City Pulse

By Allison Warenik-Queenan

Overall, I think that it is safe to say that, as an award show, the 2011 Oscars were a total snooze fest. Motion Picture Academy; please never again underestimate the power of having an established comedian host. But, that is beside the point. I am simply here to run by you my favorite and not-so-favorite gowns of the evening.

RED HOT!

Watch out Hollywood blondes. Cameron, Drew and Gwyneth, there is some fresh blood in town and her name is Jennifer Lawrence. The Best Actress nominee (for the subtly intense Winter’s Bone) stole the show with her long blonde wavy TOUCHABLE locks and her simple Calvin Klein floor length tank dress. When you’ve got it like Ms. Lawrence does, you really don’t need to try very hard. This look was the clear winner for me.

Last year’s Best Actress winner, Sandra Bullock, shone like a billion dollars worth of rubies in this sublime red Vera Wang gown, complimented by a simple updo and minimal jewelry. What A-list star really needs a scruffy cheating husband on her arm anyways?

Newly super svelte Weight Watchers star, Jennifer Hudson, was head turning in this tomato Versace gown, paired with a bevy of diamond bracelets, a glamorous updo and classic makeup. She has come a long way on the red carpet. And clearly she’s ditched Andre Leon Tally as her stylist!

WHO THE HECK ARE THOSE MEN ON THEIR ARMS?

Former swimsuit models (naturally, they ALWAYS look good) Camila Alves, in Kaufman Franco, and Melania Trump, in Dolce & Gabbana, blew away most of the La La Land A-list with their classic black floor length gowns, two of my favorites of the evening. They both stepped away from their usual arm-candy roles and took the center stage on the red carpet. It made me wonder for a moment exactly who those barely average looking dudes were hanging off their exquisite arms.

VERY HONORABLE MENTIONS

Helen Mirren is a wonder of nature. At 65 she blows girls a third of her age far, far away. Her body is amazing and defies gravity. Oh and she’s ridiculously talented. This photo of Dame Helen in this gorgeous, steel-gray Vivienne Westwood gown proves my point exactly. The color is beautiful, one rarely seen on the red carpet, and it compliments her silver highlights and long diamond necklace perfectly. I can only wish to look this good in 30 years.

If there is one thing that Amy Adams understands well, it’s that jewel tones work wonders for red heads (not that Amy really needs much help to begin with). This long sapphire blue sparkling L’Wren Scott gown is a stunner, especially paired with the emerald accented jewelry and Amy’s gorgeous long red waves. Simple, elegant, breathtaking.

Reese Witherspoon’s Black and White Armani Privé dress was a throwback to old Hollywood glamour, not to mention that it made be think of Julia Roberts’ Valentino gown the year she won for Erin Brockovitch (2001). I love the high teased ponytail on Reese, as well as the bare neckline. Her drop earrings and diamond bracelets are stunning accents, but she lets the dress do the talking by not over accessorizing.

I LOVE that Florence Welsh of Florence + The Machines stayed true to her rocker roots for the red carpet. Her Valentino gown looks like it could have been a stellar find from the racks of one of Hollywood’s best vintage stores. The dress has a 60’s nightgown-ish look that is a hipster girl’s dream. Her hair is worn in its usual, not-too-brushed, bed-head state and the dark red nail polish and giant cocktail ring suit her personal and unique style perfectly.

NOW, I WILL ATTEMPT AN INTERVENTION…

Melissa Leo, congratulations to you on your Best Supporting Actress win! I will however NOT congratulate you on your Marc Bouwer dress. Clearly Marc made this out of his grandmother’s dining room tablecloth one Sunday afternoon after too many all-you-can-drink mimosas as a way of entertaining himself. And you, being a relative unknown without a stylist, were somehow suckered into believing that this was high fashion and looked good. I feel sorry for you. The photos of this atrocity are going to be floating around for a while. Please make an effort to do better next year. E-mail me and I will help you pick something out.

Annette Bening, congratulations on your nomination. You deserved it. You are immensely talented and get more so with each passing year. Annette, I remember you from way back when you were so hot that you managed be the one woman in the world who could tame the untamable Warren Beatty, a feat not even Madonna could accomplish. Your legs in Bugsy will live on as being one of the sexiest pairs of all time. So tell me, what is up with this awful, frumpy Naeem Khan atrocity? Please don’t send Warren scrambling into the arms of Mark Ruffalo. Next year, e-mail me as well.

Scarlett Johansson, you are young, hot, newly single and were spotted last week making out with Sean Penn. This Dolce And Gabbana sheer purple lace dress is horrible. And unlike Florence Welsh, you are a movie star, not an alternative rock star. So therefore you MUST class up your hair-do at red carpet events. At the very least, you need to wash and brush it. I would think that you would know better. Unless of course Sean prefers it that way – he may not wash or brush his hair either. But in any case, the dress is not doing your exceptional body any favors.

Oh Madonna. I don’t even think that I need to comment because your Dolce And Gabbana dress with fur vest say it all. But I am going to try to attempt to talk to you.

I realize that Guy Ritchie calling you an old hag during your divorce proceedings really shook up your normally unshakable self-esteem. So I will remind you. Guy is a jerk. You are Madonna. You are one of the most famous women in the world. You don’t even need a last name. You are talented (somewhat), you are insanely rich, you have affairs with young Latin models, you are admirably fit, and you are the mother to four amazing children. Please, it is OKAY that you are in your 50s. Really. You don’t need to go on pretending that you are still 19. You are embarrassing Lourdes by stealing from her closet. She is a teenager. You are a grown woman. Grown women do not wear things like this in public. Additionally, I could probably bounce a quarter off your face. Stop it before you begin to look like Joan Rivers.

INTERVENTION OVER….NOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The talented Cate Blanchette has a wonderful flair for taking fashion risks while still looking red carpet sophisticated. So, when I first saw this Givenchy pale-pink beaded gown from the front, I though, hmmm, different. Possibly beautiful. Let me sleep on it. THEN, I saw the back. I’m not too sure about this one. The yellow beading and the crisscross open back style really aren’t doing it for me. It looks like an apron from behind. But a really cool apron. And it has also been rated highly by many fashion critics. However, I am still not convinced. Would love to know what you think of it!

So that’s it. Movie award season has sadly come to its close. Thankfully, I have gotten my gown fix and can now focus on the advent of spring and the upcoming summer blockbusters.

Originally published March 2011
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