Fetch or Wretch: The Oscars

Normally I just go straight into fashion commentary, but I have to say a few things about last night's Oscars: 

  1. After weeks (months, really) of depressing, upsetting news, this awards show was feel-good moment after feel-good moment. No sarcasm. 
  2. #oscarssowhite is officially a thing of the past. 
  3. Jimmy Kimmel did a fantastic job. 
  4. What happened with Best Picture? That was real crazy. 
  5. There were so many metallic dresses on the red carpet that my eyes started to bleed a little bit. 

Okay, let's get on with it. To be honest, the red carpet was not nearly as polarized it typically is, with a wide chasm between "fetch" and "wretch." Last night, it was more "fetch" and "less fetch," with a few bonus categories near the bottom.


Jessica Biel

I have minor quibbles with the dress (the distressed detailing on a metallic gown is weird to me), but overall, I think this is a knockout look. Jessica Biel usually doesn't strike the right chord when it comes to fashion-y things, but she has a killer face AND bod, so I always wonder how she manages to get it so wrong. Hair, makeup, everything - good job, girl. 

Emma Stone

I was on the fence about this until I saw her walk in it and figured out that the entire bottom half is fringe. I thought this was perfect for so many reasons: it fits her like a dream, the head styling is perfection, she's dressed like the award she eventually won, and she's doing it all while giving a nod to the old Hollywood glam of the movie she starred in. Get it. 

Janelle Monae

I mean, capital D A M N. I LOVE this dress so much. I love that she looks like a Roman gladiator space princess. I love that she is posing like her life depends on it. I love that she stayed true to her black and white style while adding just the slightest bit of metallic color. I love that it was the only "moment" on the red carpet last night, as everyone else's dress was #typical. Thank you, Janelle, for allllllll of this dress. 

Nicole Kidman

This almost doesn't work because it's exactly her skin tone, but this is another one that after I saw her move in it, I changed my opinion. A bold red lip was the way to go to make sure it didn't wash her out completely, and the dress itself is delicate and gorgeous. It wouldn't have killed me if she had a tiny bit of a tan, but as a fellow pale girl/vampire skin, I get it. 

Ruth Negga

Apparently this is unpopular, but I loved this look. First of all, the fit is gorgeous and Ruth has been wearing unusual gown after unusual gown this awards season, which I love. Secondly, the color offsets the ACLU ribbon placed prominently on her chest, which I'm sure isn't an accident. Love the hair, love the dark lip. 

The Rock

Blue *clap* velvet *clap* blazer. If THE ROCK can find a jacket (and by find, I obviously mean "have made") tailored to absolute perfection, then no man on this planet ever has an excuse for ill-fitting clothing again. Mmkay? Bye! 

Leslie Mann

People were hating hard on Leslie Mann for having a "Belle" moment, but...this is the Oscars?? This is the very place to have whatever "moment" you want. I think she looks fabulous and that this dress was made even more adorable when she was enthusiastically fan-girling over JT in the opening number.  

Viola Davis

BAM. That is all. 

Ava Duvernay

Not originally on my list, but the more I looked at this, the more I liked it. Lace is a huge trend that's been all over the runways at fashion week, and I really like this icy gray color. Not to mention it fits her perfectly. 

All right. Line up the poor souls who didn't quite nail it. 


Brie Larson

This made lots of people's Best Dressed lists, but I just can't. This isn't the best photo, but the dress has a huge flounce in front that kind of takes over when she walks. It looks like she's being slowly eaten by her dress. And if that's the case, she's gonna spend her last night on earth with really bad hair. If she was going for old Hollywood waves, then she should've brightened up the color or made the style more dramatic. As it is, she looks like she just got out of the pool and let it air dry. 

Octavia Spencer

This one was another source of major debate in my head. I LOVE Octavia Spencer (duh, who doesn't?), but this dress is just too...avian. The top is fine, neckline is pretty, but then you get to the bottom and it's just FEATHERS!!!! Or, if I'm being less generous, I'd say it looks like a pattern of bacteria slowly streaking across a petri dish. Color is great and she loved it which made it work on the red carpet, but...nope. 

Ryan Gosling's Shirt

For your convenience, I have blacked out his head, since, as we all know, it's impossible to look at Ryan Gosling and say anything bad about him. Just focus on the shirt. I get it, retro, blah blah blah, but...nah. The rest of the tux fits like a dream, so it's really a shame. Also, he's clenching that fist pretty hard...maybe he hates it, too? 

Taraji P. Henson

Man I really didn't mean to be dragging the stars of one of the best movies of the year, but...gotta keep on. Taraji is violating the old rule of "either boobs or legs, but not both." The whole thing just reads as tacky to me, and she normally nails it on the style front. Lately, though, her choices have looked so cheap and underwhelming. Did you get a new stylist, girl? Tell us the truth! We'll help you! The velvet was on point but the rest of this is too try-hard, which Taraji P. Henson certainly does NOT need to do. She's fabulous already - but this overtakes even her best "face."

Keith Urban's Highlights

Once again, for your convenience, I've removed Keith Urban's extremely likable face from the equation. Look at Nicole, and then look at that haircut next to her. You guys. Come on. WHEN is he going to get rid of the 90's chunky highlights and the mom mullet? This looks like what Kate Gosselin would've done had she been a musician. KEITH CAN YA HEAR ME? Time to move it along. "You'll Think Of Me" has taken on new meaning. I'll think of you, all right. Think of you haunting my nightmares with a head from 1994.

Naomie Harris

Yet another MAJOR internal struggle for me, so I'll just tell you what I loved and hated about it. I loved the color, the material (sequins), the head styling, and the jewelry. Didn't love the shoes or the fact that the bralette being separate from the skirt really skews her proportions in an unflattering way. It almost looks like the top is too small, even though it isn't - it's just tricks of the eye because the bottom half is so heavy relative to the top. This looks like a pageant dress to me, not an Oscar gown. 

Alicia Vikander's Spray Tan (and dress) 

What, what, what are you doing. First of all, the dress is bad. I am opposed, 100% of the time, to a pickup skirt or a tiered skirt. I HATE them. I think it's such a lazy design element and it looks really dated. That being said, WHAT IS GOING ON WHY IS SHE SO ORANGE. And if you don't think she looks that bad...



Charlize Theron

I may be in the minority here, but I hated this. Earrings were amazing, but the dress gave her a pin head. 

Kelly Ripa

...giant butterflies have landed on her dress. Need we carry on? 

Now for a little extra fun! 

Who wore it best? 

Michelle Williams v. Emma Roberts:

TBH I'm not wild about either of these dresses. Emma Roberts' neckline is super wide and I don't love that, but the details on that gown just beat her competitor. I love the lace detailing in the bodice. Michelle Williams' gown just looks a bit frumpy to me, especially when she usually tailors and fits her gowns within an inch of their lives. Disappointing, especially for someone nominated in a major category. 

Ruth Negga v. Ginnifer Goodwin

I don't even think this is a contest. Ginnifer Goodwin's gown is too "prairie." Also yikes, showing up to an awards show in essentially a worse version of the dress a major category nominee is wearing. 

Special commentary:

Halle Berry

That dress is a mess. That hair is fabulous. But THE BITCH. DOESN'T. AGE. Halle, please lead us to the fountain of youth. 

Dakota Johnson

If she had done without that weird front seashell-shaped panel (try saying that three times fast), it would've been a 10. Well...and if she'd steamed it, it would've been a 10. 

Hailee Steinfeld

Everybody's freaking out over this and I just don't care. Is that mean? It's just like...translucent grandma bedsheets. 

Isabelle Huppert

Girl, I GUESS so. 

Meryl Streep

She didn't wear her granny glasses on the red carpet, so that's about all we can ask. It's Mother of the Bride in every way, but it's also #meryl. Who got a standing ovation in the first 10 minutes of the show for no real reason. Because YES.