The lustrous red carpet is where months of panicked teamwork manifests, in some cases, into beauty. Behind every look is an exhausted crew, whose weeks leading up to the event were filled with toxic group messages, shamefully extensive Starbucks orders and buckets of eye cream.
As outsiders, we see carefully manicured celebrities with forced smiles and stiff poses, but in order to achieve (“achieve”) this, tears had to be shed by the gallon—lives had to be ruined by the dozen. When a star is criticized for their look, it’s catastrophic; when a star is praised, it’s monumental.
Maybe this is just a little dramatic—none of this is really that big of a deal at all, but we’ve pooled together a selection of starlets that wore expensive things to the 2016 Oscars to provide fashionable commentary (because that’s what we’re passively expected to do the day after). Keep scrolling to see Carol actress Rooney Mara look vampiric in Givenchy and “Til It Happens To You” singer Lady Gaga stun in sophisticated Brandon Maxwell.
I think maybe Amy was trying to flirt with the ’70s nostalgia, Alessandro Michele for Gucci trend, but this feels so wrong. The black’s too heavy and the sequin decorations overzealous. Plus, that block-like bang feels very middle school Myspace scene Queen.
The bottom of this Louis Vuitton dress reminds me of foam insulation, or maybe gently whipped butter. That’s all.
Rooney’s my pick for best dressed, wearing stunning lace Givenchy and vampiric makeup. She’s totally the girl I wanted to befriend (or really just be) all my life—the girl whose Spotify playlists I secretly stream, whose Instagram I religiously stalk. 2016 is all about bloodsucking glamour, but in a totally subtle way.
Olivia looks nice in Valentino Haute Couture. Olivia looks expensive in Valentino Haute Couture. Olivia looks famous in Valentino Haute Couture.
Sophie looks like the girl at the club who knows every coke dealer in the city—the one who’s always completely wasted, but somehow keeps her composure and most definitely has a trust fund. Really, though, I’m a fan of this minimal ’90s-inspired custom Galvan gown.
Jennifer’s peroxide bob makes her look like that bratty, popular girl everyone hated in high school, and this dress is just too much—a reach at couture dramatics, while falling closer to something from an Evanescence music video.
Everyone’s hating on Heidi’s lilac tulle gown today, but I’m just thankful she decided to wear something different than everyone else on the red carpet. It’s signature Marchesa: wonderfully whimsical and fairly-like. If we’re editing, I could’ve definitely lived without the billowing sleeve.
These jewel tones look incredible against Naomi’s fair skin, but the whole strapless, sequin evening gown thing—especially when it’s Armani Privé, like this one—is a pretty snoozy standard. She looks like a moneyed housewife, who trades time with her kids for nightly cocktail parties on the Upper East Side.
While I’m forever nostalgic for the days when Gaga’s arrival on the red carpet meant an inspired surprise, there’s no denying she looks beautiful in this sculpted Brandon Maxwell piece. I love that he’s become her righthand designer, always nailing these classic silhouettes with thoughtful subtleties.
Prada gown, Niwaka Jewelry, Sophia Webster Shoes and a Judith Leiber clutch—nothing too thrilling about this, but Emily looks undeniably flawless. And she’s pregnant.
The simplicity of this is really strong, especially in such a bold orange. There needed to be something to soften Olivia’s Stella McCartney look, though—the equally graphic bracelet, slicked-down hair and matching tangerine lips make everything too one-note, too forced.
I’ve always thought strapless gowns look like bath towels wrapped around the body and Kate’s Ralph Lauren look only reinforces my belief. This is made from that weird, shiny fabric you find all over Rent the Runway, which in photos looks almost like latex. If only this was actually latex.