Academy Awards 2014: Belle’s Best Dressed List

Mar 3, 2014

The trends on last night’s Oscar red carpet were nude-colored dresses with embellishments, dresses with deep necklines and large, drop earrings.  Finger waves and sideswept locks were the hairstyles of choice, even in the drizzly conditions.

While there were some lovely choices on the red carpet, most of the gowns failed to inspire.  Charlize Theron looked great, but the dress just felt off.  Anne Hathaway wore the same silhouette as last year, and while the dress looked nice the gleaming crystals did not play well with the stage lighting. Viola Davis’s gown was the perfect color, and her hair and makeup looked phenomenal, but the dress was unflattering around her mid-section.

At one point, I toyed with the idea of only putting Kevin Spacey on my best-dressed list since his midnight blue tuxedo was the only ensemble that spurred noticeable adoration.  But that hardly seemed like a fair solution, so here are my picks for best-dressed.

2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals

Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab

Many of the dresses on the worst-dressed list earned their spot due to poorly coordinated accessories and ill-chosen hair and makeup.  EVW took a gorgeous gown and created a near flawless ensemble.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Olivia Wilde in Valentino

Wilde continues to teach a master class in how to wear formal attire while pregnant.  This sleek, black-and-white Valentino makes Natalie Portman’s pink- and red-flowered gown from a few years back look even more laughable by comparison.  I also love her accessories, those bracelets will have me searching for a black and white stack of my own very soon.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior

While this year’s flame-red Dior cannot match the glamorous perfection of last year’s Dior, Lawrence has redeemed herself for the bed comforter she wore to the Golden Globes.  This is, by far, her best hairstyle of the season.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada

What? Lupita wasn’t your favorite?  Lupita was everyone’s favorite!

Don’t get me wrong, the girl looked awesome.  The dress is divine, this DuJour Media shot proves that, but I thought the earrings were a bad choice. I don’t care for the shape of them, and frankly, I found them distracting.  However, the Gucci gown she wort to the SAG Awards is still my favorite gown of the season, it might even make top-5 all-time.

So who was my best-dressed woman?

matthew-mcconaughey-camila-alves-matching-couple-on-oscars-2014-red-carpet-01

Camilla Alves in Gabriella Cardena

This is a lot of dress.  With yards of ballet-pink material covering her every inch of her body and swatch of draping to boot, it would be hard for almost anyone to make this gown look good.  It would swallow up any mere mortal who tried to wear it, but Alves makes it look effortless.

Plus, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a stickler for creating a cohesive look.  I want the hair, the makeup, the jewelry, the bag, the shoes and the gown to all fit seamlessly together.  In this case, the updo is sublime.  The makeup is a vision of perfectly contoured softness.  And the accessories melt perfectly into the look, ensuring that they don’t add weight to the already heavy dress.

So who was your favorite?  Anybody who really failed to live up to expectations?

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  1. Ashley says:

    You should have put Kevin Spacey on this list. That man can wear a tuxedo!

  2. Whitney says:

    I loved Angelina Jolie’s look! I’m surprised you didn’t include her in this list!

  3. becky says:

    I thought Sandra Bullock looked surprisingly good. She’s good-looking; but sometimes her outfits are questionable.

  4. Terri says:

    The pink was my choice as well. She wore it with authority and beauty. The drape, the color, the whole look. And you are right about the Theron dress..it is out of balance. Too broad through the chest which makes it look top heavy and wide. Give me some guys in tuxedo – Spacey and McConaughey. They win.

  5. Casey says:

    I think Naomi Watts wins best dressed, to me. Maybe some people will think it was boring, but I though it was the best she ever looked.

  6. XT says:

    I thought Lupita’s dress was very unflattering in the chest area. And I did not like the headband. Disappointing, given her other amazing outfits this season.

    Cate Blanchett was my favorite. I thought her whole look was perfection.

    • Liz says:

      Ditto to all of this.

      Also loved Kerry Washington, Sandra Bullock, and Idina Menzel (or whatever her name is 😉 ‘s green gown.

  7. Courtney says:

    I can’t believe I’m going write these words, but P!NK’s performance dress was my favorite for best dressed. She owned the look and made a very substantial dress move with ease. Actually, almost every performance dress was better than what was on the red carpet.

  8. Terri says:

    Courtney – also loved Pink’s performance dress. Perfect ruby red for the tribute and she looked fantastic.

  9. Genny says:

    Sandra Bullock and Kerrie Washington both looked gorgeous!!

  10. Lauren says:

    I wanted to put Kevin Spacey on my best dressed list as well! I loved the midnight tux with black lapels. Jennifer Lawrence is always one of my favorites but her hair wasn’t doing it for me. This dress reminded me of her Calvin Klein dress at her first Oscars when she had long hair and I preferred that look, although this one was more “mature”, the hair made it matronly for me.

    Lauren
    casualglamstyle.com

  11. elz says:

    I actually didn’t agree with any of these as the top last night, different strokes for different folks. I really loved Amy Adams and Sandra Bullock’s looks. I thought Anne Hathaway’s look was pretty, different, but pretty.

  12. Ren says:

    Take out JLaw and add in Idina Mendel and I agree! Portia was lovely too, but man what a total snooze overall.

    • Ren says:

      Edit: I meant the gowns in General were a snooze, not Portia.

      Also I think the Dior partnership is doing JLaw no favors.

  13. Autumn says:

    Belle – I think it is a big miss to leave June Squibb off this list. She looked lovely with a wonderful ensemble – hair, makeup, clutch, earrings and of course dress. I know she is older so she doesn’t have the younger draw these ladies do but I thought she pulled off an age appropriate and age defying Oscar look!

  14. jeannie says:

    I think that Calista and Portia overall looked the best. The dresses fit well. Overall, I think women should lose the really short hair, especially combed off of the face. I find it extremely masculine looking. In fact there are very few women that look good with the hair pulled or combed back completely away from the face – you pretty much need to be perfect to pull this look off, and honestly few people are in my opinion.

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