It was always going to be a night to remember. After Donald Trump blasted Meryl Streep ‘overrated’ following her Golden Globes speech last month, who knew what would go down at the biggest ceremony of them all. Some of the attendees had vowed ahead of Sunday night to use the platform (should they be so lucky to get up on it) to speak out, while others admitted they found such protestations by Hollywood A-listers inappropriate. Meanwhile the President of the United States himself had announced (in case anybody cared) that he would not be watching the 89th Academy Awards. Clearly he has more pressing plans, perhaps Sunday night is when he stays in to wash his hair and flick through his interior decoration magazines.
Either way, there was going to be some reporting to do. At midnight UK time, I was situated on my sofa, awaiting the dresses and hoping my latest lodger – a mouse who seems to be living under said sofa – would also boycott the event. Would we see the flowers and flounce that dominated the Golden Globes? Or would it be a safer more muted crowd, as tends to be the case on this the biggest and best of award season? I felt sure there would be colour, lots of it, La La Land style, in keeping with the upbeat mood in fashion currently. What I hoped for was excitement – something to talk about this morning – and boy did we get that.
The Champagne Shade
For me, the stand out winner of the night, in more ways than one, was Viola Davis who was stunning in red Armani Prive. This look – both the right red for her colouring and the flattering cut of her gown – will go down in my little book of how to get it right. Ruth Negga pulled the red off just as beautifully. Her high neckline wouldn’t work on everybody but it was perfect for her petite frame and the long sleeves were an addition which proved popular for the first time in a while. Meryl Streep’s gown/ jumpsuit hybrid was a good choice for her but sadly the very rich teal colour drained her, she would have been better in something softer.
The theme of the night colour-wise though (thank goodness, not white this year) was what was quickly tagged on Twitter rather appropriately, as ‘champagne’. The three pale skinned lovelies who chose it wore it well, I just wish Dakota Johnson’s dress hadn’t had that toilet seat shaped apron feature hanging from her waist. I thought the vintage style was pretty, it was simply too heavy on the detail for me. Emma Stone (a perennial winner in the style stakes) and Nicole Kidman (who thank the lord left her Golden Globe parrots at home) were immaculate. There were many others who opted for even less colour than the champagne. I thought Felicity Jones’ delicate and girly Dior gown, unusual in its length, was lovely while Priyanka Chopra’s angular strapless column dress by Zuhair Murad was another of my favourites of the night.
The Oscar Statues
However the drama, I think, is more often than not caused by the more surprising sartorial choices, or put more bluntly, those who get it wrong. This is up for debate of course but given that on this particular evening, nobody got it more wrong than Warren Beatty, I might as well go for it. There are always a handful of ladies who are inevitably compared to the Oscar statue himself and this year Jessica Biel was a yes from me but Charlize Theron’s strangely unflattering Dior was a no.
The Not Quite Right
I know this might be an unpopular opinion but I was underwhelmed by Naomie Harris’ Calvin Klein frock, which despite the train (a little too reminiscent of a toilet roll unravelling for my liking) failed to do it for me because of the length. I’m old fashioned in that respect; it really has to be long for the Oscars. However it was head and shoulders above the voluminous gowns worn by Scarlet Johansson and Janelle Monae which were unflattering, ageing and over fussy, not my cup of tea at all.
The Show Stoppers
But who doesn’t love a showstopper? Those worn by Taraji P. Henson, Cynthia Erivo and Brie Larson made me catch my breath thanks to their amazing fit, accentuated waists and sumptuous fabrics. Ladies, this is how you do it.
But who could possibly have imagined that the ultimate show stopper would be right at the end of the ceremony itself when the much feted favourite to win La La Land was announced as the winner of best film only for someone to realise there had been a mistake and the winner was in fact Moonlight. Oh my! Not even Donald Trump could make it up.
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