Was it artistry — or upholstery? Jessica Chastain, Oscar nominee for her role in “The Help” (she lost to co-star Octavia Spencer) turned heads in a divisive Oscar dress that inspired love-it-or-hate-it opinions. She wore a black and gold embellished Alexander McQueen gown with Brian Atwood shoes and Harry Winston jewelry. The look landed her on many best-dressed lists — and a few lists of the worst looks.
Chastain, who sweetly brought her grandmother with her to the ceremony, told the Hollywood Reporter, “There was something about the embroidery of this dress. It felt larger than life — and this is a larger-than-life moment. I always wanted to be an actor. Most little girls dream of their wedding dresses; I grew up dreaming of my Oscar dress.”
However, our critics at the Post didn’t look as kindly upon it. “The butterfly-effect is a bit too runway for the red carpet,” wrote Katherine Boyle in our Oscars recap. “That sort of artistry works on someone like Cate Blanchett, who wore a daring Givenchy dress last year. But Chastain is a bit too young and perky to pull off that sort of bold artistry.”
The Post’s Ned Martel was even harsher in his red carpet assessment: “Her goth gown featured a mess of appliques that looked like it was licked by flames. Worse than that: Its strapless top gathered up the skin at her shoulders as if she were in a yanked-tight corset.”
Nevertheless, many other fashion critics called the dress one of the best of the evening. It landed on Vogue’s top 10 list, and People’s 15 best-dressed list, with the latter calling the gown “all-out glamour.” Twitter users also voted Chastain best-dressed, according to the AFP.
What did you think of Chastain’s look? Vote for her and other stars in our Oscar red carpet poll.
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