Post Traumatic Dress Syndrome

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Ushering in the beginning of Sunday night’s Oscar coverage, a good pal sent me a text stating, simply, “RED CARPET!”

My friends know me so well.

Being an avid lover of cinema (a self-professed connoisseur even), I feel a bit silly admitting that the most exciting part of Oscar night for me is the unveiling of the various star-wielded accoutrements. But, hey, a gal’s gotta get her kicks somehow – and I’ve made it a tradition to sit on my comfy couch in a pair of old PJs year after year, noshing on various fatty foods (my jab at the fashionistas who starved themselves for weeks to squeeze into their gowns), a judgmental scowl plastered across my face.

After all, the Academy Awards are essentially a long-winded fashion show whose red carpet runway features Hollywood stars instead of models, and it’s always the best gauge by which to foresee upcoming trends for Spring. I’m all too happy to play Anna Wintour to the evening’s revelry. So without further ado, my picks for the best and worst looks that graced this year’s carpet.

THE BEST

Cameron Diaz

Clearly Cammy has the inside scoop on this Spring’s biggest trend: the ballerina-inspired look. The simple nude sheath is perfectly fitted and draped, and the color looks fantastic on her sun-kissed skin tone. Her hair would’ve looked much better swept back into a loose updo, to complete the ballet look. I’ll never understand why she’s such a fan of those straggly bangs!

Anne Hathaway

Red is her color, for sure. The hair, the make-up, the Grecian gown – the entire package is magic. Judging by the influx of scarlet hues gracing the carpet this year, it’s safe to say that it’s sure to be a large part of the upcoming season’s color palette.

Marion Cotillard

This mermaid-esque ivory gown (complete with beading and fish scale detailing) looks absolutely stunning on her flawless figure, hugging her curves in all the right spots. The side-swept curls and long necklace complete the old-school glamour look. A little sexpot here, a little flapper there – a lotta hotness!

Katherine Heigl

Another stunner in red – simple, cut just in the right spots – her waist looks teeny-tiny. Another trend, it seems: one-shoulder tops. The glam, loose curls pull the entire look together in the best possible Grace Kelly-esque way.

Cate Blanchett

Always the risk-taker, Cate proves that pregnancy doesn’t have to cramp one’s style. This jewel-toned gown with Japanese-inspired detailing hits all the right marks, plus the vintage necklace both hides and flatters her burgeoning bosom and belly.

Amy Adams

Ka-pow! This emerald hue offsets Amy’s hair and skin in the most brilliant way possible. The belted bodice and flared train ensure that she looks amazing from every angle. The bold yellow, vintage-looking bag is an unexpected, fresh touch. This is, by far, my favorite look of the night.

THE WORST

Laura Linney

If you’re a nominee – dress like one! I love LL, but her super-serious film roles shouldn’t translate to her gown choices – she looks like she wrapped herself in her grandmother’s old curtains! The blah hair and broach-like necklace complete the geriatric look.

Jennifer Hudson

Doesn’t her stylist know that empire waistlines look all sorts of wrong on gals with big busts?! It’s like they’re trying to escape from a hideous, white-walled, bejeweled Alcatraz! Straightjacket, anyone?

Jessica Alba and Nicole Kidman

I think the hormones have affected the usually consistent Nicole Kidman and Jessica Alba – both of them committed various crimes of fashion. Jess’ blah-hued maroon frock took peacock to the wrong places, as in: her growing bust, then draped far too much fabric at the problem. Nicole’s otherwise boring black dress reeked of too much bling – above, on top of, below the bosom! Plus – just because she’s about to be a mom, doesn’t mean she’s got to rock the school-marm-ish ‘do! Their stylists need to pow-wow with Cate Blanchett – stat!

Ellen Page

I really dug her Annie Hall-inspired menswear getup at the Independent Spirit Awards, but this flapper dress is frumpy and costume-y (the length shortens and widens her very slight, petite frame). Throw in the stiff ringlets surrounding her face and – though the dress is black – the ensemble is all shades of wrong.

Tilda Swinton

All I can think of is Missy Elliott’s garbage bag dress in her video for “The Rain.” Not a comparison you want to draw with your Oscar garb.

So, ladies – take it from the Hollywood A-listers: update your Spring wardrobe with lots of red, draped silks, jewel tones, accessories that lend pops of color, and ballet-inspired pieces. But, as always, with the good must come the bad: be sure to dress for your body type. Play up your best features, take your clothes to a tailor to ensure the perfect fit, and remember to simplify: don’t muddle up the perfect outfit with too many jewels or out-of-whack hair.

After all, even movie stars are only human – everyone needs to live by the same golden rules and I’m not referring to last night’s statuettes!

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