Here are my picks for the Best & Worst of the Red Carpet at the 2017 Oscars.  Who needs E- Channel????   At the end of this story, I picked out some look-alike dresses that cost a fraction of what the stars paid!  (Or didn’t, since they get to wear their glamorous dresses free for one night.  Where can we sign up for that perk?!?)

There were several trends on the red carpet this year and one of the biggest was the 50s STYLE BALLGOWN, belted, with an exaggerated V neckline. 

Charlize Theron had the 50s look with the exaggerated v-neck and trendy belt.  Dior Couture.  Theron is the face of Dior and she always looks fabulous.  This isn’t my favorite silhouette – it makes the skinniest person look heavy.  Charlize has the best figure in Hollywood, but you can see the dress isn’t particularly flattering.   The fabric, the color, her hair and jewelry save the day – she looked beautiful.  BEST DRESSED LIST.


Allison Schroeder – had on the 50s ballgown with the v-neck.   Not my favorite fabric – by a long shot.   A wider belt would have looked better.


Cynthia Erivo worn the 50s ballgown look. The fabric is beautiful, but perhaps better on a chair or curtains.  I’m sure some will hate this, but she looks good in the Paolo Sebastian dress – it suits funky and fun look.


Felicity Jones dress had the belted, full 50s skirt, with V-neck, but it was too white against her white skin.  She looked like a ghost – there was no distinction between her skin and the dress.  It’s Dior, which was a shocker.  This was a disaster.  Very unflattering – she looked like she weighed 25 pounds more than she does.  She needs a new stylist.  Candidate for the WORST DRESSED LIST.


Another shocker was Scarlett Johansson.  I’m afraid she had one of the worst looks of the night.  Nothing worked: the belt, the fabric, the color, her 50s hair that matched the dress’s era.   Dress by Alaia.

From the side, it was even worse.  Major side-boobage with her tattoo showing.  And she was wearing a short slip of some kind or a body suit that  you could see through the dress.  Not good.  WORST DRESSED LIST.


To the Vanity Fair party – after the Oscars where everyone changes clothes – Scarlet looked so much better!  I would give her the Best Dressed for the After Party just so she doesn’t feel so bad about getting the Worst Dressed at the Oscars!  I love the way she looks here!


Kirsten Dunst looks like she is going to a 50’s prom – and she is absolutely perfect!  Christian Dior dress and notice her necklace!!!   This is one of the Best Best Best of the night!!!   Her hair and makeup are perfect!   She looks youthful and trendy, and she looks great in her dress.   Just beautiful!!    LOVE.  BEST DRESSED LIST.


Brie Larson had the exaggerated V-neckline on, which reminds me of the Playboy Bunny costume.  Oscar de la Renta.  This is a beautiful dress, but it seemed to be too much on her tiny frame.   Her hair didn’t add anything to the look, the color looked off.  Not her best night.


Taraji Henson wore an Alberta Ferretti, midnight blue gown with an exaggerated V neckline – combined with the trendy off-the-shoulder look.  Her diamond bib necklace was gorgeous.  Her hair was perfect.  She was perfect.




Leslie Mann wore a tiered full skirt that was just way too much.  But, I loved the color on her and thought from the knees up she looked wonderful.    If the dress was just cut off at mid-shin, I think she would have been a best dressed of the night.  Zac Posen.

Look at this dress below – inspiration?


Was this the inspiration for Posen?  An 18th century American dress.  Notice the pinking shear edge.


Janelle Monae in Elie Saab.  The textured fabric and detailing is beautiful.  But, the side panels are just a bit too much.  This is a costume, not a dress.  Inspiration below?



Inspiration?  Here, again, an 18th century French dress shows the side panels that were once so in vogue.  Are they again?


Besides the 50’s silhouette and the exaggerated V neckline with the belted waist, another trend seen last night was the long sleeve.  Once long sleeves used to be reserved for the Mother-of-the-Bride, it is now a look for all ages.


Isabelle Huppert wears a pretty Armani Prive, with a trend belt.  Not crazy about her dark lips and the extra youthful cuff earring.


Ruth Negga was a young one in long sleeves – Valentino.  Not a favorite of mine, but everyone loved it – besides me.


Zuri Hall was another young girl in trendy long sleeves and trendy faux feathers – it’s actually her fabric that just looks like feathers!  Her hair is perfect – very well dressed!


Pauletta Washington is so elegant in red long sleeves.  I love her hair!!! 


Susan Geston – I love her look, in red satin long sleeves. I really love her middle-aged look – aging naturally in Hollywood with grey hair!   Handsome couple.  She looks perfect except for one huge mistake – the white shoes??????  What?????


Trudie Styler wore this long sleeved cream look combined with the trendy off-the-shoulder look – another older woman looking beautiful!!


Dakota Johnson wears Gucci a lot and she is always a hit or miss.  Sometimes she looks fabulous and sometimes not.   This makes the WORST DRESSED LIST unfortunately.  It started with her limp, too dark, thin hair.  The dress is pretty and might have looked better on someone with warm blonde hair – like Leslie Mann.  And it was a wrinkled mess on top of it.   But, poor Dakota looks awful here, which kills me to say, because I adore her!


This is hard.  How do you age gracefully – when 40 years ago you starred in one of the most famous movies, looking beyond gorgeous??  I can’t imagine how hard that must be to face, and how insecure Faye must feel.   Regardless – her stylist should take a look at Jeff Bridge’s and Denzel’s wives.   The dress is beyond terrible.  And these shoes – with the clear plastic bands holding them on.  Ankle straps shouldn’t be worn by anyone older than 30 or 35 at the oldest.    I would get a new stylist.


There were quite a few dresses with trains falling from the shoulder, which is a hard look to wear:


This 18th century dress shows a shoulder train, which was once a popular look.  Maybe it should stay in that century??


Jamie Dornan and his wife Amelia Warner.  I am crazy about her!  But this dress is horrid.  She has to be on the WORST DRESSED LIST.   I don’t understand this dress at all.  Have you ever heard her sing?  HERE.  The mega store John Lewis hired her to sing that same song on their famous Christmas ad the next year.  HERE.  She usually looks much cuter than this. 


Darby Stanchfield wears a shoulder train. 


Giuliana Rancic wore a one shoulder train.  The nude corset underneath ruined the smooth look:


To me – it is the difference between a well made and cheaply made dress.  I’m sure someone paid a small fortune for this dress, but the nude piece should have been better constructed.  It was  just so ill fitted.  Georges Chakra Couture (?)


And then there is Karlie Kloss with the shoulder drape on her Stella McCartney dress.  I have to say that she is on my BEST DRESSED LIST.  I love the way she looks – from her hair with the Veronica Lake wave to the choker to the placement of her ACLU ribbon!


Her choker was my favorite!!


Her shoes are gorgeous too.  And I even love the shoulder drape here.  BEST DRESSED LIST.  But then, there was this:


Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford in 2012.  Everyone is talking about the similarities.   Well, this isn’t a back train on the Ford – it’s a shoulder train!  I do love Paltrow’s bracelet and ring – and I remember she was on my Best Dressed that year too!


Chrissy Teigen’s dress was trendy.  Long sleeves, Yep.  Belt, Yep.  Thigh Slit, Yep.  Back train, Yep.


What IS with all these back trains?????


Another trend going around these days is the wide cleavage.

Emma Roberts in vintage Armani.  This was such a bare look, especially from the side.  Too bare.


Michelle Williams in Armani – she and Emma look as if they were wearing the same dress.  This is just too much white skin between the breasts. 


Another trend was the long Grecian column dress.  You have to be tall and thin to carry this off.  Many combined the column look with trendy fringe and trendy belt!

Olivia Culpo wore this Marchesa with the trendy fringe, the Grecian column look, and the belt. 


Robin Roberts was gorgeous!  I loved this dress!!!  She looked perfect in it and makes my BEST DRESSED LIST. 


Everyone loved this and Viola Davis made most Best Dressed lists.  Myself, I didn’t care for the neckline and faux halter.  But without all the busy shoulder and neck detailing – I think it would be stunning.  Her hair and makeup was flawless.  I LOVE her hair cut!!!


Halle Berry in Versace.   Her dress is beautiful with a trendy feathered fringe – both looks together!  She is just so gorgeous.  Her hair, though, detracted from the dress.  You don’t even see the dress – all you see is her hair cut.


Emma Stone in Givenchy – trendy Grecian column with fringe.   She was stunning – her hair and makeup were perfect.  BEST DRESSED LIST.


The Vanity Fair after party – she wore Givenchy.   Hmmm. No comment!


Nicole Kidman in an Armani column dress with a suzani-like beaded pattern.  Stunning.  Just gorgeous.  The only issue – the too big Stuart Weitzman shoes (?)  But the coloring against her skin is just beautiful.   BEST DRESSED LIST.


Earlier – her back straps criss-crossed.


Later, they tied.  Either way – the dress was gorgeous.


Here are my personal final picks: 


Blanca Blanco.  OK – the dress would be ok without those sleeves!!!   I like the color.  But the sleeves are just way too too much.  And that slit is way too too high.  It doesn’t say who the designer is.  Later, it was revealed that Blanca’s private parts were totally exposed to all the cameras – with no knickers on.  She claimed she was wearing a flesh covered body suit – and that was what the camera’s caught.  Hmmm.  I couldn’t see any lines from the body suit.  The reaction to her appearance was very negative and she was accused of pulling a stunt for attention.  She denied this and said she only wanted to get on the Best Dressed list. 



Karlie Kloss!  I just love this – it was an initial thought when I first saw her on the red carpet.  Just wow.


And my second winner is Kirsten Dunst. 

I love this look, the ingénue, 50’s prom look with the sophistication of the accessories and hair and makeup.  Just perfect!!!



Below are some less expensive versions of the Red Carpet Looks that I found.  Most are around $200-$400. 


The Grecian column look.



A faux Nicole Kidman dress.



The back cape.




Charlize Theron’s look.




The belted 50’s look with V-neck.



The long sleeved look.



Off the shoulder look – love this!!!



Kirsten Dunst – in pink.



Leslie Mann’s dress – in taupe.




  I really like this one too.



  1. I must admit I didn't watch the Oscars because I haven't seen any of the nominated movies. It would appear that I didn't miss much. I didn't like a single dress that you featured, I saw a beautiful, elegant, simple lace gown with a sweetheart neckline on a mannequin at Nordstroms's in Vancouver last week that looked gorgeous - better than any of these gowns. To me, simple and elegant is always better.

  2. Well, this was a ton of fun...nice recap. Makes the flubbed up ending less memorable.

  3. I think if Charlize Theron doesn't knock a dress out of the park, then nobody should touch it. Maybe Halle Berry, who is 50!!!!! With those arms, that bod! Sheesh. She looks 30.
    And Isabelle Huppert looks great for 63. I like the ear cuff--a little daring.
    When did sexy Denzel Washington gain weight?
    Another blogger noted that Brie Larson's dress recalls "Madame X" by John Singer Sargent.
    Viola Davis's complex dress on top is saved by simplicity below plus the gorgeous color. And look at that smile. Of course, she had reason, but a smile is the best asset.
    Karlie Kloss, to me is the best dressed. It isn't revealing but not at all prudish. The back train seems to me like more of an attached cape, without a lot of silly trailing fabric on the ground. Simplicity, class.
    The final dress you show looks like one that would be flattering on many figures.

  4. Best dressed from me: Viola Davis looked fabulous - also Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Alicia Vikander. Sad about the debacle over best film. Also thought Karlie Kloss looked spectacular. Best wishes, Pamela

  5. Really enjoyed this Oscar dress recap. Was underwhelmed by the clothes this year--and I look forward to this red carpet ALL year. Favorite was the tiara that Ruth wore.

  6. Juliana is scarily thin.

    1. I agree. I didn't see her on the red carpet, but the two pics in this post were, quite frankly, hard to look at. I am sure that the nude came-thing underneath was a last-minute fix because even the tiniest size dress is too big for her. Having just seen my daughter's best friend go through several months of inpatient treatment for an eating disorder, I have to say that it looks like Guiliana has a similar issue. Scary, and sad.

  7. I didn't like any of the dresses either, and I didn't think any flattered the wearers. Too foo foo and too contrived. All looked uncomfortable, as well.

  8. I couldn't agree more with every one of your comments, but I loved Viola Davis, especially the neckline! Overall, almost all the dresses were a big disappointment this year, only two or three outfits were exceptional.

  9. There is something to be said for what we used to call "charm school." One learned deportment, table manners, and other etiquette. We learned to stand and sit with grace, and how to walk and move like a lady. Almost none of these women know how to wear formal wear, and their stylists don't know much more than they do - especially the hair stylists. I saw expensive gowns wadded up in people's hands because they didn't know how to walk with a train. I saw hair falling in eyes because it wouldn't stay in place. I saw a lot of women in unflattering gowns that they had no business wearing, when the world is their oyster and they don't even have to buy anything for the evening. They can pick and choose, or their stylists can, and yet they still look a fright. The studios used to groom their stars to look and act with decorum and style, but that all went away. All they know is the stock pose with one hand on hip. There is money, but much less glamour and even less class. Bring it back - please. On the positive side, a few of the stars were well spoken and eloquent. But if you watch old clips of awards in the 60s, for example, you will see elegance and grace and poise. Such a marked difference to now.

  10. I thought Nicole Kidman was the prettiest of the night. And tell me why do these women have to get the hideous facelift??? Faye Dunaway looks like an alien. If that is what the best facelift money can buy will get one then I will gladly same my money and embrace my wrinkles!!!

  11. When I read this- I dreaded seeing Dakota Johnson. (I did not see the Oscars this year). However, I didn't think she was the worst. Her hair style should have gone with another dress- she might have done a Veronica Lake wave with that dress. The dress reminded me of something Bette Davis would have worn, and Dakota is much too young for that. But her face looked rested, young and beautiful and her hair was young as well.

  12. I usually do an oscars fashion post but didn't have time this year. I completely missed the pre awards ceremony red carpet. I was very disappointed as I was perusing the online photos yesterday. And then I saw Karlie Kloss. She was the hands down winner IMO. The perfect combination of simple but elegant. Stunning! I like Kirsten Dunst's look, especially her shoes. Do you know who they are by? I also liked Emma Stone and Nicole Kidman's dresses. I wish they had been darker. I felt they were too light against their fair complexions. Now I have to get caught up on a few movies I didn't get to see in the theater. Until next year...

  13. Puzzling that so many stars chose gowns that honored current fashion trends over more classic styles that would be more figure flattering. Surely that should be the criteria. The hits were great - the misses really bad.

  14. Fun post. Love it that you found us some copycat chic choices. Wish I had someplace to wear them though.

  15. I didn't watch so enjoyed your post. I agreed with about everything you said. You were actually being very kind! Some look like they ran out of money. I think my favorites were Robin Roberts (her hair was cute with the dress) and Trudie Styler.

  16. You were just spot on with your review! I agree with most everything you said. And thanks for showing us some "real people" options! Fun Stuff!

  17. Dear Joni, I like ALL the dresses you posted at the end of this article. Even the edgy ones had a classic look. Good job!

  18. once again joni you nailed it! in your hands i wanted this to go on and on, you attention to detail is unrivaled

  19. Dakota Johnson didn't have a hairdo. Couldn't believe it; and that dress...oh my...did it come out of grandma's attic? It couldn't have; grandma is Tippi Hedren. She wouldn't wear that thing, would she?
    This sounds mean, but seriously, these people have people. Where were their people, People?
    And Isabelle Huppert's dress was too big and too heavy-looking for her small body.

  20. Jessica Biel was perfection...THAT NECKLACE...I couldn't see the image of Dakota Johnson, but the dress was so very Joan Crawford ala Mildred Pierce...yet aside from the failed coiffure, it's THAT Cartier museum piece she wore around her neck that was everything, would've shown better if the dress were in Midnight Blue or Black.

  21. I have no idea who Taraji Henson is but the Alberta Ferretti gown is fabulous in midnight blue. Perfection. She certainly wears it well aside from the overwhelming decolletage, this was such a gorgeous look. The portrait neckline is so feminine. Love everything about this dress! But honestly, so many looked embarrassingly ridiculous, comical, not pretty, not classy. I don't understand how you can turn up looking so sad with every resource at your beck and call. The hair is often not appropriate for the occasion and they can't seem to do hair color at all. Hollywood continues its vulgar slide and seems proud of classlessness. They do not understand that sexy and feminine does not mean baring it all for anyone and everyone to see. Tattoos, enough already. Moving on...The white cape gown? IMO, Gwyneth Paltrow did it better. I loved how she wore that dress so perfectly in 2012. I think Chrissy Teigen's dress was really pretty and loved Nicole Kidman from head to toe. Kirsten Dunst reminded me of Ann Southern's 50's dress in the opening to her show when she comes through the revolving doors in that black dress. Thank you for the fun review and for putting the names of the people in the gowns and who the designer was. Elie Saab gown, she is usually so ethereal, her wedding gowns are fabulous. A rare disappointment.

    1. How interesting that you mentioned Ann Southern! She was a great friend of one my mother's star-struck cousins. He even wrote a (published) biography of her and often stayed at her home. Now that you mention it - it does look like her style at the time. But that's OK - it still looks fabulous on Kirsten Dunst - retro Ann Southern! Best wishes, Pamela

  22. Kirsten Dunst was my favorite of the night. Faye Dunaway just looks horrible, trying too hard? Like you said it's hard to stay relevant and go from the most stunning to older actress. I actually thought Scarlett Johansen looked pretty good -fit her personality and she didn't look like anyone else. Isabelle Huppert was GORGEOUS.Giuliana Rancic should take a cue from her look and cover up a bit more. She's so skinny and sickly looking I want to feed her hamburgers. I hope she doesn't have some horrible health problem I don't know about because if so then I feel bad.

  23. Didn't watch the awards this year so appreciate your review. That said; from your photos IMHO feel the gowns of Nicole, Halle, Olivia and Robin won hands-down as not only do they appear to be exquisite in fabric but the style suited each of their body types. As for Giuliana's; totally agree with you Joni as not only did it fail in couture workmanship (specifically the under halter and hem lines)but to me its very design is questionable with its open under the arm side seam constituting a gaping bodice, not to mention was its selection even proper for her body frame? -Brenda-
    P.S.: Hopefully the latter doesn't sound too critical, but the garment doesn't even appear to have a lining of any sort.

  24. I love everyone's comments!!! It's like watching it with everyone !!!!! I tried to be civil. Haha. But oy. Faye's face. Why?!!!! Wrinkles have to be better than this !!!

  25. So fun to read and see your review ... I agree with you more than with E channel!!! (and seriously WHAT is with Scarlett Johansen??)

  26. Love you blog and this Oscar post is spot on, loved Nicole's dress, missed Cate Blanchett this year. I would like to see an Australian actress wearing and Australian designer label (for instance Paolo Sebastian) . Thought some of this years fashion was deplorable, do these
    actresses think they look OK when they try on and accept to wear these outfits.

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  28. I have to say I agree with both of your lists, and your last Best top 2... but I was having a hard time recognize many of them because of these new facelifts. I have no problems with facelifts as such, but really! OK, enough said.

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