Monse some of their evening wear isn’t to my liking. This is one of their best displays. Fellow first time nominee and winner Alicia Vikander attended the after party proudly display her golden statue. She wore her second Louis Vuitton dress of the night. With a plunging neckline and black sequins, the long sleeve gown was styled with a diamond necklace.
Arriving in time for the post-awards show festivities, multiple Grammy winner Taylor Swift was in attendance. Her Spring 2016 Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture gown showed off her endless pins. To match the legginess, a keyhole cutout and gold choker amplified the sexiness of the look. Stunning.