Editor’s Note: Fashion Walk-Off is one in a series of articles written in collaboration by the image staff. Fashion reporter Xazmin Garza and image editor Susan Stapleton take a look at the fashions worn by celebrities and offer their opinions.
The red carpet event of the year has now come and gone. The 80th Annual Academy Awards brought a slew of "safe dresses" — safe color and fit, boring effect — but a few risk takers came out to play, too. The undeniable favored colored of the evening was red. Miley Cyrus, Ruby Dee, Anne Hathaway, Katherine Heigl, Heidi Klum and Helen Mirren all donned a different shade.
Other surprises included long diamond necklaces, which Keri Russell and Nicole Kidman both sported, and underdone hair. Cameron Diaz, Ellen Paige and Saoirse Ronan all went with very casual, non-formal hairdos.
Take a look at our picks for best and worst dressed at this year’s Oscars.
• Anne Hathaway: She made up for that atrocious white strapless Valentino gown with the big black bow that she wore last year with this Marchesa red asymmetrical gown. The little rosettes added a sweet touch, and her lipstick matched perfectly without overwhelming. Kudos to Hathaway for her graceful fashion recovery.
• Hilary Swank: So many black dresses on the red carpet almost made me take a nap. Boring. But Swank found a black gown that actually made her stand out from the others. The asymmetrical Versace gown fit her exquisitely, and the beaded flower details gave the dress a lot of personality.
• Marion Cotillard: I didn’t think this French beauty could top her SAG Awards Chanel gown, which made my best dressed list last month, but this white scalloped Jean Paul Gaultier mermaid gown made my jaw drop. I still have chills thinking about it. The dress was just the cherry on top for this best actress winner.
• Katherine Heigl: If Heigl’s dress could talk it would say — in a deep, breathy, voice — "This is how the Oscars is done, you fools." The starlet is one of the few celebrities whose entire look encompassed high glamour. Her retro curls and rosy cheeks radiated allure, but the Escada column gown in a screaming shade of red was made of the kind of stuff that inspires goose bumps and stomach flutters. The good kind.
• Helen Mirren: Does she ever stop stealing the show? Mirren was nothing short of regal in this Georges Chakra duchess satin gown with Swarovski crystal sleeves. Why can’t this stunner make a cameo on every red carpet? If Lisa Rinna turns poses at the Oscars, there’s no reason Helen Mirren can’t crash the VMAs.
• Jennifer Garner: Garner gives good dress. I don’t know if it’s the sculpted biceps or the charming dimples but she’s got that special something that puts a knuckle-biting oomph into every gown she slips on. Her black Oscar de la Renta number with ruffle hem detail proved no exception.
• Jennifer Garner: I don’t like the way Rachel Zoe styles her clients, including Garner, whom she styled for the Oscars. There, as a fashion editor, I said it. Poor Garner looked like she was wearing an uncomfortable uniform in this Oscar de la Renta gown. She would have looked better in a jersey knit dress that showed off her figure instead of such a boring, frumpy dress that smashed her breasts.
• Tilda Swinton: It may have been Lanvin, but Swinton’s black gown (can I really call it a gown?) reminded me more of the toga party scene in "Animal House." I don’t care if Randolph Duke called her "fashion forward;" when you look bad, you look bad, not avante garde. And she looked bad.
• Daniel Day-Lewis and Rebecca Miller: Remember the brown Col. Sanders suit that Joe Pesci wore in "My Cousin Vinny" when his dry cleaned suit landed in the mud? It doesn’t belong at the Academy Awards, Daniel. I don’t care if you did win best actor. The brown Hush Puppies just show how little you care. And Rebecca Miller? Wow. Enormous bedazzled stones down the front, bright red bows just in case you can’t see the dress on the red carpet. A little brocade on the bottom for good measure. And since those accoutrements weren’t hideous enough, she wore gingham shoes. Yikes.
• Jennifer Hudson: Smothered breasts with a side of back fat. Hudson’s Oscar record is officially 0 for 2.
• Diablo Cody: The former stripper’s slit was so high she nearly gave us a free show when she accepted her Oscar for best original screenplay. Some habits are hard to break.
• Julie Christie: On its own, the dress she helped design works. It’s the oven mitts I don’t understand.
Contact fashion reporter Xazmin Garza at email@example.com or 702-383-0477. Contact Image Editor Susan Stapleton at sstapleton@reviewjournal. com or 702-387-2909.