2012 Oscar Red Carpet: The Fluffy Awards (Again)

Award season maven that I am, the Academy Awards are definitely my Super Bowl.  I wish I could have been there to cover these prestigious awards myself, so I have transported my fluffy self to the red carpet (at least in spirit– thank you, Photoshop) in Elie Saab, to cover the best looks of the evening and bestow the most important set of Fluffy Awards of the year.

Since this is, after all, the Oscars, I would be remiss not to congratulate the winners themselves.  A big hand for The Artist, picking up statuettes for Best Picture, Best Actor (Jean Dujardin) and Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius).  Meryl Streep took home her third (I think?) Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Octavia Spencer took Best Supporting Actress honors for The Help, and Christopher Plummer won Best Supporting Actor for Beginners.  All in all, no huge surprises there, and no arguments from me as to the deserving recipients, so let’s move on to the important stuff, shall we?– the sartorial splendor of the red carpet.

Category:  Most Improved

Meryl Streep

Meryl has been tackying up the red carpet all award season long, but this glowing Lanvin gown proves that she can pull off glam very well indeed.

Category:  A Tale of Two Sisters

Rooney Mara and Kate Mara

Two sisters with two very different looks, and I’m sorry, Rooney, your big sis Kate wins this one.  Rooney’s off-white Givenchy dress makes her look washed out and its wispy chiffon is at odds with her severe makeup and hairstyle.  The odd bodice is reminiscent of both a constrictive 1950’s undergarment and the Little Mermaid’s seashell bra.  By contrast, Kate’s peachy Elie Saab has more structural interest and a more flattering silhouette.

Category:  Most Dramatic

Sandra Bullock

As a red-carpet choice, Marchesa rarely disappoints, and this show-stopping creation is no exception.  Sandra brings the drama in this black-and-white gown with a plunging draped back, sweeping train and glittery sequin accents.

Category:  Pattern Do’s Vs. Pattern Don’ts

Jennifer Lopez and Natalie Portman

J-Lo, in striped Zuhair Murad, is the very model of a modern major diva.  The pattern draws attention to Jennifer’s curves and her updo is the perfect complement for a very pulled-together, sophisticated look.  On the other hand, Natalie Portman’s polka-dotted Dior looks too junior-prom for a red carpet event.  Her pretty hair and glamorous jewels are deserving of a more grown-up get-up.

Category:  Best Baroque

Jessica Chastain

Jessica’s beaded Alexander McQueen is as intricate as a medieval tapestry, and as beautiful.  Everything works here– the hair, the jewelry, the understated makeup, all offset the dress perfectly.  Love it.

Category:  Cutest

Octavia Spencer

Also rocking the stripes, Octavia is adorable in Tadashi Shoji.  The look is sparkly-sweet, and I love those earrings!   Octavia’s lovely upswept hair and happy smile make this picture worth a thousand words.

Category:  The Gold Medal

Stacy Keibler

Stacy’s red-carpet choices this season have given her the honor of MVP in the fashion department– best all-around for reliably looking fabulous.  This Marchesa stunner, with its single strap and swirled-rosette detailing, looks like liquid gold.  As always, she also wins the Arm Candy award for having the date that looks most at home in a tux.

Category:  Most Brilliant

Viola Davis

This is the most visually interesting Vera Wang dress I’ve ever seen.  The amazing vivid emerald green color, the tasteful yet dramatic beading, and the flowing, pleated train come together to make Viola look like some kind of beautiful nature goddess.  (“Goddess” has been her theme all awards season, but this is her best outing yet.)  Accessorized with bold jewels and natural hair, this look is nothing short of genius.

Category:  Best Old-School Hollywood Glam

Giuliana Rancic

Giuliana has become something of a heroine for me.  Rising from the Basil Soda-inflicted horror of her SAG Awards dress, she rated a Most Improved ranking at the Grammys and is now headlining her own category.  Her champagne Tony Ward dress is absolutely awesome.  Giuliana looks like a Hollywood legend of yore with the sequined mermaid styling, complete with a perfect chignon and understated jewelry.

Category:  The “Should Have Known Better” Award

Emma Stone

Emma, Emma, Emma.  What happened?  You were having a great awards season, and then, on the biggest night of the year, you choked.  Literally.  I mean, that ginormous bow looks like it’s choking the life out of you.  This Giambattista Valli gown has a weirdly 70’s vibe, and not in a good way.  Not to mention that you look like you’re having to crane your neck to see over the bow.  Thumbs down.  Fire your stylist.  I know you can do better, because you usually do, so I’m not giving you worst-dressed.  That dubious honor, of necessity, must go to…

Category:  Worst-Dressed

Sacha Baron Cohen

I’m really, really tired of Borat showing up everywhere looking stupid.  Dude, we are not laughing with you, we are laughing at you.  Your little media stunts, trying to draw attention to yourself, are just pathetic and lame.  You have no cultural relevance, and you look like an idiot.  Please go away.  And don’t forget to take your poofy beard and your Urn of Fail with you.

Category:  Best Dressed

Angelina Jolie

Angie has looked a little staid and uncomfortable on the red carpet this season, but this black velvet, slit-up-to-there Versace brings her back to sizzling life.  The asymmetric neckline and simple, clean lines of the dress combine with Angelina’s loose, unfussy hairstyle and effortless poise to easily claim red-carpet victory, and that million-dollar smile shows that she knows it.  Aspiring starlets, take note:  this is how it’s done.

Special Category:  The Fluffy Award

Ellie Kemper

The Fluffy Award is a special one, the dress I would have picked for myself, exemplifying my personal style.  Ellie’s Armani Prive gown is so very me.  The sequins shimmer with the colors of an autumn forest– all colors I rock like Amadeus.  While the dress has a slightly unforgiving silhouette, I think I could most definitely make it work.  The universally flattering sweetheart strapless bodice and lightly flared skirt make it something I would very much own.

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