The Oscars 2014 – Cherwell’s Best Dressed

Naturally, the whole of the fashion industry was watching with beady eyes; would Jennifer Lawrence wear Dior, would Lupita Nyong’o look as stunning as we all imagined, would there be any dress disasters and fashion faux pas? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding YES! Jennifer Lawrence not only wore Dior again, but she FELL in Dior AGAIN. Lupita wowed us in powder blue, a look completely different to her fiery red Golden Globes look. The zip of presenter Giuliana Rancic’s dress broke live on air and tacky satin seemed to make an unwelcome come back…

Monochrome seemed to rule the carpet, with what felt like half the stars wearing black and the other half wearing nude. Slightly disappointing, but it meant all eyes were on Jennifer Lawrence’s Jessica Rabbit-esque look. Here, we take a look at all the dresses worth seeing (and some you probably wish you hadn’t), from both the red carpet and the Vanity Fair After Party. 

The Lady in Red. One of the ONLY brightly coloured dresses this year (how disappointing!). Whoever said you couldn’t wear red on the red carpet will be eating their words as Jennifer Lawrence looks every bit the Hollywood Siren in this Dior Couture gown, reminiscent of her famous Calvin Klein look from the Oscars in 2011. She also took inspiration from last year, not only by falling again (yes, really!), but also with the necklace draped down her back. Could this be her way of confirming the rumours that she is taking a break from Hollywood, by going full circle and tying everything up? She’s a smart gal so who knows! 

And the winner is… Lupita Nyong’o looks sensational in this powder blue Prada gown and Fred Leighton headband. Will the headband be making a comeback after this look?! Blair Waldorf, eat your heart out.

Cate Blanchett certainly won the war between the ladies in nude this year. No surprise that she was wearing Armani Privé, following her fragrance contract, but she pulls off this beautifully detailed dress perfectly. The Chopard diamonds help a bit too!

Hmm… Am I allowed to say Ange looks… frumpy?! WHERE’S THAT LEG GONE?! Bring it back!!! This dress needs some serious sass. OK the sheer detailing is very pretty and subtly sexy, and I am not usually one for telling women to get their legs or boobs out, but this is just too heavy and old on her. Her phenomenal figure is swamped. No doubt, this Elie Saab gown is b-e-a-u-t-iful, but just not on Ange.

Portia de Rossi has got the balance just right with her hair and the neckline of that beautiful Naeem Khan dress.

Calvin Klein is a red carpet favourite and Naomi Watts has picked a lovely dress here. BUT, she really needed to take Coco Chanel’s advice and take one accessory off before she left her hotel room… Necklace, bracelet AND metallic clutch. #Overkill

Speaking of Chanel, Jessica Biel’s dress is so chic and elegant, if not a little safe. Nevertheless, a timeless classic, topped off with Tiffany jewels. Oh-so-Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s!

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Kristen Bell looks like she’s about to get married in her Roberto Cavalli dress. Still, the dress is one of the most flattering I spotted on the carpet and yet another timeless classic. I always say there are only two places you can get away with a train: at your wedding and at the Oscars. So, why not?

The Cape Returns. Well, it never really went away; what was once a strange dress worn by Gwyneth Paltrow is now a red carpet regular. Still, I’m reserving judgement because I don’t think a cape has a place on anyone except Batman. The Atelier Versace dress does make Kate Hudson look fierce, though.

I think Penelope has been swapping notes with Ange: ‘How to lose one’s status as Yummy Mummy”. As pretty as her Giambattista Valli gown is (and her Chopard jewels, swooooon!), it’s not as flattering as some of her other Red Carpet looks. But nice hair.

Jenny Packham knows how to design a dress. Wow, this 1920s style gown is sheer perfection (no pun intended). Julie Delpy looks incredible; perfect hair and perfect make up top off her perfect dress. No wonder the Duchess is a fan!

Before the zip on this Paolo Sebastian dress broke…! As much as I love Giuliana Rancic , this dress just doesn’t suit her. It swallows up her tiny frame. The top half looks amazing, but there is too much fabric at the bottom. Beautiful colour though.

I actually cannot fault Kelly Osbourne’s look in this Badgley Mischka gown. Absolutely flawless. Not a bad word to say.

Didn’t think I would be saying this about an Oscar de la Renta gown, but meh, it’s OK. I think this is one of the dresses that would look stunning in real life but just doesn’t photograph very well. However, Jennifer Garner’s hair and make up are perfect.

Meryl and Lanvin was always going to be a winning combination. Classy, elegant, *ahem* age-appropriate. She looks beautiful and timeless, and just because she can work colour doesn’t mean she has to wear bright dresses all the time.

Well, it’s considerably better than that hideous Prada creation she wore last year. No nipples poking out this time! It’s a bit too straight on her though; not the most flattering dress. But, nonetheless, an improvement.

Is that a smile from Emma Watson?! We really are at a special event! Sorry, just kidding, I think she looks beautiful. Her figure looks beyond incredible in Vera Wang and the red lip tops it off to perfection. Lovely!

Not quite sure what to make of this. Anna Kendrick looks undoubtedly cool in her backless J Mendel gown, and the red gives it something special, but I really don’t like that extra fabric around her hips. Why do designers insist on doing that?!

Here we go, a black dress with a huuuuge impact. I love this Dior Couture gown on Charlize Theron. She looks like a sexy, fashionable villain! She certainly seemed to have all the power wearing a whopping $15 million of Harry Winston diamonds! (Yes, really)

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I preferred Margot Robbie blonde. Just saying. Her make up looks fierce, but her Saint Laurent dress is kind of proving the brand “ain’t nothing without Yves”. Zzzz, boring!

AMAAAAAZING. Julia Roberts has redeemed herself after her slightly strange Golden Globes look. Her Givenchy Couture by Ricardo Tisci gown is incredible on her. Sexy but elegant, daring but refined. Love, love, love!!!

Playing it a little safe in a Valentino Couture black gown, Olivia Wilde still looks radiant and proud of her baby bump. Jimmy Choo clutch and Lorraine Schwartz jewels top off her simple look.

Bespoke Vera Wang was always going to fit Idina Menzel to perfection, and it has not disappointed. The architecture of that dress is sensational. Something is not quite right though; her hair is too straight and the necklace is making her look a bit too ‘princess-y’. If it’s possible to look too much like a princess, that is.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. WHAT was Viola Davis thinking in this Escada dress?! Horrific colour, horrific fabric and horrifically unflattering. I’m certainly not green with envy. (Wouldn’t mind the Jimmy Choo clutch and Lorraine Schwartz jewels though…!)

OK so June Squibb looks cute in her Tadashi Shoji gown. It’s a good colour on her, and with her winning smile she could wear anything. Good for her!

We can always count on Louise Roe to save the day. Her Pronovias gown is beautiful and her hair complements the flow of the fabric perfectly. Fnished off with Jimmy Choo shoes (he’s done well this award’s season, hasn’t he?!) and Chopard jewellery, what more could you want?

The official train wreck of the night goes to Liza Minnelli. Matching your hair to your dress is never a good look, especially not when it’s electric blue. I have no words. Carrie Bradshaw would be wishing she’d never worn Halston if she saw this.

Oh I looooove her! Amy Adams is such a pro at red carpet dressing, and this Gucci Première dress is no exception. Those Tiffany earrings are exquisite and just show how less is often more. 

Another lady in navy: Sandra Bullock’s Alexander McQueen dress is opulence at its best, and fits her perfectly. She looks regal. Her hair is beautiful and I’m so glad she hasn’t over accessorised!

I think I was always going to be disappointed with Kerry Washington’s Oscar look after her incredible Balenciaga dress at the Golden Globes. The draping and colour of this Jason Wu dress are pretty, but the fabric looks… dare I say it… cheap. Great hair and make up though!

 

But what about the after party?

 

Jennifer Lawrence in Tom Ford.

Kate Beckinsale in Elie Saab Couture. 

Karolina Kurkova in Elie Saab.

Kate Hudson in Zuhair Murad.

Diane Kruger in Valentino Couture.

Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab Couture.

Taylor Swift in Julien MacDonald.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Cushie et Ochs.