We Also Have Thoughts About Oscar Outfits

In the week since the Academy Awards aired, the internet has been abuzz about the best and worst looks. The way you’d hear the tabloids talk about it, a starlet who dares wear a dress that is “unflattering” (read: doesn’t make her look as skinny as possible) is far more offensive than a host in blackface.

There probably isn’t a ton of new things to say about awards ceremony dresses (rich people in fancy dresses!) but it’s still fun to see favourite runway looks in action. Usually, though, it’s the same dresses that end up on every best dressed list. We definitely don’t aim to disparage the popular looks (even though Gwenyth Paltrow has the unfortunate habit of being Gwenyth Paltrow, many of us thought her minimalist Tom Ford gown and cape ensemble was killer), we still thought there were some overlooked or critically panned outfits that deserve our respect. Here, the wornettes compiled some of our favourite looks.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Bunto Kazmi
Sharmeen, who won the Oscar for the documentary short Saving Face, took her moment on the red carpet to highlight a designer from her native Pakistan. I am loving the pattern on this dress, apparently a combination of a Persian motif, birds, and French knots. My favourite aspect of this dress is definitely the beaded loops coming out from the sleeves: it’s like a necklace for your shoulders. // Anna Fitzpatrick

Rooney Mara, Givenchy
Many critics were rueing the day Rooney stepped on the red carpet. Joan Rivers, for one, said she looked like a dominatrix getting married [Editor's note: Like that's a bad thing?!!!!]. I’m loving the dress’s old-Hollywood charm and Mara’s bold choice to step outside of her usual brooding black box. // Whitney Wager

Rooney Mara in this gauzy, graceful white Givenchy dress made my mouth fall open. On anyone else it would have looked romantic, but on Rooney it looks almost haunting. With her blunt black bangs and pale complexion and the dress’s exoskeleton-like details, I instantly imagined her cast as Odette in a goth remake of Swan Princess. // Brianne Burnell

Missi Pyle, Valentina Delfino
Twitter followers and fashion critics were unkind to Missy Pyle last weekend, criticizing her “eco-friendly” dress for fitting poorly. Never mind that it used recycled zippers and polyester, or that the organic silk was hand-dyed with natural mineral pigments and created using cruelty-free silk worms (we’re not sure what that means, but we’re glad they’re friendly). Not only did I love the form-fitting shape of this dress and the whimsical train that fluttered out behind Pyle as she enigmatically told everyone about her benevolent silk-worms, but green fashion gets an A+ in my books any day. // Whitney Wager

Totally the best thing she’s done since Josie and the Pussycats. // Anna Fitzpatrick

Octavia Spencer, Tadashi Shoji
As I noted on Twitter, I haven’t seen The Help because of, you know, reasons. I don’t really know that much about Octavia Spencer, but I immediately noticed her dress had my absolute favorite element of any formal gown: t-shirt sleeves. I love, love, love, a long column dress with t-shirt sleeves. Combined with just the right amount of sequins, and a little bit of ruching at the waist for shape, the t-shirt sleeves make this Oscar look less “prom” and more…well, “Oscars.” // Haley Mlotek

Wim Wenders and Carl Swebo the Seat Filler (Pictured, top)
It is KILLING me that I do not know more about these outfits (if you have any leads, let us know in the comments!). Anyway, let’s give it up for the men in blue! It is so easy to be a boring dresser when you are a dude (“I think tonight I’ll wear…a black tux!!!”) but then Wim Wenders comes in and shows everyone up by matching his glasses frames to his bow tie. Confession: I have never seen a Wim Wenders movie (Paris, Texas has been on my to-watch list since like, forever) but this one look has been a more compelling argument to get into his work than any conversation I’ve had with a film geek. // Anna Fitzpatrick

Shailene Woodley, Valentino Couture
Well, it’s pretty much unanimous: The critics hated 20-year-old Shailene Woodley’s “dowdy” Valentino Couture gown, most commenting on how it made her look 40 years old. Guilanna Rancin said it was something Helen Mirren could wear [Editor's note: Helen Mirren dresses AWESOMELY], while US Weekly called the dress “Amish-chic.” Don’t worry, Shailene, I loved this look on you. The long sleeves totally add to this vintage-inspired frock, making it look like it could have come straight out of our grandma’s wedding from the ’40s (that’s a good thing!). // Whitney Wager

Viola Davis, Vera Wang
First: THAT NECKLINE. Like, a way more creative way to show off cleavage than a v-neck and pushup bra. Secondly: THE COLOUR. Not only is it a shade of green so gorgeous that it would make an emerald necklace look like something my cat hurled up (sorry), but it was like she realized she had such a good thing going with the hue of the dress that she kept it up with her eyeshadow and jewelry. Thirdly: HER HAIR. I love that amidst the elaborate hairdos, she showed up rocking her natural hair. She gets my double thumbs up, which is equal to A MILLION OSCARS. // Anna Fitzpartrick

Judy Greer, Monique Lhullier, and Anna Faris, Diane von Furstenburg
I’ve run out of things to say. I just wanted to end on some sparkles. // Anna Fitzpartrick

5 thoughts on “We Also Have Thoughts About Oscar Outfits

  1. I am so glad you mentioned Sharmeen! Her dress was absolutely my favorite, and I wish more people had picked up on it. Thank you for linking to that article.

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