Despite all the hype surrounding the Academy Awards, I am always most excited for the fashion. In fact, yesterday Anthony and I were driving back to Chicago from Kansas City (an eight hour drive!) and I made sure we left in time to be home for, not only the Oscars, but the red carpet premiere. I love tuning in an hour and a half ahead of the actual broadcast so I can see the enviable gowns celebrities flaunt on the red carpet. But I have to confess, I was quite underwhelmed by most of last night's fashion considering this is "Hollywood's biggest night." Despite some fashion faux pas and lackluster gowns, here are the stars who still wowed + the tips you can learn from them.
Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad
Maybe because I’m a recent bride (and not-so-secretly still wish I were in search of a wedding dress), but I adored Chopra's bridal-esque, embellished, lace, white and ivory gown. Her ensemble highlights what I think all bride’s should strive for—to flatter their best features. Chopra didn’t let a gorgeous gown take away from her even more stunning natural features: she used a belt to accentuate the waist of her hourglass figure and elongate her legs, and she pulled her hair back and opted for simple makeup so as not to distract from her beautiful face #thatsmilethough
- stylist tip: When wearing statement earrings, like Chopra’s, forgo a necklace (even with a strapless gown like hers!) to let the earrings speak for themselves. Add statement rings like this actress's to add another element of glam without making your jewelry compete.
Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa
The bump? The back? The braid? Where do I start? Her fuss-free hair, open back, fabulous train, and adorable belly were but a handful of the factors that added to the jaw-dropping effect that was Chrissy Teigen. As you may remember from my last style post, I have a thing for red dresses, so I especially loved seeing the glowing mama-to-be don the cranberry red floral gown that complemented her olive complexion so well.
- stylist tip: Like Teigen, balance V-necks and keyhole backs with long, elegant sleeves to show just the right amount of skin.
Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney
Some of my favorite red carpet gowns throughout the years are those with simple, clean lines (à la Emma Stone in Calvin Klein). Even in unexpected orange, no one can go wrong with a classic silhouette like Munn’s Stella McCartney stunner. For such a bold dress, Olivia wisely didn’t mess with statement jewelry, but stuck to simple stud earrings. I love how the swooping one shoulder almost looks like a shawl. While most celebs seem to be in an arms race for who can show the most skin, I highly appreciate a classy and classic (yet updated) look.
- stylist tip: When trying a daring color, keep the silhouette simple and avoid distracting prints, like Munn. Choose makeup to complement the bold color, as Munn bares lipstick and cheek stain with orange undertones to complement her dress.
Mindy Kaling in Elizabeth Kennedy
A classic LBD with an updated royal blue cape—what’s not to love?! I love how the edges of the cape created a contrasting off-the-shoulder look—one of my all-time favorite styles that oozes old-time elegance. The jewel-tone cape completed the regal look. Again, a sleek, pulled-back ‘do was definitely the cherry on top.
- stylist tip: Kaling mixes a closet staple (a simple black dress) with a fashion risk (a colorful cape) for a winning combination. Keep this duo (simple + risky) in mind when adding in fashion elements that are outside of your comfort zone.
Daisy Ridley in Chanel
Ridley continues a trend among my faves—a sleek, pulled back hair style, natural makeup, and understated jewelry to let her dress dazzle! I loved this simple silhouette with the added peplum flare. She maintains Old Hollywood glamour but gives it a fresh, modern twist with an ankle-grazing hemline and sheer peplum frill.
- stylist tip: Even when an event has an accepted style, don’t be afraid to go against the grain, like Ridley did at the Oscars. When everyone else wore the classic floor length gowns, she dared to stand out with a shorter hemline, and the payoff was huge! Ridley kept the formality of the dress with an all-over metallic color and embellishment.
Tracey Edmonds in Lorena Sarbu
As a lover of all things timeless, including pearls and cap sleeves, I had to include Edmonds on this list. Yet again, bridal elegance radiated from this sparkling ivory stunner and Edmonds’ polished waves. From her nail polish to her understated jewelry, Edmonds lets her natural beauty and the shimmering, form-flattering dress do all the talking, which said “Oscar favorite for years to come.”
- stylist tip: Cap sleeves—an element that I added to my wedding dress—add class, coverage, and support to a strapless dress’s sweetheart neckline. Edmond’s cap sleeves add Old Hollywood elegance to her form-fitting gown, making it equal parts sweet and sassy.