Oscars 2014: The good, the bad & the ugly

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Ellen DeGeneres ordered pizza for the entire audience, Jennifer Lawrence fell over – again) – and Leonardo DiCaprio was left still chasing that longed-for Best Actor statuette and that star-studded selfie literally broke Twitter; it was certainly an Academy Awards ceremony to remember. The night was fantastic, funny and remarkably unsurprising in the winner’s list – but was the fashion up to scratch?

It was a remarkably well-dressed Oscars, which is always a little sad – who doesn’t love side-eyeing awful red carpet choices? Most stars played it fairly safe: Amy Adams’ dark blue gown was no show-stopper, but after her declaration that she was ‘dressing for herself’ this season, it was nice to see her sticking to her guns. The overwhelming look of this season has been the neutral gown: tons of pale, pinky-beige dresses that were (whisper it) just a little bit boring – see Kristen Bell’s almost sickly-sweet Roberto Cavalli gown, for example. Making the best of it was Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett, who chose a very on-trend nude Armani piece, but rescued it from mediocrity with a stunning pair of drop diamond earrings, and Kate Hudson, whose stunning beaded Versace dress with gorgeous cape detail brought some real old Hollywood glamour to proceedings. Surprisingly, on the bad side of this trend was Angelina Jolie – never normally known for a ‘safe’ choice – and her gold Elie Saab dress. While she looked beautiful as ever, the cut and long sleeves seem a little boring for a woman whose 2012 Versace slit-thigh dress is still being talked about today. Thankfully dodging the pretty-princess look was everyone’s favourite star, Jennifer Lawrence. She’s still working her Dior connection for all it’s worth, turning out in a head turning bright red dress that would have been stunning if it hadn’t been very, very similar to her Calvin Klein gown from her first Oscar ceremony – it’s the exact same shade of striking red – but the peplum detailing and her chic short haircut gave it a little more of an edge.

For the men, it was the usual parade of well-cut tuxedos – Christoph Waltz looked especially dashing, if silver foxes are your thing – with a few exceptions: Benedict Cumberbatch spent the night gleefully photobombing everyone in sight, but made a rare misstep with badly-tailored suit pants that completely broke his lean silhouette. When it comes to questionable grooming choices, we had Michael Fassbender, still sticking with his wild-woodsman ginger beard, and Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto, who quite frankly needs a haircut judging by Twitter’s gleeful comparison between his long locks and ‘buddy Jesus’ – look it up, I promise you’ll giggle. Perhaps the most surprising red carpet look came courtesy of Pharrell ‘Big Hat’ Williams (and you better believe that big hat was out in force for his rendition of Happy) with his bizarre short tuxedo. A tip for the gentlemen: please, stick to the classics, and keep your skinny shins in a nice pair of Armani pants, or take a few tips from Thor star Chris Hemsworth, who wore a gorgeous plum-coloured suit that was different without being too wacky.

For me, best dressed was the easiest call of the night (yes, even more than pizza): Lupita Nyong’o has been the absolute star of the season from start to triumphant finish. From that unforgettable red caped Ralph Lauren dress at the Golden Globes to the Gucci turquoise beaded beauty at the SAGs, she hasn’t put a single peeptoe wrong, and her elegant run culminated at the Oscars in a stunning, floating Prada gown, custom-made for her in a colour she smilingly described as ‘Nairobi blue’ – and she helped to design it! It was complimented beautifully with some of the best accessories on the red carpet: an on-trend gold headband, fantastic spiked stud earrings and as a sweet touch, a teeny gold frog-adorned pinky ring to represent her family’s totem.  As she ascended the steps to accept her rightfully deserved Best Supporting Actress award, she looked like Cinderella rushing away at midnight: a true Disney princess, and a burgeoning fashion icon.

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