I thought this year's Oscars was one of the funniest and most entertaining in recent memory. Kudos to Ellen DeGeneres for keeping me laughing well past her opening bit, and to the organizers for clearly making comedy a priority for the presenters, if not for the nominations. But of course the real show was before the ceremony itself, on the red carpet. Here are some highlights.
Winning Ladies: Helen Mirren won for Best Actress and Jennifer Hudson fulfilled everyone's Cinderella fantasies by winning for Best Supporting Actress. They both looked radiant. Mirren's gown by Christian Lacroix looked at once girlish and mature. Hudson's little jacket provided some flattering sparkle around her face, but I was glad to see that she took it off when she got inside. My favorite part about her Oscar de la Renta gown is the pockets! Both Mirren and Hudson looked elegant, comfortable, and pleased as punch to be there. I can't understand why there has been so much bad press about Hudson's outfit, or why she herself as renounced it.
Trains: Small trains were all over the red carpet. I like the cut and color of Gwenyth Paltrow's gown by Zac Posen (who also dressed Portia di Rossi, quite a coup for the young designer) but definitely don't like her unnaturally parted and iron-straight hair. Jodie Foster's dress by Vera Wang perfectly matched her eyes, but the real reason I have this picture up is to see Elisabeth Shue in the background! Her husband, Davis Guggenheim, won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for directing An Inconvenient Truth.
And more trains: A few ladies made even bigger statements with even bigger trains, and you've got to give them props for going all out. Penélope Cruz won the biggest dress of the night contest with a gown by Atelier Versace. I have to admit I like its ruffles, especially combined with the drop waist. Reese Witherspoon wore Nina Ricci by Olivier Theyskens. It looked much darker and vampier on TV, and certainly made the most of her petite figure.
The Two C/Kates: These two can't really go wrong anymore. Cate Blanchett was stunning in Armani Privé. Kate Winslet's Valentino Couture, combining a simple style with an unusual color (although Beyoncé also wore mint green), was actually one of the best gowns of the evening. The one-shoulder look was back in full force this year, and I can see why. It gives body-hugging sheaths like these a classical, more statuesque quality.
Men in Black: Daniel Craig looked straight out of Casino Royale in his tux. His companion, Satsuki Mitchell, looks wonderful in a dress of unknown origins. I love the combination of subtle shimmer and looser drapery. And I love, love, love that Alejandro González Iñárritu wore a black scarf so nonchalantly over his tux.
What was your favorite outfit of the evening? Post a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org