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The Oscar red carpet is one of the most anticipated and arguably one of the most stylish celebrity event of the year. Academy award nominees, presenters, guests and plus ones, pull out all the stops in an effort to wow, gain style cred, and get the coveted thumbs up from fashion critics and bloggers everywhere. The dress women wear on Oscar night is likely their best effort at looking fabulous.
As viewers and critics we are glued to our sets, walking down our own imaginary red carpet in our mind’s eye. We look for cues for how we too can flaunt our fabulous best at our next high profile affair—whether it be a wedding, prom, gala or special event. As an image consultant who is on the pulse of all Flaunt-worthy wardrobe choices for women, I want to share with you 4 tips you can takeaway from this year’s Oscar red carpet. (Photos Jason Merritt/Getty)
Tip #1. Simple elegance never goes out of style
Ladies, it is true. Sometimes less IS more and also completely captivating. I present into evidence, Jennifer Lawrence and Celine Dion. Jennifer Lawrence arrived on the red carpet looking absolutely fabulous in a simple red, spaghetti strap Calvin Klein gown. Wearing minimal makeup and jewelry—just a bangle and clutch—the dress is all about the rich red hue and sleek simple sophistication. The color is stunning on her and she looks effortlessly beautiful. And what real woman doesn’t aspire to that?
Celine Dion was breathtaking in a long-sleeved Armani Prive dress . This simple gown was a standout because it fits her SO impeccably (this after twins!). The ivory color works for Celine along with the deep V neckline, fitted silhouette and emerald pendant as accent. Her hair and makeup is lovely. She is glowing and honestly I’ve never seen her look just so darn pretty. She just nails it.
Tip #2. Glamor can be had at any age
First I have to say hats off to all the ladies over 40 who brought their A game to the Oscar red carpet! I was thrilled to see women like Sharon Stone, the ever dependable Helen Mirren and Annette Benning representing in a fabulous way.
But to really bring this point home to all you ladies who think age has anything to do with beauty or glamor, look no further than Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry. Sandra got the full package right last night in a strapless red Vera Wang gown. She is a showstopper. Red is definitely a power color for her and I love that she kept everything else pretty much toned down. Hair is pulled back, bangles and a clutch are her accessories of choice and a bold red lip pulls it all together. She looks poised, confident and simply beautiful.
Berry’s body is as amazing as ever and she never lets us forget it. At last night’s Academy awards though she was simply sublime in a nude Marchesa frothy creation. Designed with a corseted bodice with crystal and ruffle accents throughout ending in a tulle train, this gorgeous gown looks like Halle dropped from heaven. She looks sexy yet soft, she stands out yet is understated. She is flawlessly fabulous.
And let’s not forget the leading ladies in the make, like 14 year old Haille Stienfeld, Oscar nominee for ‘True Grit’. She is lovely and age appropriate in a blush Marchesa custom made gown. A headband is the only accessory. Fabulous at fourteen. Yes M’am!
Tip #3: You will own the spotlight in a gown in a color that flatters you
I am a big proponent on women wearing colors that make them shine because it can have such a huge impact. I am always amazed when some celebs walk the carpet in a beautiful dress that just is not the right color for them. This year the color trend was extreme: very bold (reds, midnight blue, magenta) or nude (blush/white/lilac). Regardless, once the color works, the woman in the gown just glows. A few of my favorites:
Natalie Portman could not have looked lovelier accepting her award for best actress for ‘Black Swan’. The deep magenta color of her Rodarte gown with matching tassel earrings are a knockout on her. The silhouette—a wide open V neckline with light sequin detailing and draping down the middle, elongates her petite frame and balances out her baby bump. Her soft wavy hair and always natural makeup just highlights her natural beauty. She looks amazing.
Cate Blanchette wore a pleated silk chiffon Givenchy Couture gown in a pale wisteria. This dress has an Asian inspired feel and as always Cate manages to look amazing without looking like she is trying. Her hair is pulled back, makeup subtle and skin flawless as ever. Diamond earrings and bracelet caps off her look. The color, an unusual neutral works for her.
Jennifer Hudson looks phenomenal in a halter gown designed by Versace. The color-a tangerine red – is just so stunning on her, you have to take a second look. She is ‘glowing’. The gown’s design is dramatic, with diagonal seaming in the front and serious draping in the back. But it is well constructed to flatter her slimmer, curvy body. Her hair and makeup are all spot on for a truly glamorous look that is clearly designed to take the spotlight. Her long strand of earrings and bracelets are added punctuation. She looks radiant, beautiful and truly gorgeous.
Tip #4: Looking effortlessly pulled together is a key ingredient for stunning looks
Yes it is about the entire package. Head to toe sending a consistent message. In this case it is about looking effortlessly amazing. The hair, makeup and accessories all have to convey the same energy as the gown to make a complete package. Who nailed effortless last night?
Michelle Williams who did not get my vote with the floral sand colored dress she wore to the Globes that did not flatter her, had me from the moment I laid eyes on her on the red carpet. Michelle is at her finest in a simple short sleeved white column gown from Chanel. She accessorizes with beautiful diamond studs, her pixie haircut flawlessly coiffed and makeup that is fresh and youthful. No pomp and circumstance here, yet she glides down the carpet, making fabulous look easy breezy.
Melissa Leo, Best Supporting Actress win for "The Fighter", came to the Oscars in a creatively designed highly textured white lace dress from Marc Bouwer who added reflective inserts as accents. Her hair is very ‘relaxed’ in a ponytail and her makeup very natural. She looks pretty and confident and very comfortable in her custom made gown. And it shows.
Use these tips to tap into your inner fabulous so you can Flaunt It at your next special occasion.
Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, Image Consulting. Author: ‘Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It. Your Ultimate Guide to Effortless Style’