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Academy Awards 2010: Belle's Best Dressed List

When you put on a formal gown the world transforms from ho-hum into something glamorous and extraordinary.  One of the saddest days of my life was the day I aged-out of the pageant system and how to hang up my evening gown.  But occasionally, when I’m having a bad day, I like to rescue my sequined pageant gowns from their under the bed prison and play dress up.  Perhaps, I should start looking for formal events to attend.

Much like the criteria for inclusion in the Hall of Sartorial Shame being added to Belle’s Best Dressed List is all about my initial gut reaction.  If I look at your gown and feel a deep, unabiding envy that makes me want to clothesline you and steal your dress, then you belong on the list.  What can I say? Sequins, ruffles and pleating reduce me to criminal thoughts. 

While the liveblog commenters were divided about Zoe Saldana’s Givenchy gown, I loved it.  The purple ombre ruffles, the sequined bodice, origami pleated waistline; I just loved all of it.  And her perfectly sculpted arms are even making this gym-hating couch potato want to pick of the free weights.

While I am still wondering why Mr. Armani is so in love with this cellophane like favorite, I adore Amanda Seyfried’s pale mint gown.  Youthful and elegant, this gown is perfect for a young actress whose career is on the rise.  I love the way the structured bodice emphasizes her tiny waist while de-emphasizing her ample cleavage.  I also love the way the skirt of the dress sweeps around and makes Amanda looks like she is gliding down the carpet. 

(I wasn’t crazy about the chunky bracelets, but I choose to ignore them.)

I usually don’t like printed gowns, but Rachel McAdams looks divine in this watercolored Elie Saab gown.  The muted hues of purple and blue on this gown make me think of Monet’s Water Lilies.  And unlike most of the women on the red carpet, McAdams actually looked relaxed and comfortable.  No easy feat when you are standing in stilettos.

Cameron Diaz was once a red carpet fashion maven, however, her iconic status was tarnished by a series of poorly chosen gowns that began with the 1980s prom-inspired white brocade Valentino that she wore in 2007.  But last night’s perfectly flirty Oscar de la Renta ballgown proves that the bitch is back in a serious way. 

Diaz’s golden tulle gown looked luminous.  And her casual but curly locks and dewy makeup only added to her glow.  I’d also like to know what she has been doing to heal her once acne prone skin, because her once muddy complexion is quickly becoming enviable.  I’m so curious/jealous that I can barely see straight.

Let me first say that I detest Miley Cyrus.  She and her tattooed, gum smacking, fame-whoring redneck-clan make me so nauseous that I need Dramamine.  But even though I pray that this hunchbacked nitwit will soon disappear from the public consciousness and take her 9-year-old lingerie designing sister with her, I adore her Jenny Packham gown.

In fact, I love it so much that I would even put money in her pocket to own it.  I’m disgusted with myself, but the glistening ivory gown is just that beautiful.

If only she could be bothered to stand up straight, because her constant slumping is ruining the line of the dress.  Her pitiful posture also kept her from being my ultimate best dressed, transferring that honor to…

Oh, Penelope Cruz…I love you, and your Donna Karan gown.

I adore the way the intricate pleats aren’t quite perfect but hug the body and shape the silhouette.  Coupled with the strong sweetheart neckline the overall effect of the pleats is so modern and elegant that it makes me green with envy.  And the gorgeous crimson color looks so rich against her skin tone.  I also love the fact that she kept her jewelry minimal and didn’t overpower the already strong dress.

Was your favorite on the list?  Anyone you feel doesn’t belong?



  1. Belle says:

    Dee- I couldn’t find a photo of Elizabeth Banks’ dress last night, but I did like it. I thought Anna Kendrick’s dress was a little boring. I thought I had seen it, or something like it, several times.

    Cris-Having a tattoo is a personal preference. Having more than a dozen tattoos and showing them off on a red carpet because "they’re good tattoos," is tacky.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. M in VA says:

    I’ve loved Zoe Saldana ever since I first saw her in Center Stage, but I couldn’t stand her gown last night. "The purple ombre ruffles, the sequined bodice, origami pleated waistline" — exactly! It was like three completely different dresses sewn together. And the ruffles looked more like purple pom-poms shaking around her shins. Sorry — I don’t think she belongs here.

    March 8, 2010/Reply
  3. Kate says:

    I agree. Zoe’s dress was just awful. And even if I liked the schizo-ness of it all, it was ill-fitting! When walking down the stairs to present, she was about 1/4 inch away from showing her lady business! A poor choice, all around.

    March 8, 2010/Reply
  4. Belle says:

    Maybe, I was seduced by the purple but I loved it. If that places me in the minority, so be it.

    March 8, 2010/Reply
  5. Ms. B says:

    Sandra Bullock should have been in the top and not a runner up. The fit was impeccable and the assymetrical approach to the sleeve should have been enough. The whole combination (hair, makeup, complexion, etc) was flawless. Jennifer Lopez ‘s gown DID NOT accuntuate the positive on any level. What is these ladies and their very poor posture? It makes them look like I shant say it. It is a waste of a beautiful gown to put it on someone who can’t stand up and be formidable. Gowns are works of art in a functional form. These ladies need Miss Myrtle’s charm school and a phone book.

    March 8, 2010/Reply
  6. Dee Does the District says:

    No love for Elizabeth Banks or Ana Kendrick?

    March 8, 2010/Reply
  7. ~M says:

    I loved Miley Cyrus’s dress, but I am so disgusted with the lingerie for 9 year-olds I cannot support anything about her.
    I want to like Zoe Saldana’s dress, but I agree with Kate and M in VA, there was just too much going on.
    I LOVED Amanda Seyfried’s dress.

    March 8, 2010/Reply
  8. Belle says:

    Dee- I couldn’t find a photo of Elizabeth Banks’ dress last night, but I did like it. I thought Anna Kendrick’s dress was a little boring. I thought I had seen it, or something like it, several times.

    Cris-Having a tattoo is a personal preference. Having more than a dozen tattoos and showing them off on a red carpet because "they’re good tattoos," is tacky.

    March 9, 2010/Reply
  9. Ms. B says:

    Sandra Bullock is my top, then the Ana Kendrick. Fit, balance. ladies who wear the dress and everything works verses dresses that wear the person.

    March 9, 2010/Reply
  10. Cris says:

    Tell us how you REALLY feel about Miley Cyrus. I hope I am not lumped into her category because of my tattoo. Ha ha! Anyways, I loved her dress too, but Zoe’s was my personal favorite ­čÖé

    March 8, 2010/Reply
  11. Kelly says:

    I loved the idea of Miley’s dress but it looks a little too, well, little.

    March 9, 2010/Reply
  12. Rory says:

    I adore Zoe’s dress! My only issue with it is that it looks too big/bulky right in the waist/hip area. However, I bet it’s something structurally to help with the weight of the bottom of the dress.

    I also wish Rachel McAdams would go back to brunette. She doesn’t look good as a blonde to me.

    March 9, 2010/Reply
  13. candide says:

    perhaps it’s just the picture, but penelope looks like she’s being swallowed whole by her dress…not in a good way.

    March 10, 2010/Reply