The first thing to say is that I am sitting at home wrapped in two oversized cardigans and I’m still feeling a bit chilly. Those poor souls on the BAFTA red carpet in Covent Garden this evening have little choice but to walk the red carpet into the Royal Opera House without the luxury of H&M knitwear. I interviewed on that walkway in 2007 and I was shivering in my Karen Millen frock most of the night. You know when you are so cold your jaw freezes and it’s hard to get your words out coherently? That was me. A little like being drunk only without the warm feeling. Secondly, it’s a good turn out at the British equivalent of the Oscars this year. My brother worked for several years behind the scenes so I know only too well that the organisers are never quite sure until the very last minute who will actually put in an appearance on the night so this evening they must have felt rather pleased with themselves. And hey, at least it isn’t raining. Here are my thoughts on the great gowns and the frightful frocks as they happen tonight in London…
I have to start with Rosamund Pike who one way and another I have given a very hard time to so far this award season. She has taken some risks or maybe she’s been ‘having fun with her style’ – which reasoning do we admire most? I don’t know, but either way for the most part, the looks haven’t worked. Tonight however she has chosen a far simpler column silhouette by none other than Roland Mouret and he is of course the master of sculpted dresses. Although with her fair colouring I’d rather have seen her in a colour instead of black, I love the twisted halter neck and the overall look is sheer sophistication. Let’s hope she goes with Mouret for Oscar night too. Kristen Scott Thomas is someone who is rocking the black. Her dress is exquisite, looks slightly warmer than most of the others and is age appropriate. Love.
I’m also going to give some love to Keira Knightley (I know, unheard of, what’s come over me?) because I’ve been a bit perturbed by her pregnancy wardrobe thus far. Well, despite the 3D petals which add volume that no woman heavy with child needs, this Giambattista Valli midi gown looks just lovely. And it’s haute couture for flip’s sake; when I was pregnant I wore a big Primark thing to the Sex and the City 2 premier. Different world I tell you.
You can rely on Amy Adams – nominated three years in a row now so she’s well rehearsed – to look gorgeous at these occasions. She’s in a white Lanvin column dress this year and while I like it, I can’t pretend I didn’t think for a moment there that she had some kind of ammo around her middle. They don’t need that kind of security panic on the red carpet.
Reese Witherspoon is supporting British talent in a Stella McCartney number and this purple one is a more daring one with a very booby neckline I can’t decide if I like. Ultimately, this is such a fantastic colour on her, I’m going to give it the thumbs up. Also, I want her hair please.
There are a few reds popping up and Julianne Moore’s cut-out long sleeved (oh how sensible) Tom Ford gown is a winner but then isn’t Julianne always? It would be great if she was finally recognised by winning an award for once too.**
Finally, I love the lilac of the very elegant gown worn by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Her hair and make-up are immaculate and her beautiful posture is a lesson to all. Or maybe she was in fact rigid with the cold.
Not so fabulous in my opinion, and it is with a heavy heart I say this, is Patricia Arquette whose dark Pamella Roland red frock is ageing and looks ill fitting. The neckline is too high and isn’t the best style for her shape. I’m cross on her behalf that she’s been stuffed into that old thing – sorry but I named my cat Alabama after Arquette’s brilliant character in True Romance so I’m a bit emotional. I wouldn’t mind only Patricia herself doesn’t look all that thrilled either.*
*Patricia Arquette has just won the best supporting actress BAFTA – excellent, I’m genuinely thrilled. Bet she wishes even more she hadn’t worn that particular dress though… **Hooraay Julianne Moore has her BAFTA at last!