The Oscar’s red carpet was filled with statement necklaces, bold colors, dresses decorated with an arsenal of embellishments, and a surprisingly natural makeup palette. For some, the resulting look was flawless. For others, well, their ensembles didn’t come together quite so effortlessly.
7. Naomi Watts
This racerback Armani number is edgy, unexpected, and simply unforgettable. The printed silk features sequin details that give it a textured appearance, creating photographic gold. And hints of icy blue on a silhouette that dips low at the sides and back are an original element. Naomi’s disheleved hair and dark lip complete the impeccable styling.
6. Cate Blanchett
The Maison Margiela gown is constructed in heavy, cascading velvet with frayed sleeves — two qualities that you wouldn’t normally think of pairing together. But when topped off by a bright turquoise Tiffany & Co. necklace in the same hue as Cate’s eye color, there’s no denying its elegance. She may be toning it down from her past red carpet looks, but she’s succeeding now more than ever.
5. Chloe Grace Moretz
It’s always refreshing to see an 18-year-old rising star dressing her age, especially when it’s a floral strapless Miu Miu dress (complete with pockets!). That stripe of shimmery silk, the fitted bodice and structured pleats make for a young, beautiful silhouette. Not to mention, her natural hair pairs perfectly with how comfortable she seems strutting around the red carpet.
4. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer stuns in this nude, fitted, semi-sheer Versace gown. This is one case where embellishments worked in her favor. It features elaborate sequin detailing stitched across the bodice with a single sheer strap on her right shoulder, and heavy chain-link on the skirt featuring one knee-high split. Her hair requires no extra maintenance as it flows beautifully across her shoulders.
3. Margot Robbie
This plunging Saint Laurent gown with waterfall draping and rarely-seen, rarely-achieved long sleeves is a picture of elegance. This Van Cleef & Arpels necklace made in the 1930s for the Duchess of Windsor is the statement jewelry piece of the night. And did we mention her hair and makeup? On point. Her blunt bob with a deep side-part styled with a matte red lip and brushed-up brows. Just, yes.
2. Reese Witherspoon
Reese floats across the carpet in this off-the-shoulder Tom Ford gown. The silhouette is more retro than modern, but somehow it looks original. Paired with sparkling, diamond cluster stud earrings and a diamond bracelet, the styling is classic elegance at its best. Topped off by no-fuss hair and neutral makeup, her dress completely takes center stage.
1. Rosamund Pike
Donning red head-to-toe is a daring feat, but the Gone Girl star’s risks paid off in this Givenchy gown. Textured red fabric with a touch of lighter red around the waist gives her an hourglass shape, and red pumps paired with a muted lip culminate into a stylist’s dream. The curved, scalloped neckline and thigh-high split are final details that complete the ensemble. We’re in awe. Even though she didn’t win in the Best Actress category, she slayed Best Dressed and we don’t think this is the last we’ll see of her at the Academy Awards.
5. Jessica Chastain
This Givenchy couture gown feels like two dresses fighting for attention. One is a sparkly bodycon hiding under the other, a drapy (cape-y) number. Don’t even get us started on the statement necklace gone wrong. Although we are a fan of the natural hair and makeup, and the deep midnight blue color, it’s not enough to save this gown.
4. Julianne Moore
Here’s our unpopular opinion of the night. Most people loved the traditionally elegant, uncontroversial gown, but it’s the lack of risk and overindulgence in embellishments that struck a sour note. Chanel can typically do no wrong, but the pearl trend of the night was better showcased on Lupita Nyong’o, for example.
3. Felicity Jones
Felicity looks like a modern-day Cinderella with a warrior neckline, which doesn’t quite work as well as it sounds like it would. The Alexander McQueen dress is beautiful when analyzed in pieces, but there is no fluidity from head-to-toe. Basically, it’s a nice idea, but somewhere, the execution went wrong.
2. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth looks more likely to have missed the limo for her bridesmaid appearance than the Academy Awards red carpet. The Ralph & Russo gown is a pretty pale pink, but the one-sleeve silhouette is overdone and the shoulder flower looks glued-on and feels out of place.
1. Nicole Kidman
This holographic Louis Vuitton dress has so much potential, but falls flat when all the elements are combined. Between the red belt, jagged hem, and mismatched accessories, it’s a toss-up for most fatal flaw. We might be a fan if some of these factors didn’t exist, but that’s a big if.