Apparently, the Super Bowl is a big deal. Now, I do the parties, the cheering and eating and screaming, but, honestly, the outcome of the Super Bowl has no effect on my life whatsoever.
And apparently, the NBA’s Finals are also a big deal. Again, I’m a good sport — but a good sport who doesn’t lose sleep over the results of Game 10 or whatever it is.
The Academy Awards, on the other hand — now that’s the equivalent of the Super Bowl for me. When presenters are on stage, I bite my nails, I scream and shout, and I close my eyes because I can’t watch what happens next.
And if the Oscars are my Super Bowl, then the red carpet preshow is my version of the very best pregame possible.
Oscar fashion is in a class in and of itself. I remember the Golden Globes a couple of years ago: Lea Michele, one of the most fashionable and gorgeous gals in Hollywood right now, rocked a black Oscar de la Renta with a train to die for. Yes, she looked gorgeous, but all anyone could really say was, “Homegirl, this isn’t the Oscars — stop trying to add the drama.”
The Oscars are the big leagues: It’s where you pull out the big guns. If you’re nominated, it’s the night that you could walk away with one of the biggest honors on the planet, and what you wear while accepting is often even more important than the award itself. Sure, Gwyneth Paltrow won the best actress award in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love, but all anyone could think about was that too-loose pink Ralph Lauren confection (and her too-tight ballerina bun.)
So, the pressure was on at this year’s ceremony. In the age of social media and celebrity obsession, a star could think that she was rocking her black gown but end up as the laughingstock of the Twitterverse (RIP Angelina Jolie’s right leg).
Thankfully, nominees and guests alike turned up the glamour and brought the golden age of Hollywood style back to life.
The theme of the night was simple with a funky twist. Best actress winner — and new face of Dior — Jennifer Lawrence (who I will now only refer to as J. Law, just because it’s awesome) rocked a mermaid/ballgown-ish off-white confection from Dior Haute Couture. Stunning is probably the understatement of the year. J. Law’s dress made up for some misses earlier in her awards season run, and with a simple necklace draped down her back instead of the front, J. Law proved that there’s always beauty in the unexpected.
Jessica Chastain, a best actress nominee, decided that bombshell was the way to go. Dressed in a slinky Armani Privé gown, the color perfectly complimented her porcelain skin. Another best actress nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis, looked adorably age-appropriate in a blue satin dress and sash and the cutest puppy purse anyone has ever seen.
Though she wasn’t a nominee, Charlize Theron decided that she wasn’t about to miss out on the show. The previous winner looked like the coolest, most badass angel there ever was in a Dior Haute Couture column dress with architectural cutouts and a perfectly coiffed pixie cut.
Other stars such as Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon and Amy Adams, also rocked their frocks, but let’s be real — it’s hard to show up a puppy purse and a nine-year-old nominee who flexes her muscles whenever the camera is on her.
Unfortunately, not everyone could follow J. Law’s lead. Though she used to kill it on the red carpet, best supporting actress winner Anne Hathaway made me gasp for air — in a bad way — with her ill-fitting white Prada number and tacky necklace. Anne reportedly told Ryan Seacrest that she found her dress mere hours before the ceremony — and it shows. Next time you win an Oscar, Anne, please dress like the winner you are.
Salma Hayek decided to attend the awards ceremony as her alter ego, the Queen of the Medieval Goth Vampires. Salma is known for being a bombshell, but apparently she decided that a tiara and bondage-like neckline was more appropriate for the evening.
And Kristen Stewart — well, what can I say about Kristen Stewart? Sometimes she nails it, but most of the time she looks like she wants to throw up. If you’re so uncomfortable at these things, then stay home. It’s not enjoyable for us viewers to watch you parade around in poorly fitted clothes and unkempt hair.
Yes, there were some weak points, but all in all, the red carpet at this year’s Oscars was one that dropped jaws. For every Hathaway, there was a Chastain to pick up the pieces. Here’s hoping that next year’s batch of stars will remember that this isn’t an ordinary night: You’ve got to step up your game.
Sheridan Watson is a junior majoring in critical studies. Her column “A Stitch In Time” runs Tuesdays.