Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

And the Style Oscar Goes To… February 28, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 12:40 am

Like many of you, millions of Americans, and millions more worldwide, I will be in front of the television tomorrow night watching the Academy Awards. It’s not because I loved the nominated films (although I did LOVE “Brooklyn”) or that those Hollywood types are on my list of “people who I admire the most.” Nope, it’s because….fashion! Truth be told, I’ll probably watch several of the pre-show Red Carpet specials, tune in to see Chris Rock’s intro, stick around for the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards, then check out until the last hour or so. Who knows, if it’s good and not overly political, I might stick around for the whole thing.


But, let’s get back to the “who are you wearing?” question rather than the “and the Oscar goes to” statement.


Yes, I will wait with bated breath to see Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio’s handsome selves, but sorry men; the Red Carpet is all about the babes. I can’t wait to see what nominees Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, and Rachel McAdams arrive in as they are pretty bankable as not only actresses but style stars. Julia Roberts, Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Lupita Nyongo, and Emma Stone also often take my breath away and I’m hoping they do so again this year.


There’s no telling what anyone will show up in and who will make the “Best Dressed” and “Worst Dressed” lists so while we wait, I thought I’d share my top Oscar style picks from years past.


Let’s start with one of this year’s nominees, Jennifer Lawrence. Can I just say JLaw is kind of amazing? Her 2014 red peplumed Dior was simple yet stunning and when she wore her necklace backwards in 2013 jaws dropped. She gets it.

2014 Dior 2013


Someone else who, in my opinion, almost always gets it is Renee Zellwegger. A Carolina Herrera fan (as am I), Zellwegger was on point in both 2003 and 2004.

2004 Carolina Herrera 2003 Carolina Herrera


Someone who knows how to dress for her shape is the uber-talented Octavia Spencer. In both 2012 and 2013 she honored Adashi Shoji by chosing his masterpieces and she killed it both times. When you find a design that works, stick with it.

octavia-spencer-2012 tadashi shoji 2013 octavia-spencer-tadashi-shoji


My “most memorable but still chic” awards go to Sharon Stone, Nicole Kidman, and Halle Berry. Stone’s decision in 1988 to pair her lavender Vera Wang skirt with her husband’s Gap shirt was brilliant (as was her newly cropped hair), Kidman’s embroidered chartreuse John Galliano column stole the attention away from even her famous escort in 1997, and who can ever forget Berry’s delicious Elie Saab creation in 2002? She won not only the Oscar that year, but “Best Dressed” as well.

Sharon Stone - hubby's Gap shirt and Vera Wang skirt - 1998 1997 Dior 2002 Elie Saab


Looking back at Hollywood’s true glamour years, one can only admire Julie Andrews’ simple canary gown that she elegantly paired with gloves and a white stole to accept her Oscar in 1964, while the equally elegant Grace Kelly donned Edith Head’s mint green satin number. Not to be outdone by anyone, Marilyn Monroe glammed up the 1951 Oscars in a black tulle gown that she borrowed from the 20th Century Fox wardrobe department.

Julie Andrews Edith Head 1955 1951 black tulle from 20th century fox wardrobe dept


Perhaps the most elegant of all elegant, Audrey Hepburn spiced up her trademark Little Black Dress with a fun polka-dot and striped number in 1988 but returned to her simple glamour with a one-shoulder hot pink Givenchy in 1992. No one does it better. No one.

1988 1992 Givenchy


Charlize Theron usually does it well too. Her white two-piece Dior in 2013 was both striking and fun and I adored her “hidden illusion straps” black Dior in 2015.

2013 Dior Couture   2014 Dior black


A somewhat new but reliable style star is the likable Emma Stone. Her red bow-tied Giambattista Valli in 2012 and pulled back hair were perfection and I’m still obsessed with her 2015 Sag Awards black Dior allusion skirt and 2015 Golden Globes black Lanvin embellished top and pants so I’m including them here. Perfection.


2012 Giambattista ValliDior 2015 SAG awards BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11:  Actress Emma Stone attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Hilary Swank. Haven’t heard that name in a while but boy could she bring it. Her olive green Randolph Duke gown was glamorous enough in 2000 but what stole the show and still has me saying “that’s just sick,” was her stunning Asprey & Garrard necklace that was originally designed for Queen Victoria’s daughters. In 2005 she showed everyone how proud she was of her killer body in a drapey and cut to “there” in the back blue Guy Laroche. Uh-mazing.

 2000 Randolph Duke  OSC144D:ENTERTAINMENT-OSCARS:LOS ANGELES,26MAR00 - Hilary Swank holds her Oscar statue after winning for Best Actress at the 72nd annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, March 26. Swank won the Academy Award for her role in the film "Boys Don't Cry."    jm/Photo by Mike Blake REUTERS --- Image by © Reuters/CORBIS Swank guy laroche 2005


Gwyneth Paltrow will never be one of my faves, but the bubblegum pink Ralph Lauren she wore when she won the Oscar in 1999 will forever scream “Oscars” to me (ill-fitted as wrinkled as it was), and the caped winter white Tom Ford in 2012 was also award-winning in its own chic way.

R. Lauren 1999 2012 Tom Ford

Never a nominee and not even an actress Camila Alves regularly shows Hollywood how it’s done. The Brazilian bombshell and wife of Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Alves’ eggplant Donna Karan Atelier in 2015 was as gorgeous as her hubby and this wordsmith has no ample words to describe the incredible blush Gabriela Cadena she wore in 2015. Speechlessly spectacular.

camila-alves 2015 Donna Karan Atelier Camila Alves 2014 in Gabriela Cadena

One can never go wrong in basic black, as Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, and Julia Roberts all proved. Witherspoon looked stunning with her hair in a pony and her Armani Prive in 2011, and it’s not so much Jolie’s Elie Saab number that I loved in 2009, but rather the incredible 115-carat Lorraine Schwartz earrings she wore with it. I still remember thinking, “wow!” when I saw them. Maybe it’s because emerald is my birthstone. Maybe it’s because they were insanely striking. In 2005 Beyonce was striking in a simple black velvet Versace. It was so refreshing to see her tone it down and strike a classy pose, as did Roberts holding her “Best Actress” Oscar in the forever memorable vintage Valentino in 2001.

20110227_rua_o44_175.jpg 2009 Elie Saab and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry 2005 Versace 2001 vintage Valentino

Red can sometimes be a risky Red Carpet choice (you never want to blend in with what’s under your feet!), but Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, and Jennifer Hudson all proved it can be done. Winslet’s Ben de Lisi red silhouette with a floral strap was oh so pretty in 2002 while Kidman again rocked the red carpet in 2007 in what I still consider one of her best looks ever, a tomato red bowed-at-the-neck Balenciaga. And who looked better and more joyful than Jennifer Hudson in her orange-red Atelier Versace in 2011? New body, new Oscar, new “I’ve got it going on” attitude!

2002 Ben de Lisi 2007 Balenciaga Jennifer Hudson in Atelier Versace 2011

So what do you think? Who have been your favorites? What would you wear to the Oscars? It’s fun to dream, right?





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s