Who Rocked the Oscars 2014 Red Carpet? Check out our Best-Dressed List!
The red carpet coverage of the 2014 Academy Awards was oddly sparse this year, as the E! team of style experts and red carpet correspondents retired to an office-like space only a third into the coverage, where they proceeded to discuss looks audiences had already seen and — on occasion — show them photos of newly arrived stars (not video footage, but photos which had likely been circulated on Twitter already). At some point, all of those who have become accustomed to watching E! for our awards show fashion coverage had to change the channel to ABC, where the Good Morning America hosts were interviewing celebrities as they arrived (albeit with little focus on fashion). The gaps in the coverage aside, it was a solid night for Hollywood glamour — not the best we’ve seen, but still a pretty strong showing on the style front. Below, check out the leading ladies that dazzled us!
It’s so wonderful to see Kate Hudson ruling the red carpet once again! She’s had so many memorable red carpet moments over the year: the nude dress with the all-over beading and the plunging neckline at the 2002 Golden Globes; the Boho chic, floral print, strapless Valentino gown she donned to the 2003 Golden Globes; the nude, lacy Atelier Versace gown she wore to the 2003 Oscars; the long-sleeved, black Alexander McQueen gown with the intricate gold beading that she wore to the 2013 Golden Globes (my fave!); the white backless dress she wore to the 2014 SAG Awards; and so forth. The woman is simply a style icon, and she proved it again last night when she emanated Old Hollywood glamour in a white Atelier Versace gown. Hudson loves a great plunging neckline, which this gown of course incorporates, and the fit is absolutely impeccable. I love how, at the base of that plunging neckline, there’s a twisted detail, the result of all the pleated fabric coming together in that one central location. Donatella is, of course, a master at accentuating the female silhouette and this dress does so gloriously, with the thinly pleated, draped pieces along the hips placed in an angular fashion so as to create a slimming effect. To balance the intricacy of the draping and pleating, the skirt is left unadorned, the lovely silk flowing beautifully, with just a bit of a train for added elegance. And, of course, the removable cape-like shawl (you might notice Hudson took it off before presenting) is exquisite since it has strong shoulders and a rounded, draped shape along the back.
Lupita was everyone’s darling last night. Not only did she snag the Best Supporting Actress award, but she was the epitome of grace on the red carpet in this dreamy Prada gown. Unlike most actresses who shy away from some colors on the red carpet, Lupita has worn almost every shade imaginable — in fact, there’s a Lupita Color Wheel image circulating the Web — and here’s the best part: she’s looked stunning in every single hue. The Cinderella blue color of her dress last night seemed particularly fitting for a night when she did, indeed, get to enjoy her princess moment. This particular gown was much less structured than some of the other dresses we’ve seen her wear (like the now iconic Ralph Lauren cape dress she wore to the Golden Globes or the turquoise Gucci dress she wore to the SAG Awards), but that’s part of it’s charm: it seems to float as she walks and you get the sense that she’s going to start twirling at any moment. It’s just pure fantasy! The plunging neckline helps to make the gown feel more grown-up while still retaining that fairy tale quality.
Nyong’o also accessorized beautifully with a carefully selected number of Fred Leighton jewels: an 18kt yellow gold and diamond headband (which added a tiara-like effect to complete the princess look); a pair of 18kt yellow gold and rose-cut diamond spiked crescent earrings that crawled upward from her earlobes, adding a youthful touch to her look (remember that ear cuffs and ear crawlers are a must this season!); a 19th century yellow gold pearl and diamond ring; a 19th century yellow gold and opal ring; an 18kt gold frog ring; a 1960s 18kt gold, turquoise, and diamond ring; and a 19th century yellow gold and diamond coiled snake bracelet.
If there’s anyone who can pull off a pixie cut, it’s Charlize Theron. And, once again, she showed all of those Johnny-Come-Latelies that she knows how to work that short hairdo and still be the epitome of femininity. She looked like a femme fatale in this black Dior gown, which featured clear straps that were practically invisible, thereby giving the dress the illusion of being strapless and accentuating the V-shaped neckline and the squared points along the bustier-like bodice.The top half of the dress is exquisite, but the bottom half is just as sultry, thanks to the semi-sheer overlay, which adds volume to the gown and creates a play between transparency and opacity thanks to the banded bits of fabric along the hemline.
I’ve yet to unearth a photo that truly captures how magnificent this dress looked on television. The Aussie actress wore a snow white Calvin Klein dress with cap sleeves and a simple column-like skirt. From afar, the dress looks like a rather minimalist piece, but it boasts rather intricate beadwork that lend it a textural quality and really emphasize that snow-like, icy quality of the crisp white color. The dress itself is glorious, but Watts’ gets extra credit for infusing a bit of edge into her ensemble via her diamond-encrusted Bulgari necklace, which boasts a caged, almost spiderweb-like design.
It was a huge night for Matthew McConaughey — Mr. Alright, Alright, Alright! — and, luckily, he looked dashing, as did his beautiful wife. Camila Alves opted for a timeless, blush pink silk crepe gown custom-designed by Gabriela Cadena.The long-sleeved dress had a rather simple silhouette that was jazzed up via a draped detail along one shoulder, creating a half cape effect, with flowing panels of fabric gracefully cascading down her arm, all the way to the floor, the edges undulating ever so gracefully. To keep the look clean and polished, Alves took a minimalist approach to accessorizing, opting for a pair of Charlotte Olympia heels and a simple envelope clutch in a matching blush pink tone.
It may not be the most surprising choice, but Sandra Bullock’s Alexander McQueen dress did look glorious on the Academy Award winner. The pleating, sash-like embellishment along the side of the strapless gown feels familiar since it’s vaguely reminiscent of the emerald green Lanvin dress she wore to the SAG Awards, which also had a pleating detail topped off with a side bow, but it’s still an elegant choice. Her beauty choices only enhance the old Hollywood glamour — particularly the side-swept hair and those Vernonica Lake-ish waves.
Finding a dress that fits you well when you have a massive baby bump is quite the challenge, and Olivia Wilde has been doing a fantastic job all through this awards season. Since her husband was presenting an award, Wilde didn’t have to opt for as glamorous a look as some of the nominees, and yet she outshone many of them with a simple but modern and chic gown. Wilde wore a black, sleeveless Maison Valentino gown with a high neckline and a surprising dash of white color along the back. The black-and-white number was simple but felt modern and perfectly on trend, and Wilde accessorized her look judiciously by playing up the black-and-white contrast via her white Jimmy Choo clutch and her choice of Lorraine Schwartz jewelry: a stack of bracelets in shades of white, black, and silver; a statement ring with an onyx stone; and her white teardrop-shaped earrings.
Angelina Jolie looked like a vision — a celestial, ethereal being — in this long-sleeved Elie Saab number. The nude sheer chiffon gave the frock a lightness and a buoyancy, while the gold and silver beading created the desired angelic effect. We’re used to seeing Angelina show a little something (thigh-high slit, anyone?), but last night, she showed us that covered-up can be just as breathtaking.