Do you remember that Christmas anticipation when you were children? You went to bed thrilled, looking forward to waking up and seeing what presents Santa would bring at night. Well, I have that same thrill of anticipation the day before the big night of the Academy Awards. I rarely stay up all night to watch it, but the morning after I love going through galleries of pics and choose my best-dressed celebrities. This year very few of the celebrities who walked the red carpet of the 85th Academy Awards impressed me; as a matter of fact, I couldn’t even put down a top 10 list, but only a top 9.
As usual, all the actresses have been divided according to the colour of their outfits. I usually don’t choose a no. 1 but this time – shocker! – I did. I’m curious to see if you agree with me, so share your thoughts in the comments and cast your vote in the poll (it closes tomorrow)!
I have a soft spot for Jessica Chastain since I wrote an article about her for Vogue.it; I loved her in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, so I was happy to learn about the nomination she received as Best Actress in a Leading Role for Zero Dark Thirty by Kathryn Bigelow. Jennifer Lawrence won the award, but Jessica was definitely the best on the red carpet. She wore a custom-made bronze beaded dress by Giorgio Armani, a classic strapless number with sweetheart neckline and intricate silver beading. She looked as gorgeous as an Old Hollywood movie star.
Her lovely red hair was styled in soft waves, while her make-up was focused on glamourous red lips. Her jewellery included Harry Winston vintage 10-carat diamond earrings and a vintage 24-carat diamond and gold bracelet by the same brand. She rarely fails to impress on the red carpet but this time she really looked better than ever.
Ladies in White
Charlize Theron looked supernaturally beautiful on the red carpet, which she walked wearing a Christian Dior Haute Couture dress with V-shaped detail on the bodice, beaded peplum and long silk skirt with a short train. I can’t help but be in awe of her blonde cropped hair and barely-there make-up which made her look fresh and oh-so-chic. She also wore Cecil sandals by Roger Vivier.
Jennifer Lawrence was another celebrity who wore a Christian Dior Haute Couture dress. She opted for a proper ballgown – strapless, voluminous skirt, precious material (silk brocade, apparently) – in a delicate pink-ish white shade. Even if I think such a big dress ages her a bit, she looked beautiful like a fairy-tale princess.
I loved her classy chignon and neutral make-up, but I don’t really get the decision to wear her Chopard diamond necklace down on her back. I’m not a fan of back jewellery but sometimes it can really spice up a plain outfit (see Ashley Olsen at the Costume Institute Gala in 2009, for example); in this case, the dress was important enough and didn’t really need such an accessory. The jewellery department also included Chopard 23-carat diamond earrings and rings. She completed her outfit with a Roger Vivier Boite de Nuit clutch.
Jennifer won the Best Actress in a Leading Role award for Silver Linings Playbook by David O. Russell, but emotion got the best of her when she went up the stairs leading to the stage. Ouch! I don’t want to sound mean (ehm, ok, I want to sound mean) but I bet Jessica Chastain grinned at her rival’s tumble. After all, I’m convinced Jennifer didn’t deserve the gold statuette: she’s a talented actress (see her performance in Winter’s Bone by Debra Granik) but in this movie she over-acted. Oh, well: I guess Harvey Weinstein has found a new golden girl.
Ladies in Red
Kerry Washington didn’t get any nomination, but attended the ceremony as presenter. The Django Unchained actress looked lovely on the red carpet wearing a beautiful Miu Miu coral number: the strapless bodice is embellished with glass beads and the long skirt is accented by a bow at the waist. Centre-parted wavy locks and a neutral make-up completed her look.
Her accessories included point-toe pumps by Christian Louboutin, a satin box clutch by Prada, 10-carat yellow diamond earrings by Chopard and a stunning diamond ring by Fred Leighton. I really like this look because it’s refined and not annoyingly girly.
I love when celebrities wear red dresses and some of them gave me a good dose of scarlet glamour. The first was Amanda Seyfried: she didn’t walk the red carpet in red (she opted for an Alexander McQueen dress) but she performed a medley of songs from Les Misérables during the show wearing a gorgeous tulle dress, a custom-made piece by Givenchy Haute Couture. She later wore the same dress when she attended the Governor’s Ball. Chinched at the waist by a red leather belt, the dress has knot decorations on the bodice and a full skirt. Too bad Amanda chose it as a stage costume.
Jennifer Aniston not dressed in black or nude is big news, but Jennifer Aniston dressed in red is even bigger! I’m not a fan of her extremely boring style, but this time I must give her credit for taking a risk and stepping out of her comfort zone. She wore a scarlet ballgown by Valentino Haute Couture from the spring 2013 collection: the full skirt is spectacular, beautifully contrasting with the fitted bodice.
Her trademark beach blonde hair, a neutral make-up and tons of fake lashes completed her look. The accessories included a suede red box clutch by Salvatore Ferragamo and a breath-taking set of Fred Leighton diamond jewellery.
Ladies in Blue
Alicia Vikander, one of the protagonists of Anna Karenina by Joe Wright, channelled her inner Blair Waldorf  wearing a pastel blue dress by Elie Saab Haute Couture from the fall 2012 collection. She’s probably the second on my best-dressed list: the heavily beaded lace dress is amazing, feminine and refined, nicely accented at the waist by a yellow satin ribbon belt. Neutral make-up, a soft updo and tiny diamond stud earrings completed her outfit, which I think has been underestimated by red carpet experts.
I tried to watch most of the movies nominated for Best Picture, but I didn’t have the chance to watch Amour by Michael Haneke. I guess I’ll watch it soon because I want to see Emmanuelle Riva in action again; as a matter of fact, you may recognize her as the protagonist of Hiroshima Mon Amour by Alain Resnais, the masterpiece of Nouvelle Vague. She was one of the best-dressed because she wore a gorgeous and age-appropriate caped number by Lanvin, embellished by geometric diamond jewellery (earrings, necklace and matching bracelets). This is what I call grace and style.
Last but not least, Stacy Keibler and her sparkling dress by Naeem Khan (from the fall 2013 collection). George Clooney’s girlfriend wore a modified version of the dress seen on the catwalk (of course she couldn’t wear something so revealing, but the sheer back wasn’t modified) and looked statuesque. The tulle dress is completely embellished by sequins and silver studs in curve motifs and is chinched at the waist by a black belt. She completed her look with diamond pendant earrings and an Art-Deco-style bracelet by Lorraine Schwartz. Her neutral make-up was paired to a short wavy bob, which nicely complemented the dress.
I’ve already said Jessica Chastain is my favourite, followed by Alicia Vikander and Amanda Seyfried. What about yours?
Those of you who voted elected Jennifer Lawrence as the best dressed of this event (30% of the votes), followed by Jessica Chastain (25% of the votes) and Alicia Vikander (15% of the votes). The rest of your votes went to Kerry Washington, Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried. Unfortunately Emmanuelle Riva and Stacy Keibler got no votes. Maybe next time