The Oscars 2015: Red carpet

I think I have the Oscars all wrong. Yes, they’re the pinnacle of awards season, the big ones that finally tell us who is truly the winner of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress et al.

But, if the past couple of years is anything to go by the Oscars are not the climax of the red carpet.

In my imagination as a celebrity I would pick three dresses each one better than the other, a risky but amazing look for the Golden Globes, something outstanding but edgy for the SAGs, then the absolute jaw dropper for the Oscars.

I fear this is not really how it works and obviously the women who are walking the red carpet to attend these events pick the look they feel happy and sexy in for that night. They all look beautiful in their own way and are really dressing for themselves and not for the media to pick them apart.

This was brought up by Reese Witherspoon this year with her social media campaign to #AskHerMore. She felt that actresses were being reduced to just clothes horses in pretty dresses and wanted to be asked questions about what they had achieved in their careers for which they were at the awards for.

For the record, I am totally on board with this. Why should women only get asked about what they are wearing yet men get asked about their craft and how they achieved success?

The thing is, as many pointed out on Twitter when Reese pretty much skipped the interviewers on the red carpet, those dresses they are wearing are given to them for free. In exchange for a dress, sometimes custom-made for that attendee if you’re a big enough star, designers who put in the hard work creating something special and unique expect a credit.

So yes, #AskHerMore but also ask her who the 25 people were that spent 987 hours (that’s 41 solid days!) creating a custom Chanel gown for Julianne Moore.

For this year’s red carpet, I didn’t really feel there was a clear standout. There are only two dresses that I measure my WOW moments on and incidentally they are both red (but I’m not opposed to yellow…)  – Nina Dobrev in her red Donna Karan Atelier dress from the 2011 Emmys and Lupita Nyong’o‘s red-caped Ralph Lauren that she wore to the 2014 Golden Globes.

So, if no dress matches the reaction I had to seeing both these dresses (gasps, slight screams and applause) then I’m not going to award you my top spot.

Oscars best dressed 2

The excitement was palpable on Twitter when Lupita Nyong’o appeared on the red carpet, she was returning as an Oscar winner and she oozed beauty and glamour in her pearl-adorned Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection gown. Some said she was wearing all of her Grandma’s pearls, I think she rocked something unusual, modern and unique.

I hate reading this and also the amount of times it was said on E! etc but Rosamund Pike just had a baby and her body looked amazing. That red lace Givenchy flattered in all the right places, and her beauty game was absolutely on point.

Another woman who has just had not one, but two babies, was the only one of the whole night I actually did go WOW. As much as I am trying to stay away from judging skinny actresses, I personally thought Zoe Saldana was a tad too on the skinny side, so her pregnancy has given her boobs and curves and she still looks as gorgeous and fills out that Atelier Versace to perfection.

Oscars best dressed 3Emma Stone arrived at possibly the last minute. She was the one I wanted to see the most because she has worn so many different styles throughout awards season she was guaranteed to pick something unlike anyone else. It was difficult to work out the colour of her Elie Saab gown at first, some say gold some say green, but there’s a name for that and it is chartreuse. I loved this gown and in all honesty I would never pick this colour, but with her hair it’s a match made in heaven.

I was wondering how many times Jennifer Lopez has been to the Oscars, she even said on the red carpet it was too many times to remember. You can always count on Jenny from the Block to go big and normally its in skintight Zuhair Murad with lots of boobage and leg. But this year she went all princess on us in a blush Elie Saab Couture dress adorned with encrusted jewels and beads, with just a little boobage.

Dakota Johnson has been holding out on us for like, ever. She’s just finished her press tour for Fifty Shades of Grey and throughout that I felt a little bored by her picks, but then she appeared on the Oscars red carpet looking like that! Her Saint Laurent column gown is pretty simple but that one shoulder silver snake-like strap elevated the look to a whole other level. I do still have an issue with that hair though, the fringe is still a little meh.

Oscars best dressed 4I loved how simple Reese Witherspoon’s Tom Ford dress was. The black off-the-shoulder strap and matching black sash against the dove grey colour was chic and glamourous.

Jennifer Aniston didn’t wear black, but she wore her other failsafe colour – nude. I’ll give her the sparkles and the pattern of her Atelier Versace dress of course showcased her yoga-toned body, but it’s what we’ve seen before from JenAn and I like it but I don’t love it.

I don’t think Gwyneth got enough love for this Ralph & Russo creation. The designers who often dress Angelina Jolie are so talented, the creations they have sent down their couture runway are breathtaking. I agree that this isn’t Gwyneth’s best look, and some seem to be put off by the floral applique on the shoulder but I still like it.

Oscars best dressed 1

Anna Faris is another great plus one, often going unnoticed in her dress choices, she looked every inch the princess to her superhero Chris Pratt in Zuhair Murad. This is how you do Zuhair with sparkles and no leg slits and boobage…

Ahem Chrissy Teigen. She’s like the JLo of her time and she can easily get away with doing the double boob and legs on the Osars red carpet. She was plus one to Oscar winner John Legend after all.

Selma actress Carmen Ejogo kept it simple in her Houghton bejwelled dress which I adored. The hair, the dark lip and that necklace make this the perfect modern take on Old Hollywood beauty.

Do you agree with my picks? Do you think I missed anyone off my list? Let me know!

You can see the best of the rest from Awards Season 2015 over on my Pinterest board

Images from Zimbio

My Best Dressed Celebrities: 2014

Last year I had the foresight to create a Pinterest board, starting in January to keep track of all the amazing looks that would hit the red carpets throughout awards season, Cannes, the MET Gala and the numerous film premieres and press tours and make my life easier when it came to my compile my annual list.

It’s my favourite part of the year because it’s a treat to be reminded of all those epic dresses that were debuted and some of them I had forgotten about. It was clear early on who would definitely earn themselves a spot high on my list (*ahem Lupita*) but also those looks that still deserve a mention despite not making it on to my list.

Jessica Chastain’s stunning electric blue Atelier Versace and lilac Elie Saab gowns, Amal Alamuddin Clooney’s whole wedding weekend, Lily Collins’ Elie Saab at the Rome Film Festival and Emily Blunt’s vivid red Prada at her New York film premiere for Edge of Tomorrow and Elizabeth Banks’ breathtaking Elie Saab confection from the London premiere of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Also who could possibly forget Kim Kardashian West’s Givenchy wedding dress and Angelina Jolie’s unique Atelier Versace wedding dress.

10. Diane Kruger

Always one to push the envelope with different silhouettes, hair, accessories, colour and beauty, Diane Kruger is a rare celebrity in that she can never look bad.

I’ve been a massive fan of the actress for years now, and of course being one half of a beautiful couple always does favours. She has the best accessory around in her long-term partner Josh Jackson and is always radiant on the red carpet.

My favourite look from Diane this year was her black and floral embellished Elie Saab gown that she wore to the Critics’ Choice Television Awards in June. I had this on my wish list for the red carpet when I saw it float down the runway and I was more than happy to see my favourite style icon wear it. Other fabulous looks include her Valentino Couture dress from the Vanity Fair Oscars party and a beautiful velvet Preen ball gown she wore to Sean Penn’s Help for Haiti annual ‘do.

Diane Kruger collage 1 Diane Kruger collage 2

9. Taylor Swift

I have had a strange love affair with Taylor Swift this year. It wasn’t long ago I was professing my absolute hatred at how annoying the starlet was, but then the songstress gave herself a total makeover and I fell a little bit in love.

A couple of things happened to Taylor this year, she chopped off her hair released a brand new album and a major style turning point came in April when she wore that black and white J.Mendel gown to the American Country Music Awards instead of her usuall glittery sequined outfits. The haircut is still a little twee, but it has a hint of BFF supermodel Karlie Kloss about it and was a nice refresh. I cannot tell you how jealous I am of her gravity-defying side-swept fringe, if only.

Taylor Swift is one hellishly busy lady so it was near impossible to include every look she’s ever worn just this year alone because she treats the pavement like her catwalk too and dishes out plenty of high end designers amongst high street brands like ASOS and Topshop.

One of my favourite looks from Taylor came at the American Music Awards where she wore a custom turquoise Michael Kors column dress tied definitely with her super-sexy Zuhair Murad look for the Victoria’s Secret after party.

Taylor Swift collage 3 Taylor Swift collage 2 Taylor Swift collage 1

8. Kate Hudson

Kate is always a feature in my lists, she doesn’t hit every red carpet going but when she’s on one you definitely know it because she will be easily the best dressed there.

The actress hit a home run early on in 2014 at The Oscars where she turned up in a jaw-dropping Atelier Versace gown that topped my looks of the evening. She then didn’t stop there but arrived at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party in a black Zuhair Murad gown that was equally as beautiful.

My favourite look from Kate, apart from her Oscars gown of course, was her purple Stella McCartney dress that she wore to the Baby2Baby Gala in November. Showcasing her bangin’ body is Kate’s go-to and this cutout look is perfect for the Californian beauty.

Kate Hudson collage 2 Kate Hudson collage 1

7. Ashley Madekwe

British-born Ashley is one of those celebrities that is not recognised enough as a style powerhouse, yet you look back at every single red carpet she’s appeared on and you would never find a bad look. Ever.

A massive style and beauty crush of mine (I owe the discovery of MAC’s Ruby Woo to her), she has worked a lot of red carpets this year in designers from Dior to Elie Saab to Burberry.

I struggled to pick one look as a standout because I was massively torn between her burnt orange Wes Gordon slip dress she wore to the amFar Gala in Milan, her white hot Banana Republic suit at the recent BFAs, or her super chic Burberry look at London Fashion Week. Pick for me?

Ashley Madekwe collage 1 Ashley Madekwe collage 2 redone

6. Rihanna

Could I ever really do a best dressed list in 2014 and not include Rihanna? This woman marches to the beat of her own drum and doesn’t not give one shiny f**k what anyone thinks.

By no means has every look that Rihanna wore this year been commended, I mean her Givenchy black lace green-lipped look at the iHeartRadio Music Awards was scary, not to mention the times she stepped out looking like Smurfette, but the rest of the time she will be the major star on the red carpet pulling something off that absolutely no one else could even dream of (yes I’m talking about you Rita Ora).

My favourite looks come courtesy of Rihanna’s stunning red Zac Posen gown she wore to her inaugural Diamond Ball for her Clara Lionel Foundation, that super chic pink tweed Altuzarra suit, her white Ulyana Sergeenko nightie she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards and that super fun Stella Jean bodycon dress that she wore when visiting the White House larking around pretending to be Olivia Pope.

I can’t include Rihanna without mentioning that naked Adam Selman dress she wore, because yes her areolas were on display and so was her bare arse, but the make up, the matching Swarovski-adorned bandana and jewels was one of those moments you will always list when talking about the pop star. And she looked hot, and if you hadn’t figured already she’s Rihanna she can do what she wants.

Rihanna collage 2 RIhanna collage 1

5. Emma Stone

Emma knows what works for her and that’s her red hair. She had a brief dalliance back to her natural blonde colour not so long ago for her part in Birdman (which FYI is brilliant go and see it immediately), but her red roots make her looks really pop.

So from wearing a vivid yellow Atelier Versace to her Spider-Man London premiere or a forest green Valentino at the Birdman premiere at the Rome Film Festival she will always top the best dressed in my eyes.

Emma has worked several different silhouettes this year, with a particular stand out being the Saint Laurent check suit she wore doing press at the BBC Radio One studios and that adorable red sixties-inspired Valentino dress she wore for an appearance at the Empire State Building.

My favourite look from Emma Stone this year was the beautiful white Prada dress she wore for the New York Spider-Man premiere. I’m always surprised when I see a particularly spectacular red carpet look from Prada because Anne Hathaway’s 2013 Oscars dress is still burned in my mind.

Emma Stone collage 2 Emma Stone collage 1

4. Blake Lively

The Queen of Cannes Film Festival this year, Blake Lively was on a high right at the beginning of 2014. Basically every time the blonde appeared jaws dropped to the floor.

Her beauty is absolutely her best accessory not to mention those long luscious L’Oreal preened locks of hers. When she strutted out as part of her ambassador role for the cosmetics powerhouse we expected nothing short of magnificent, and we were not disappointed.

Not only did Blake work the Cannes carpet to astonishing effect, but she also still managed to pull out yet another epic Gucci Premiere gown for the MET Gala with her perfect plus one hubby Ryan Reynolds. Then she announced her pregnancy and looked even more blooming lovely, can this woman ever fail?

Wearing one of my favourite looks of the whole year number one comes in the guise of Blake’s black and white tuxedo-inspired Gucci gown from the Cannes premiere of Ryan’s film Captives.

Blake Lively collage one Blake Lively collage 2

3. Lupita Nyong’o

A major player early in the game, Lupita Nyong’o absolutely nailed red carpet dressing this year. A newcomer to the awards circuit, she was nominated at every major awards for her role in 12 Years A Slave which culminated in picking up the Best Supporting Actress gong at The Oscars.

What a way to start the year for this amazing woman, not only picking up awards but a fashion campaign with Miu Miu, a beauty campaign with Lancome and a coveted Vogue cover in July, Lupita is a major voice in the rights for black women should be given in the entertainment industry. She gave a particularly amazing and inspirational speech at the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards that is well worth a listen.

Lupita’s favourite look for me this year has to be the red haute caped Ralph Lauren dress that she wore to the Golden Globes. It literally won award season for me, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. But let’s not forget the stunning turquoise Gucci dress she wore to the SAG Awards that popped against her skin and that custom white Calvin Klein she wore to the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. I wasn’t as in love with the star’s pale blue Prada Oscar dress but can appreciate how beautiful it made Lupita look, and her jewel green Dior dress she wore to the BAFTAs.

Lupita Nyong'o collage 3

Lupita Nyong'o collage 4

Lupita Nyong'o collage 2

Lupita Nyong'o collage 1

2. Emma Watson

Emma made my year when she turned up to the Golden Globe Awards in vintage Dior Couture. Not only was in a unique look but she was in trousers and still made it to the top of every best dressed list out there. Trousers are not a brand new thing that nobody has done before – it was just all in Emma’s execution. I’ve never understood why celebrities have to do that looking-over-the-shoulder-arse shot but if it were not for that then we would have never seen the beauty of Emma’s look.

From this moment on Emma has been seen in several more Dior looks, which lead me to championing the Harry Potter actress to take over as the new face for the brand over Jennifer Lawrence. It always amazes me at how hit-and-miss Jennifer is when appearing on the red carpet in Dior, yet those who are not loyal to the brand can put the Hunger Games starlet in the shade. Maybe 2015 will be the year for Emma to land her own fashion campaign, if not for Dior then Ralph Lauren at least.

Emma has been slowly shedding that sugar coated Hermione look for a few years now, after drastically cutting her hair into a pixie crop to going sexy minis. She seems to have found her signature style this past year that suits her, not overtly sexy but so sleek, chic and oozing old Hollywood glamour.

I loved her style during fashion week with the Valentino FROW look a particular fave, and it seems that Emma has a thing for trousers sporting no less than six more red carpet masculine-inspired looks throughout 2014.

Emma also launched the movement for gender equality campaign HeForShe, in which she gave an impassioned speech on how men are also welcomed into the fight for equality between gender which you can listen to here. She wore possibly the most perfect Dior frock coat that I just can’t get enough of proving once again just how well she is suited to the French design house.

My favourite look of Emma’s this year is tied between the red Dior look and her white Ralph Lauren gown she wore to the London premiere of Noah.

Emma Watson collage 1

Emma Watson collage 3 Emma Watson collage 2

1. Solange Knowles

To the winner. Hands down. Without a shadow of a doubt. Solange Knowles killed it in 2014. Her wedding to Alan Johnson in New Orleans may have had something to do with her taking my number on best dressed celebrity of this year in her custom Kenzo wedding gown, but just take a look back at her rainbow-tastic wardrobe and you’ll soon agree she never misses a beat.

Solange Knowles collage 2 wedding

The more stylish Knowles sister (sorry Bey) never shies away from a bright colour palette favouring mostly yellows, oranges and blues and when you see Solange in black it’s always a treat because it very rarely happens.

Solange is the queen when it comes to dressing in just one colour. From jewel red in Paper London, to head-to-toe orange MaxMara and then yellow Paper London at Coachella, a hot pink Gucci suit is a favourite, to more yellow in Christopher Kane and Christian Siriano.

One look to really test the senses was her Milly FROW look – a bold electric blue coat by the brand, paired with a vivid orange hued look topped off with Barbie pink stilettos. I mean no one else could even think about this without looking like some sort of Sesame Street character.

Other beautiful moments came via her Calvin Klein embellished dress she wore to the CFDAs harking back to the classic Diana Ross vibe with her amazing ‘fro and the yellow Cedric Charlier strapless dress she wore for her mother’s birthday.

But of course the crowning moment for Solange comes at her wedding in November. The bride wasn’t happy to go with just the usual one look, instead choosing three Stephane Rolland jumpsuits to complement her custom Kenzo gown. She rocked up to the church on a bike strewn with flowers working a low-cut backless caped off-white jumpsuit with her husband-to-be in a matching tux. Then there was that beautiful gown adorned with simple gold cuffs which was followed by a one-legged ruffled jumpsuit then to top off the trifecta of trousered looks a jumpsuit that worked elements of both in with a deep cleavage and caped ruffles.

Solange Knowles was the best dressed bride this year, I mean she was competing with Kim Kardashian West, Amal Alamuddin Clooney and Angelina Jolie and in my eyes she easily came out on top. Well done Sol, keep on rocking in 2015.

Solange Knowles collage 3Solange Knowles collage 1

Do you agree with who I picked for my best dressed of 2014 list?

Who would you have placed in the top spot, check out my Best Dressed of the Year 2014 Pinterest board and let me know in the comments below or tweet me @nlcorner with your top choices!

Sources: RCFA, Zimbio, JustJared

The Oscars 2014: After parties

The main event was a bit of a letdown for me, there was some stand out dresses on The Oscars red carpet, but the celebrities really come out to play at the after parties.

As I mentioned in my Oscars red carpet round up, Kate Hudson managed to select another jaw-dropping gown to attend the Vanity Fair Oscars party wearing a black and nude Zuhair Murad Couture look.

Kate Hudson Zuhair Murad

Kate Hudson in Zuhair Murad at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Evan Rachel Wood chose an emerald green Elie Saab Couture dress that perfectly matched her complexion, she always looks best in green.

Evan Rachel Wood Elie Saab

Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab Couture at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Emmy Rossum worked the green and cream carpet in a Monique Lhuillier confection, the perfect princess moment.

Emmy Rossum Monique Lhuillier

Emmy Rossum in Monique Lhuillier at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Anna Kendrick shed her edgy red carpet J.Mendel dress for a super sexy second skin Atelier Versace, I never would have thought she could pull something like this off but she definitely did.

2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Anna Kendrick in Atelier Versace at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

There were so many gorgeous models there, that it’s hard to pick a favourite. Karlie Kloss worked sexy glamour with the most revealing of cutouts without looking trashy, Chanel Iman wore an electric blue glittery Zuhair Murad also with daring cutouts, absolutely adored Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s pale blue Cushnie et Ochs dress, Miranda Kerr obviously looked every inch the hot starlet in Kaufmanfranco and Karolina Kurkova worked the supermodel glamazon look in white lace Elie Saab Couture at Elton John’s Oscar Viewing Party.

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Chanel Iman Zuhair Murad

Chanel Iman in Zuhair Murad at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Rosie Huntington Whiteley Cushnie et Ochs

Rosie Huntington Whiteley in Cushnie et Ochs at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Miranda Kerr Kaufmanfranco

Miranda Kerr in Kaufmanfranco at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Karolina Kurkova Elie Saab

Karolina Kurkova in Elie Saab Couture at the Elton John Oscar Viewing Party

When I first saw Diane Kruger‘s Valentino Couture dress, I was a bit unsure, but the more I looked at it the more I loved it. The lace is beyond perfection, and I loved the braided up do and of course her flawless make up. Not forgetting to mention her best accessory, Joshua Jackson.

Diane Kruger Valentino

Diane Kruger in Valentino Couture

I can’t go without mentioning how good Ellen Page looked. She absolutely rocked her Saint Laurent head-to-toe outfit, she shone and was clearly comfortable and sexy and all the better for it.

Ellen Page Saint Laurent

Ellen Page in Saint Laurent at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party

Here’s the best of the rest:

You can see all my favourite red carpet looks from Awards Season 2014 over on my Pinterest board

The Oscars 2014: Red carpet

I made the mistake this year of expecting too much from the Oscars 2014.

There was such a long stretch of time between the last bout of awards in January and the Oscars on March 2nd that in my own imagination, it was a lifetime. A lifetime that should have given all the stylists in Hollywood the time to gather all those amazing couture dresses we saw on the runway in Paris and shipped to LA. But no, I thought Lily Allen’s tweet summed it up:

Award season started on a high for Lupita Nyong’o with her Ralph Lauren red cape dress at the Golden Globes, a jaw-dropping moment that was soon to be followed with the bright turquoise floral Gucci stunner at the SAG Awards. There were so many amazing looks inbetween that I’d need a whole blog dedicated to her to go through them. So when Lupita arrived on the Oscar red carpet I was more than a little disappointed, don’t get me wrong her sky blue custom Prada gown was nice but it wasn’t jaw-dropping. The shape was very reminiscent of Amy Adam’s two-tone red Valentino Couture gown from the Golden Globes, and it just wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. I do really wish she had worn this Elie Saab Couture look.

Lupita Nyong'o Prada

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada at the Oscars 2014

Another star that I was on tenterhooks for was of course Jennifer Lawrence. She mentioned briefly at the SAG Awards that she may be wearing vintage Dior so my mind wandered and created a dress of such mind-blowing epicness that her simple column dress with peplum detail at the waist came as a bit of a shock as did her fantastic stumble and fall. She did look gorgeous, and I was glad for the return of red but once again I couldn’t help but think of how much better and smokin’ hot her 2011 Oscars Calvin Klein dress was.

Jennifer Lawrence Dior

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Haute Couture at the Oscars 2014

So to my best dressed of the night without a shadow of a doubt, Kate Hudson. Even in a sea of soft golds, champagne hues, and nude tulle she sashayed onto the Oscars red carpet in a stunning Atelier Versace gown adorned with the most perfect beaded demi cape. Not to mention the  gorgeous detail at her waist, that sexy deep neckline complemented with softly curled hair and nude make up. If I had the opportunity to wear this dress I don’t think I’d want to ever take it off, but Kate did just that for the Vanity Fair after-party which I have to give special mention to because she managed to wear another stunner of gown. Kate rocked up on the green and cream carpet in Zuhair Murad couture, she won the war of the red carpet by wearing two amazing dresses whilst some of the attendees couldn’t even manage to wear one above average.

Kate Hudson Oscars

Sandra Bullock has had a great awards season, so I was impressed with her Alexander McQueen gown. The knotted drape feature made what could have been a simple and boring dress into a classic navy strapless wonder.

Sandra Bullock Alexander McQueen

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen at the Oscars 2014

I think Kristen Bell has been just under the radar on the red carpet this season, she’s not a mega watt star so sometimes goes overlooked. I myself admit to doing so, but her Roberto Cavalli Oscars gown was something not to be ignored. Her best accessory of course was her smile.

Kristen Bell Roberto Cavalli

Kristen Bell in Roberto Cavalli at the Oscars 2014

Special mention must go to the best looking red carpet couple, Olivia Wilde in Valentino and Jason Sudeikis in Prada. I mean those two, there’s so much hotness I can’t cope.

Olivia Wilde Jason Sudeikis

Olivia Wilde in Valentino and Jason Sudeikis in Prada at the Oscars 2014

There were other stars out there that looked beautiful, and I admit no one really had a red carpet mishap. The female celebrities all seemed to be a tad mediocre especially when compared to last year’s Oscars. But fear not my fellow fashion fiends, there are only a couple of months to go until the MET Gala and Cannes Film Festival.

Here’s the best of the rest:

You can see all my favourite red carpet looks from Awards Season 2014 over on my Pinterest board.

The Oscars 2013: Red Carpet

The Oscars Red Carpet is the peak of the awards season, and it signals the end of all the boozing and schmoozing. What I love the most about this red carpet, is the anticipation and build up of which designers the stars will pick to wear.

It could be the making of a fairly unknown designer’s career, or it could be the Kings and Queens of red carpet dressing are displayed in all their glory, like the obvious pairings of Jennifer Lawrence and Dior, Anne Hathaway and not this time Valentino, Jennifer Lopez and Zuhair Murad, Jaime King and Jason Wu, and Diane Kruger and Chanel/JasonWu/Giambattista Valli…

What I hope for the most is for someone to be daring, for a celebrity to be brave and genuinely shock critics and viewers alike by picking something unexpected. The only person on the Oscars red carpet that managed that on Oscars night was Jennifer Aniston.

Don’t be mistaken I don’t think she was the best dressed I’m just glad she wasn’t wearing black. Her red Valentino Haute Couture gown didn’t translate as well as on the red carpet as it did on the runway, but kudos to Jennifer because everyone expected her to stick to her usual monochrome palette instead she pushed that envelope a little by going with strapless red bustier dress, safe but interesting for her.

Jennifer Aniston in Valentino Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Jennifer Aniston in Valentino Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Another person in red was Sally Field, although she lost out to Anne Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress, she looked gorgeous in Valentino Haute Couture. Showing the younger ones how it’s done by wearing a sheer gown with a nude underlay , it was a worthy effort and she certainly looked better in her red Valentino than Hilary Swank who chose a similar gown from the Spring couture collection.

Sally Field in Valentino Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Sally Field in Valentino Couture at The Oscars 2013.

I give the award of Best OTT Frou-Frou Moment to Amy Adams, another strapless bustier gown but this time a dove grey Oscar de la Renta creation that the actress struggled to manage down the red carpet. This was just one of many colourless gowns that was on display, it could have been epic if it was a vivid pink or even yellow.

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta at The Oscars 2013.

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta at The Oscars 2013.

My obvious choice for Best Princess Moment has to go to Jennifer Lawrence she just simply shone on the Oscars red carpet.

I’ve been trying to figure out for weeks what she would pick from the Dior Spring Couture collection, her BAFTAS dress threw me and the dresses I had earmarked for her were worn by Marion Cotillard, instead she chose a blush pink brocade strapless (!) bustier gown.

A twitter picture showing her getting ready was released just before she appeared on the red carpet, I was glad because I genuinely thought I’d be waiting all night for her to appear. I think what made the look was the Chopard necklace draped down her back, such a modern touch.

I’m so glad she won the Best Actress Oscar because after her previous two nominations this was deserved, and also simply because she is adorably clumsy as proved when she tripped going up the stairs to collect her award.

JLaw getting ready.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Stunning.

I think what the trouble was with the Oscars red carpet was that it was pretty mediocre, I mean don’t get me wrong there were some nice dresses but that’s all they were just nice and if not pretty boring. So many stars chose to go the strapless look, either a coloumn design or a big full skirt there was hardly any variation. That’s why as soon as Naomi Watts stepped onto the red carpet I knew she was going to be my best dressed without fail.

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive at The Oscars 2013.

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive at The Oscars 2013.

It all rests on the cutout, otherwise it is simply another sparkly column gown, Naomi had said that she wanted something different and this was the perfect choice to stand out on the red carpet. I’m surprised more people didn’t choose a cutout design, it’s such an easy way to add something special without it being tacky (I’m looking at YOU Brandi Glanville). Naomi’s gorgeous teased updo, jewels, and flawless make up made the whole look.

Another actress who dared to do something different was Zoe Saldana, her red carpet style is so unpredictable it was great to see her in a lavender Alexis Mabille Couture gown with an ombre style train. The floral applique hem made the strapless element more exciting, and noticeable with her hair wavy but pushed back to expose her drop earrings.

Zoe Saldana in Alexis Mabille Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Zoe Saldana in Alexis Mabille Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Another stand out gown came from Stacy Keibler, this is her second year as George Clooney’s plus one at The Oscars so well done to her for keeping hold as we all know George is notorious for getting a girlfriend just for awards season maybe she’s a keeper… Anyway she wore a gun-metal grey Naeem Khan embellished gown that just made her look stunning, she made my best dressed list last year as well in Marchesa so she obviously knows what looks good on her and isn’t afraid to flaunt it. I’m warming towards these faux wavy bobs as well I wish my hair would do something like that…

Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan at The Oscars 2013.

Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan at The Oscars 2013.

I was really looking forward to seeing Kerry Washington on the red carpet, and whilst she impressed me in Miu Miu with her coral pop of colour and embellished bust, it was once again a strapless gown. I really was expecting something dramaticlike the amazing Giles dress she wore to the UK premiere of Django Unchained. Now that was epic.

Kerry Washington in Miu Miu at The Oscars 2013.

Kerry Washington in Miu Miu at The Oscars 2013.

When I saw Charlize Theron on run the red carpet, what struck me was how gorgeous she looked with her ice blonde pixie crop with a matching ice white Dior Haute Couture peplum gown. Yes it was another strapless dress, but with Charlize she’s able to bring something that sparkles without really having to do anything. The only factor that may have pushed Charlize down further on my best dressed list is heat magazine associating her with Brigette Nielsen…

Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture at The Oscars 2013.

Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture at The Oscars 2013.

It’s really the case of the best of an OK bunch, as Salma Hayek wore a black velvet Alexander McQueen dress with gold halterneck applique, Jennifer Garner playing the part of proud wife in a purple ruffled Gucci gown, Samantha Barks looking sexy in black Valentino, Sandra Bullock wearing one of the only Elie Saab gowns in black, Olivia Munn in a burgundy and gold Marchesa with stunning make up and hair, Fan Bingbing wearing an extremely vivid pink Marchesa, and of course one of the shocks of the night Anne Hathaway wearing Prada NOT Valentino, it was a pretty dire dress to be fair as the darts on the bust of the gown made her nipples look erect the whole time.

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen at The Oscars 2013.

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen at The Oscars 2013.

Jennifer Garner in Gucci at The Oscars 2013.

Jennifer Garner in Gucci at The Oscars 2013.

Samantha Barks in Valentino at The Oscars 2013.

Samantha Barks in Valentino at The Oscars 2013.

Sandra Bullock in Elie Saab at The Oscars 2013.

Sandra Bullock in Elie Saab at The Oscars 2013.

Olivia Munn in Marchesa at The Oscars 2013.

Olivia Munn in Marchesa at The Oscars 2013.

Fan Bingbing in Marchesa at The Oscars 2013.

Fan Bingbing in Marchesa at The Oscars 2013.

Anne Hathaway in Prada at The Oscars 2013.

Anne Hathaway in Prada at The Oscars 2013.

And a special award to Funniest Hair Faux Pas has to go to Melissa McCarthy, her hair disaster was beyond epic. You could see her bouffant bobbing along in the crowd from space. Otherwise her David Miester dress was quite pretty.

Melissa McCarthy in David Meister at The Oscars 2013.

Melissa McCarthy in David Meister at The Oscars 2013.

My Best Dressed: 2012

A whole year in red carpet, street style, movie premieres, and film festival looks is hard to sift through. It’s made a little easier when you trawl through everyone else’s best dressed lists and agree or disagree with what they have picked.

Last year I somehow managed to pick my top five best looks rather than my best dressed of the year, so this year it’s been a little more difficult because I still want my favourite looks, those stand out dresses that can never be competed with, but then there are celebrities out there who have just excelled throughout the year it would be difficult to pick just one look.

10. Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev topped my Best Dressed of 2011 with her showstopping Donna Karan at the 2011 Emmys. She made my top ten list this year with her electric blue Elie Saab dress she wore in Cannes to the amFar Gala. She’s had a great year, promoting the brilliant movie Perks of Being a Wallflower co-starring Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller, with other red carpet hits including a red Reem Acra and a beautiful Monique Lhuillier gown.

Elie Saab // Monique Lhuillier // Reem Acra

Elie Saab // Monique Lhuillier // Reem Acra

9. Ginnifer Goodwin

Ginnifer Goodwin is one of those stars that is always under the radar  but looking back over 2012 she has made plenty of best dressed lists with some crazy beautiful looks and not to mention she has the best pixie cut in the business. Not one to shy in the background my favourite from Ginnifer is a tie between her bright pink Roksanda Illincic dress she wore right at the beginning of the year at the People’s Choice Awards and her Monique Lhuillier gown she wore to the Emmy Awards, her other looks include a stunning feather Gucci dress she wore to the LACMA Art and Film Gala and another orange Monique Lhuillier that she chose for the MET Gala.

Roksanda Illincic // Monique Lhuillier // Gucci

Roksanda Illincic // Monique Lhuillier // Gucci

8. Emma Stone

You can’t help but love Emma Stone, she’s funny and pretty and she’s kissed Ryan Gosling, a lot. She had a good run on the press tour for The Amazing Spiderman this summer with my favourite look on the red carpet at the Paris premiere in a stunning Gucci gown, she wowed in Elie Saab at the UK premiere and also wore a Chanel look. She also knows how to do pretty as she wore a candy pink Valentino creation to the Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood event.

Gucci // Elie Saab // Valentino

Gucci // Elie Saab // Valentino

7. Blake Lively

She’s one of my style crushes and I love Blake, she’s had a fantastic year; marrying the man of my dreams Ryan Reynolds, being named the face of Gucci Premiere, Gossip Girl finally ending (and getting fake married in Georges Chakra Couture) and a great red carpet run for her film Savages which co-stars Taylor Kitsch and Ryan Taylor-Johnson. It was one of the best jaw-dropping moments of 2012 when Blake arrived on the LA red carpet looking all Veronica Lake-esque with tumbling blonde curls in a curve-hugging sexy Zuhair Murad gown, she continued to wow with a Michael Kors red hot suit, a lemon flowing Gucci dress and two beautiful Jenny Packham dresses when appearing on television. I would have included her wedding dress in this list but unfortunately no images have been released of her Marchesa creation just a small subtle hint…

Zuhair Murad // Michael Kors // Gucci

Zuhair Murad // Michael Kors // Gucci

Georges Chakra Couture Gossip Girl wedding // In Marchesa for Martha Stewart Weddings

Georges Chakra Couture Gossip Girl wedding // In Marchesa for Martha Stewart Weddings

6. Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic, normally I just judge celebrities by what they wear and if I don’t like it then see ya. But she is genuinely funny, and nice, and just a typical girl who has to be told to watch her language and be careful about what she says because her brain-to-mouth filter doesn’t work. You have to read the excerpt of her interview with Rolling Stone magazine from the April 2012 editoiin because it had me giggling and wishing she would be my friend and the cover is just smoking hot. Her red carpet run for The Hunger Games was a little hit and miss but the gold Prabal Gurung dress had me drooling, it is one of my favourite dresses of the year without a doubt, hence being on my best dressed list… But there was a sexy Tom Ford gown and another gold dress by Ralph Lauren she wore for the UK premiere that made up for the poor latter half of the year where she made Rachel Zoe her stylist who dressed her in that godawful Dior suit.

Prabal Gurung // Ralph Lauren // Tom Ford

Prabal Gurung // Ralph Lauren // Tom Ford

5. Gwyneth Paltrow

I’ve struggled with where to place Gwyneth because the white Tom Ford gown she wore to the Oscars was a great moment, and it wouldn’t have been as amazing if she hadn’t worn the cape which put her straight to the top of the best dressed at the awards ceremony.  She wore one of her good friend Stella McCartney’s cutout gowns to the Grammys which were seriously popular this year and even wore another white Tom Ford dress proving a good designer partnership always works well for the red carpet. My other favourite look of Gwynnie’s was the sexy Michael Kors cutout dress she wore to the designers’ Golden Heat Gala and making another of my best dressed lists this time at the MET Gala in a super short Prada creation.

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Prada // Michael Kors // Stella McCartney

Prada // Michael Kors // Stella McCartney

4. Kate Hudson

I’ve always liked Kate Hudson, ever since How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and that amazing yellow dress (which just so happens to be in the V&A Hollywood exhibit in London) she knows how to dress for her body. She can look sexy but it’s always so understated and relaxed, her wavy long blonde hair is never over done which goes a long way into making her a goddess on the red carpet. She hasn’t been super busy this year, but the moments Kate has had on the red carpet have been memorable especially the red Prabal Gurung she wore to the amFAR Inspiration Gala in LA in October. The Atelier Versace gown she wore at the Venice Film Festival for her movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist was simply breathtaking, the white Alexander McQueen at the Toronto Film Festival and the purple Jenny Packham gown packed just as much of a punch when she attended The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in April.

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung

Atelier Versace // Alexander McQueen // Jenny Packham

Atelier Versace // Alexander McQueen // Jenny Packham

3. Keira Knightley 

She had her work cutout this year on press tours for Anna Karenina, A Dangerous Method and Seeking A Friend for the End of the World. Her crowning moment was in the Elie Saab Couture gown for the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Anna Karenina, but I equally liked the mint green custom Erdem gown she wore at the LA premiere of AK it was a real change from the princess dresses she had been wearing. Keira also donned a Chanel Couture gown for the UK premiere of AK, Valentino for two premieres and two Burberry Prorsum dresses proving to be the princess of designer couture.

Elie Saab Couture // Erdem

Elie Saab Couture // Erdem

Chanel Couture // Valentino Couture // Burberry Prorsum

Chanel Couture // Valentino Couture // Burberry Prorsum

2. Elizabeth Banks

Maybe you’re thinking huh? But this actress had the best press tour for a movie this year, The Hunger Games’ actress really channelled her character Effie Trinket and brought a rainbow of colours and accessories to the red carpet. Colour is so powerful, and Elizabeth is definitely not scared of yellows, oranges, and greens proving that being daring and taking a risk is much more fun than sticking to trends. And for someone whose co-star was 21-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth did sexy without looking like she was trying to compete she knows what suits her and she did it with aplomb. From the beginning of the year at the Oscars to The Hunger Games red carpet and all the other bits in between Elizabeth Banks is deserving of second place.

Bill Blass

Bill Blass at the UK prmeiere of The Hunger Games

Atelier Versace // Marc Jacobs // Elie Saab

Atelier Versace // Marc Jacobs // Elie Saab

Chadwick Bell // Emilio Pucci // Elie Saab

Chadwick Bell // Emilio Pucci // Elie Saab

1. Diane Kruger

I think as soon as she appeared on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for the Opening Ceremony in May I knew there would be no other person that could top the following red carpet dresses that Diane wore for the event. Even beforehand she started the year in Prada at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Erdem in Paris, Giambattista Valli at the Berlin Film Festival, Jason Wu, and then in Calvin Klein for The Oscars. She stepped out in a purple Prada dress for the MET Gala that still has me on the fence, and then all of her fabulous Cannes looks from Giambattista Valli Couture, Nina Ricci, Christian Dior, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Prabal Gurung and the best of them all the Vivienne Westwood. For this she takes the top spot on my best dressed of 2012, I’m pretty biased when it comes to Diane Kruger anyway and she has the best accessory in Joshua Jackson which I’m sure sways it everytime she steps out with him. May another 2013 see Diane show everyone in Hollywood just how it is done.

Diane Kruger in Vivienne Westwood at the Amour premiere in Cannes 2012

Diane Kruger in Vivienne Westwood at the Amour premiere in Cannes 2012

Diane Kruger 1

Prada // Giambattista Valli // Erdem

Diane Kruger 2

Calvin Klein // Giambattista Valli Couture // Christian Dior

Diane Kruger 3

Nina Ricci // Calvin Klein // Chanel Couture

Diane Kruger 4

Prabal Gurung // Prada // Versus

The Oscars 2012: Best dressed

It drew the awards season to a glamorous close, with the predicted winners being awarded their trophies. Meryl Streep won Best Actress, Jean DuJardin Best Actor, Christopher Plummer made Oscar history as the oldest winner for Best Supporting Actor, Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress and The Artist won Best Film and Best Director went to Michel Hazanavicius. A pretty obvious bunch considering the mountain of awards each winner has racked up in all the other ceremonies.

The red carpet is the favourite part of the ceremony, will an actress take a risk or will they play it safe. It was a safe and pretty year this year, with many actresses choosing to change into a second dress for the after parties. That’s cheating if you ask me. But that also meant that the rumour that Victoria Beckham was dressing a major celeb was true after Cameron Diaz rocked up to the Vanity Fair after party in a full length orange gown and signature exposed zip, I really liked it and it suited Cameron’s California looks down to the ground.

Cameron Diaz in Victoria Beckham

My favourite Oscar red carpet was Gwyneth Paltrow, her Tom Ford full length fitted white dress was worn with a full length cape that I thought was so refreshingly original. I’ll forgive her for the fact it was detachable because it was that beautiful.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

As one of my style crushes I have mixed feelings about Michelle Williams’ choice of a coral peplum Louis Vuitton. The colour was a welcome change, but the peplum doesn’t have that bounce that it needs, I would have really loved it if she wore something Marilyn inspired but I suppose after channeling the icon for so many years in preparation for the role I guess she wanted to giver a wide berth.

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Emma Stone has had so many red carpet moments but I was let down by the Giambattista Valli Couture dress she chose, out of all his collection this was the most similar to the Gucci 2011 dresses that everybody seemed so fond of wearing last year. Her after party Chanel dress was so much more original.

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli

Everybody loved Penelope Cruz rocking the vintage Hollywood look I personally found it boring and the colour very washed out. Stacy Keibler worked the red carpet well as George’s plus one in Marchesa even if she did look like the Oscar statue itself, and everyone is wondering when George is going to dump her and move onto his next ‘Award Season Girlfriend’ Stacy did well but time for a change!

Stacy Keibler in Marchesa

After Rose Byrne’s amazing turn at the Golden Globes in that Elie Saab jumpsuit she went for more sequins this time in Vivienne Westwood, it was sparkly and nice but nothing really amazed me about it apart from how skinny she looks.

Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood

Honourable mention has to go out to Angelina Jolie and that right leg, there was so much buzz about it that someone created a Twitter in it’s honour. The black velvet custom Atelier Versace dress was nothing to shout about, I wouldn’t have even paid her any attention had it not for the pose.

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace and that right leg

The joint best look at the after parties is split between Elizabeth Banks and Heidi Klum. Elizabeth in a unique polka dot and feathered look by Chadwick Bell at the Vanity Fair after party, and Heidi Klum rocking that body in Atelier Versace at Elton John’s Oscar Viewing Party.

Elizabeth Banks in Chadwick Bell

Heidi Klum in Atelier Versace Spring 2012

Not forgetting my favourite lady Diane Kruger looking stunning in Calvin Klein. Red really is her colour.

Diane Kruger in Calvin Klein