The Academy Awards red carpet is the world’s biggest runway — and the attire of nearly every nominee who traverses it can make or break a designer’s reputation. Here are some of the fashion highlights and lowlights from this year’s Oscar ceremony:
Angelina Jolie: Sticking to her slightly Gothy roots, Jolie wore a black velvet Versace gown with a high slit. That slit, though, became one of the evening’s biggest punch lines, as Jolie repeatedly struck a bold pose, with her hand on her hip and her right leg sticking out of the gown. After she presented the award for best screenwriter, winner Jim Rash emulated it — and someone created a Twitter account for it.
“It was just an impulse,” he told The Post’s Jen Chaney at the Governors Ball. “I was just standing there and I thought — ” At that point, he paused to, once again, stick his leg out. “I hope it was okay,” said Rash, a.k.a. Dean Pelton from TV’s “Community” and former member of the Groundlings improv troupe, said. “I hope she thought it was okay. It was a loving tribute.”
Emma Stone: The “Help” actress was praised for her turn as a presenter, but The Post’s Katherine Boyle wasn’t so keen on what Stone wore: a fuschia Giambattista Valli Haute Couture dress with a giant bow at her neck. It was similar to a gown Nicole Kidman wore in 2007, but the look didn’t work as well on Stone. Wrote Boyle: “With a bow so large it overtakes the tiny, tiny features on that perfect freckled face, we have to wonder: What she was thinking?”
Viola Davis: Viola Davis, who was the favorite to win best actress for her role in “The Help,” turned heads on the runway in an emerald Vera Wang gown — and for ditching the wig she usually wears, in favor of her natural hair. “My husband wanted me to take the wig off,” Davis told InStyle . “He said, ‘If you want to wear it for your career, that’s fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are!’ ”
Sacha Baron Cohen: There was a hullabaloo about what actor Sacha Baron Cohen would wear on the red carpet before the Academy Awards because he was initially uninvited for announcing his intention to walk the red carpet as Adm.Gen. Aladeen, his fictional character from “The Dictator.” His invitation was reinstated by producer Brian Grazer. Red carpet chatter about Cohen’s attire included a nod to John Galliano, for his suit, and Kmart, for his socks. However, it was Cohen’s unusual accessory that was newsworthy — an urn which he said contained the ashes of Kim Jong Il, which he “accidentally” dumped on E!’s Ryan Seacrest before being escorted away. See the video here.
Rooney Mara: Wrote The Post’s Ned Martel of the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” nominee: “She let go of her severe geometric outfits in favor of an ivory Givenchy that had both imagination and frills. But her shelf of bangs preserved her edge. And yes, she attempted a smile, and it succeeded.”
George Clooney and Stacy Keibler: On the arm of the always-dapper Clooney, Keibler was glowing. She was also reflecting camera flashes in her shiny gold Marchesa gown — which brought about comparisons to the man of the night. No, not Clooney — Oscar. “Never mind that the Oscar statuette is actually a naked, hairless man. The gold statue comparisons continued all night long for Keibler,” I noted. “By the way, she’s not wearing a dress — she’s just been sprayed gold,” Clooney told Access Hollywood.
Meryl Streep: Another actress glowing in a shiny gold frock, best actress winner Streep wore a custom-made Lanvin gown when she took home her third Academy Award. Wrote Boyle: “Streep is the Green Carpet Challenge’s newest recruit, a contest sponsored by Eco Age, a London-based nonprofit where Livia Firth, wife of Colin Firth, is creative director. Firth started the Green Carpet Challenge three years ago, and has since recruited Viola Davis, Michael Fassbender and her husband (among others) to wear eco-friendly designs on various red carpets. Streep is wearing a custom-made Lanvin gown, the first eco-friendly design ever produced by the French fashion house.” She was also channeling herself in 1983, when she also wore a long-sleeved gold dress for her “Sophie’s Choice” win.
Melissa McCarthy: The “Bridesmaids” actress was one of several actresses to hew to a trend of Grecian goddess dresses — a style also seen on Milla Jovovich. “They work because they look good on a variety of body shapes and can drape any frame,” noted Boyle in The Post’s Oscars live blog. “They’re also really classic, evoking Elizabeth Taylor.” However, Martel thought that McCarthy’s style was a miss, calling it “Camryn Manheim bulge-hiding,” rather than “Mae West curve-hugging.”
Jessica Chastain: Martel called her Jessica Rabbit. Boyle was no fan either, writing of her embellished black-and-gold Alexander McQueen gown, “The butterfly-effect is a bit too runway for the red carpet. 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.”
Michelle Williams: Boyle praised her on-trend coral peplum Louis Vuitton gown, saying that the look “shows she can be glamorous and retro without evoking Marilyn. The Mia Farrow pixie helps.”
Who do you think had the best red carpet look? Vote for your best-dressed celebrity in our poll.
More on the Academy Awards: