February 27th, 2012 / posted by paularath

Perfection! Natalie Portman in Christian Dior. Photos by Getty Images

I am a confessed film fanatic. I absolutely adore that darkened room where I can get lost in another world. I go to movies a lot, as well as Net Flixing and watching indies on the Sundance Channel, HBO, TNT and Showtime. (And no, I do not watch on an iPad or iPhone – how can you possibly appreciate the nuances of the cinematography on those tiny screens?) Movies provide my refuge and my escape. It helps that my son Duncan is a total film buff whose job is to keep up with all manner of films from all over the world (he is the DVD buyer for Amoeba in San Francisco). He lets me know what I must see and what I can miss.

This year I saw most of the nominated films, although I missed “Hugo,” so I stayed glued to the Academy Awards last night. No popcorn but a lovely glass of red wine. Of course I was rooting for “The Decendants” and felt it really should have won best actor and best picture. But thank heavens it won best screenplay with a shout out to Kaui Hart Hemmings and Hawaii.

As a fashion writer and film buff, I suppose it’s obligatory for me to comment on the gowns. I love watching them anyway, to try to track trends. Usually the stars (or rather their stylists) seem to have a color theme going. One year it was blues, another year reds, yet another was champagne and blush. This year the colors were all over the spectrum, from the emerald green of Viola Davis’ Vera Wang to the subtle lavender of Penelope Cruz’s Armani Prive. One style that did seem to trend is the peplum, as seen on Michelle Williams and Tina Fey. (See my blog on peplums at http://paularath.com/2012/02/fashion-glossary-peplum/) Another trend I’ve been keeping an eye on is the return of the brooch. Brooches appeared  in unusual places, such as at the waist (Michelle Williams).

It was refreshing to see the accessories were understated. No matchy-matchy and carefully edited pieces with just one statement piece.  The clutches (which everyone carried) were also ideally suited to the gowns

I have to say Natalie Portman was my absolute favorite. Here are some others, with a mahalo to Getty Images.

The always elegant and understated Gwyneth Paltrow wore Tom Ford. Love the cuff!

This coral Louis Vuitton gave a slight nod to the '50s, so appropriate for the woman who played Marilyn Monroe.

Perfect draping, color and movement in this elegant Giambattista Valli on Emma Stone.

McQueen always rocks, and Jessica Chastain is the perfect muse in this black and gold embroidered gown. Love the hair and makeup too!

Penelope Cruz is perfection in Armani Prive. Love the hair, classic jewels, fabulous clutch.

There were some misses, in my estimation. Sandra Bullock is so gorgeous but her gown did nothing for her. In fact, it made her look wider than she really is and who wants that?

Sandra Bullock has a miss in Marchesa.

I so admire Meryl Streep as an actress but wish she would wear more flattering gowns at the Oscars. She definitely deserves better! And while I loved Nina Garcia’s elegant black Jean Paul Gaultier gown, the hair and makeup were blah and boring . Why oh why?

Meryl Streep, a miss in an ill-fitting, well, ugly gown. So sad!

I’m anxious to find out if Maya Rudolph’s gown was the one Kyle and Brad chose for her. I thought it was a fabulous choice. The color and cut flattered her in every way. I’l find out from Kyle and report it here.

– Paula Rath

What are they saying?
Leave a comment below.
Allie
February 28th, 2012 at 1:32 am

Octavia Spencer, Rooney Mara, and Gwenyth were my favorites of the night!

Maude
March 2nd, 2012 at 10:23 am

Enjoyed reading your personal comments on the famous beauties
that attended the opening night at the oscar. ML

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