Oh, yeah, weren’t the Oscars last night?

by Erin on February 25, 2008

Keri Russell

I have to admit: I watched not one minute of the Oscars yesterday. I don't see the point, really, now that we have the Internet. I could spend six hours watching it all unfold in real time, or I could spend twenty minutes the next morning on the highlight reel. I like to maximize my entertainmental efficiency. (So I watched THE WIRE instead. Oh, McNulty, you are so damaged and yet so compelling! Lester, are you deluded, or a genius, or both?)

Anyway, the whole point of the Oscars is, of course, the dresses, so here is the Dress A Day Completely Random Commentary on Oscar Fashion of 2008.

First off, above: Keri Russell. I don't really like this color, but Keri Russell is so gobsmackingly beautiful that it doesn't matter. Which is pretty much the way I feel about all of the actor/dress combos: to get to Oscar level, you pretty much have to be either gobsmackingly beautiful, or have great talent and personal charisma. And if you are pretty, talented, and charismatic, what you wear is a mere DETAIL.

That said:

How much do I love Julie Christie for designing her own dress? I love her with ALL MY LOVE:

Julie Christie

Do I wish it were full-length and do I not comprehend the gloves one bit? Yes. But still: it's the thought that counts. Take that, Fashion Hegemony!

And Miley Cyrus:

Miley Cyrus

You look charming, adorable, and AGE-APPROPRIATE. Congratulations! Your parents must be so proud of you.

Also, Miley, while you're up, could you tell Anne Hathaway that she's about twenty years away from playing grande dame parts, no matter how much she'd like to, as evidenced by this dress?

Anne Hathaway

Helen Mirren, you continue to dress perfectly. I love the color and the sleeves and YOU. I would say "don't ever change," but your realization that people Actually Age (unheard of in Hollywood) means that you will continue to change WELL.

Helen Mirren

Jennifer Garner: I love you. I watched all of Alias TWICE. That Catch and Release movie you did was pure genius. But please, Get Away from Rachel Zoe! Only an evil schemer would put all that hair over your charming and expressive face. The dress is fine, though, but I liked that pink thing you wore a while back much better.

Jennifer Garner

And Callista Flockhart:


This dress really works for you! You look elegant and like yourself. Great job!

Thus concludes our Oscar coverage. Same time next year?

[All pictures Reuters.]

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

the_lazymilliner February 25, 2008 at 8:35 am

Erin, I didn’t watch the Oscars either, but then again I don’t own a TV. I also clicked through the highlights reel online….


Toby Wollin February 25, 2008 at 8:37 am

My wish for us all is an opportunity for a nice long dip in Helen Mirren’s gene pool. Every time I look at her, I am reminded of the old photos of my Ukrainian ancestors…my short, dumpy, Ukrainian ancestors. *g*


Lydia February 25, 2008 at 9:51 am

Yes. Helen Mirren for the win in that dress. IMO, there’s no competition for that, no matter what age the actress. That dress was amazing. Does anyone know if there are good shots of the back of it floating around anywhere?


bonnie-ann black February 25, 2008 at 10:36 am

helen mirren wins the prize, there is no doubt! i love that she went for the silvery sleeves with the stunning red, instead of gold or black. i hate keri russell’s dress, or maybe i just hate it on her… she’s so pale and thin and unhealthy looking that she appears to be wearing an oyster shell. i like her as an actress (“Waitress”) but wish she’s eat some pie herself, or wear something a bit pink to bring some colour to her skin.


cidell February 25, 2008 at 10:52 am

The Wire is one of the greatest shows ever. I’m so excited to hear you are watching it!


Julie The Vintage Goddess February 25, 2008 at 10:53 am

~sniff~ The Wire~ SniffI don’t think I could feel worse then when Stringer Bell died, but I do.and what is it about McNulty?


Lisa Simeone February 25, 2008 at 11:31 am

Erin, I confess that I actually held off on my beloved THE WIRE (with the impossibly yummy Dominic West!) to watch the Oscars — thank god for Tivo. And Helen Mirren’s gown just about bowled me over. She is without question the Grandest Dame of them all, and her gown was far and away the most spectacular. As I said in my NPR fashion review for last year’s Oscars, young women, take note: this is what mature beauty looks like.I loved Anne Hathaway’s dress, though; thought she was so elegant she was channeling Audrey Hepburn.Carmen Diaz, as always, was a mess. Why do people think she’s cute?? And for Pete’s sake, can’t these Hollywood gals afford a comb?!Keri Russell and Renee Zellweger both frighteningly skinny. And anemic-looking.Both Hillary Swank’s and Jennifer Garner’s gowns were cut beautifully, but boring, bland black that almost totally wiped out the detailing on those dresses. Imagine if they had been in richer colors such as a deep purple or inky royal blue. Anything but black.And no matter what anyone says, I thought Marion Cotillard looked fab and I loved her dress!


Jen February 25, 2008 at 11:54 am

Here is my two cents:Keri Russell: wrong color, don’t like the bustline.Julie Christie: I agree with you, Erin — fabulous dress sans gloves.Miley Cyrus: gorgeous and thank you for being an example to my teenagers!Anne Hathaway: What a waste of a gorgeous girl on a so-so dress.Helen Mirren: I’m speechless. This woman looks incredible no matter what she wears. Talk about taste.Jennifer Garner: another color please.Calista Flockhart: Stunning! I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about how wonderful she looked. Like a queen!


Theresa February 25, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I wish someone would give Calista Flockhart a sandwich.


Ginger February 25, 2008 at 1:01 pm

I also think Anne Hathaway’s red is disappointingly so-so for such a pretty color red (and one that actually is the perfect color for her). But what I really don’t get is her hair, or lack of it. What IS it with the slicked-back Wet Dog look? She looks like she has no hair whatsoever. And that leaves her face looking all eyes and mouth. Her hair should frame her face, especially with such an elaborate gown.


steelebjm February 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm

I’m glad someone else said something about Keri Russell looking way too skinny. I saw a clip where the camera panned around her back, and she was all bones. Her arms look too sinewy and dang, she just needs to go to Inn-N-Out once a week. Did she go overboard trying to lose baby weight?


Anonymous February 25, 2008 at 1:26 pm

the person in the first picture — i’m surprised to hear described as beautiful, it looks like a photo of a cross-dressing and plain boy. the dress is nice and so is the last dress.


Linda February 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm

I watched some of the Oscars, taped the WIRE and will watch it tonight. Love that program. I liked the red carpet part with Regis, but the show itself was BORING! I hope somebody tells them not to have John Stewart mc this again. He is not funny! Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Ellen Degenres, please come back.


Anonymous February 25, 2008 at 1:31 pm

You’re spot-on about Miley Cyrus and Helen Mirren. Wonderful-gut!


dulcet February 25, 2008 at 2:05 pm

I am so out of the loop that when I saw the picture of Callista what popped out of my mouth was, “Is that Harrison Ford?” I much prefer her escort to her dress.


Cookie February 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Wait a minute! How can you be discussing THE WIRE and not mention its nominated cast member Amy Ryan (aka Beadie Russell)? Sadly, her dress was so-so (clean lines and that’s about it) But picking an Oscar dress is even more pressure than picking a wedding dress, so sometimes you just take what they offer you. However, I’d get it custom made, I’m pretty sure.


anthrokeight February 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I would rather watch The Wire than the Oscars *heartbreak*.But I agree about Helen Mirren- she is such a dish. I also like Marion Cotillard’s gown- if it had been green, that would be pushing it, but the oyster color? Nice. And she is French Charm in a Basket.Amy Ryan was a bombshell, and I wish other people had worn colors other than black so her simple cut would have stood out.


Chelsea February 25, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Thank you for showing us the beautiful gowns. There are maybe 80-gazillion websites showing us what was ugly (in their opinions), so thank you for this breath of fresh air. :)


Evalyn February 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Okay, Callista Flockhart is just skinney, and that gown is exactly right for her – gives her substance and form. And how can you have a more stunning accesory on your arm than Harrison Ford? Well, the man needs a haircut, but the gray is great.


Robin Z February 25, 2008 at 7:01 pm

When I grow up I want to look like Helen Mirren. And yes, Jon Stewart’s jokes were kinda lame, but he +totally+ redeemed himself when he took the “screw the schedule” route and brought the adorable Marketa Irglova (best song co-writer) out so she could make her acceptance speech.


PhantomMinuet February 25, 2008 at 7:43 pm

I hated Jennifer Gardner’s lipstick color (zombie lips) and her hair. It looked almost as bad as Cameron Diaz’s hair. And that was truly dreadful.Loved the reds, loved Calista’s dress, loved Marion’s dress, and even more important than her dress–although I give her made props for designing it herself–was Julie Christie’s hair. It was fabulous.


enc February 25, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Perfectly said!


/anne... February 25, 2008 at 10:39 pm

keri russell forgot to put on her dress – she’s wearing the boned lining! Maybe they ran out of time…


Midge February 26, 2008 at 2:48 am

I just love your blog and I am anti-lurkers, so here’s my comment on your Oscars post. Julie Christie’s glove thingies – what was she thinking? I give her a tick for DIY but a X for awarenesss of figure and age appropriate styling. Otherwise I think your comments are pretty spot on, except poor Ann Hathaway who looked quite ethereal in my opinion, with that exquisite skin, dark hair and the blood of the dress.


Anonymous February 26, 2008 at 2:59 am

well said Erin ,well said


alana February 26, 2008 at 6:18 am

I saw something recently in some fashion magazine or other about the ridiculous extra diet-and-fitness efforts that actresses make in the month or so leading up to awards season. It’s sad, of course, but it also explains why these gorgoeus women often look severe and underfed when you could swear they looked (for hollywood) normal in their last film.I am pining for the return of sleeves and straps. Strapless dresses have to either A. Cut into the top of the brest producing a weird effect that I think draws attention to the armpit, or B. Be so structured that it could stand up on its own without the actresses help and look exactly the same. I’ll just be alone in my ‘I love Cameron Diaz’s “I just ran off the beach and threw on a gown” look’ corner. I do think she’s cute. And I think her hair looked much prettier than say, Hillary Swank’s or Anne Hathaway’s.


Latter-Day Flapper February 26, 2008 at 6:49 am

I didn’t watch the Oscars, but, yes, I Googled the dresses. I loved Helen Mirren’s and Katherine Heigl’s dresses. I hated Keri Russell’s, though. I honestly don’t think she’s that pretty in the first place but that (lack of) color made her look tubercular and the strapless bodice is very unflattering.


Lisa @ the Vintage Fashion Library February 26, 2008 at 7:59 am

I’m so glad that red was the “it” color. The ruby color of Helen Mirren’s dress was fabulous. That dress was amazing.And did anyone else catch Regis calling Javier Bardem “Xavier Bardem?” We cracked up.And I’ll agree — Marion Cotillard was beautiful.


Nora February 26, 2008 at 10:01 am

Helen Mirren – wow. If I saw that dress on a hanger I’d think, “meh.” But on her it’s perfect!–for her coloring, her figure, her age and stature. I like how, though of course she’s thin, she doesn’t look starved or dried out, as so many American actresses do (nor does Julie Christie). Which reminds me of that quote attributed to Catherine Deneuve (who I also think looks much more beautiful at “un certain age” than she ever did as a pretty young thing), the one about how after a certain age you have to choose between your face and your ass. Anyway, it’s great to see examples of aging gracefully and maintaining a sense of personal style, as both Mirren and Christie do – thanks for the inspiration, ladies!


Cookie February 26, 2008 at 10:46 am

It just occured to me that I think there was so much red on the red carpet because this February is “Wear a Red Dress for Cancer Awareness Month” or something.


Margo February 26, 2008 at 12:10 pm

but I think Anne Hathaway is stunning! Agree with Midge about the dark hair, white skin, red dress effect – Anne makes it look elegant, not cliche. And I really like the drapey stuff over the simple lines of her gown.When I have a hard time falling asleep, I design Oscar dresses in my head for my beautiful friends that I am itching to dress :)


Anonymous February 26, 2008 at 3:16 pm

It’s amazing to see how great helen Mirren always looks! A perfect example of a not-so-perfect beauty. Someone with character and style instead. And the sleeves, like last year, cover up what she said are “old arms”. Just fabulous any way you look at it.


mamafrog February 26, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Okay–love most of the dresses and the fact that these influential women are dressing in a beautiful and appropriate style for GLAMOR!! But God help us–some of those women are plain ol’ bony ugly scrawny! Why are we still worshiping at the altar of thinner is better?


Anonymous February 26, 2008 at 8:04 pm

What appalled me was the Danial Day-Lewis’ wifes gown, WHAT is with that huge fake brooch and the red ‘pointsettas’ on her shoulders?!?


Anonymous February 26, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Yes, Helen Mirren and Julie Christie look great. The younger set could learn a lot from them.Anne Hathaway is no beauty (horsey faced) and the cut of her dress is awful, but at least she got the color right.I think this is the best Calista Flockhart has ever looked. Good job. Harrison Ford could use a hair stylist, though.


Anonymous February 27, 2008 at 8:52 pm

what a great day to realize that you add metadata captions to all your photos!


hollarback February 27, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Helen Mirren does dress well, although I think honestly her gene pool had a little help, …but I don’t blame her at all. As long as you still look like you – no problem.I also think Julie Christie’s gloves were actually a self-conscious age thing. You cannot hide old arms and especially hands. Diane Keaton (who I love) does the same thing. There is no way to really fix old hands.Totally agree on the too skinny thing. I live in LA amongst these people. They are scary thin. Keep in mind that the camera adds weight. All the wardrobe extras in the second hand stores go up to maybe size 4 – for the fat actresses. Too thin ages very badly.How funny that Helen and Julie – both in their 60s were the best looking gals out there!


Sara A February 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Hi Erin! I have to say that as much as I don’t like Renee Zellweger–she has this weird walk and does all this unnatural posing which doesn’t look good on such a short woman, and who is kind of unfeminine in her muscle definition–I couldn’t get her dress out of my mind. There was some kind of swirly silver magic going on casting a spell on me.


sharon b February 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

I didn’t watch the oscars but did the red carpet. I liked Katherine Heigl and Miley Cyrus in red. I was too distracted with Jennifer Garner’s face to appreciate the fashion – it looked really plastic, like she has had work done, which i hope was just poor make up application as she is a natural beauty and doesn’t need fancy tricks.Loved Helen Mirren as always. Red seemed to be choice du jour, which is great as i love red.


lorrwill March 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Helen Mirren is my ‘how to clean up good’ hero. She is the age-appropriate hotness. She has the look of just being classy/elegant/gorgeous and not working at it at all.Frump and/or dowdy trespass here not one nanometer.I so want to be like her when I grow up!


jen March 3, 2008 at 10:51 pm

I didn’t watch the Oscars either.Helen Mirren is about 10 times hotter than most of the young Hollywood starlets combined. That red is amazing.


Amy April 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Ooh, I do love Miley Cyrus’s dress…it is very modest and age-appropriate!


alba-ny August 21, 2009 at 2:33 am

Oooh, my husband and I loved The Wire! It is the best thing I have ever watched, perhaps. We just finished (DVDs) and already miss it terribly because nothing compares.


fashion girl March 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I think Ann looked great!!!! she looked like a princess! she always looks great. she knows have to look good. she is always a dream in her dress.


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