Click the top title to open If you are in the market for a special-occasion dress you can be sure that within weeks your favourite Oscar looks will be available. Designers and retailers know that no one can sell a dress better than Hollywood. That is why so many of your favourite stars end up on the cover of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Within days you will be able to find versions of the most popular red carpet looks at all price points.
Here is a rundown of some of our favourite trends from the 86th Annual Academy Awards, and how to wear them:
Nude and Metallic gowns that shimmered were a popular choice for some of Hollywood’s top female stars. A gown of beaded flowers on nude net from Armani Privé made Cate Blanchett look ethereal. Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson both wore silver beaded gowns that sensuously hugged their curves. Naomi’s Watts dress from Calvin Klein was an elegant column with cap sleeves. Kate Hudson’s gown by Atelier Versace had a draped Mermaid silhouette and a deep décolleté. Jenna Dewan-Tatum also wore a shimmering nude beaded gown. Both Cate and Jenna’s gowns had cap sleeves and skirts that flared over the hips into flowing skirts. Naomi Watts (left ) in beaded Oscar Gown
This look is already sexy so don’t go too bare or too short. Buy the best quality dress you can afford. Poorly constructed net or sequins will not hold up and will look cheap. Shop designer discount or sales for this look. Also try stores like Caché for well-made dresses with a high-fashion look at a good price.
Flowing dresses like Cate Blanchett’s are best on tall, slender women. Smaller women can wear a slender column dress like Naomi Watts, and curvy women will shine in sexy, curve-hugging dresses like Kate Hudson’s.
Strapless dresses are a red carpet classic. Amy Adams’s form-fitting, Gucci gown in navy was sophisticated and sexy. Jennifer Lawrence looked chic in a strapless, scarlet dress from Dior. Both long slim gowns used peplums to show off the stars’s slim waistlines. The gowns also had small trains at the back for interest. The more tailored gowns were a departure from the usual strapless ball gown or mermaid silhouettes seen at award shows.
To wear a tailored strapless dress:
The fit of a strapless gown must be impeccable. Be sure you can wear this type of dress without tugging to keep it up. Often a pricy gown will have a built-in bra and corset. This fits better and is more comfortable as it holds the gown in place. If you have a good dressmaker or alterations person it can be worthwhile to see if they can do this for you – or look for a dress that is made with a corset in it.
Both Jennifer and Amy wore their hair in simple off-the-face styles to complement the clean lines of their gowns. A fussy hair style can look dated and matronly, but overly casual hair can look undone.
Colour is another trend to be aware of when shopping this spring. In addition to Amy Adams’s choice of navy instead of a more predictable black, and Jennifer Lawrence’s bright red gown, everyone fell in love with Lupita Nyong’o’s “Nairobi” blue gown. Idina Menzel stood out in her popular, but unusual choice of bottle green.
Left :White Crystal Illusion beaded gown from Cache $398
The cool blue shade of Lupita Nyong’o’s dress complemented her warm skin tones perfectly. The warm, deep bottle green made Idina Menzel look like pieces of rare porcelain. Colour is a classy way to stand out without showing too much skin. Get it just right and no one will ever forget “how you looked that night” – like the lady in red. Lupita Nyong’o will forever be remembered in her flowing blue gown the same way images of Grace Kelly, in her ice blue Oscar gown, are iconic.
To wear a colourful gown:
If you are choosing a gown for a special occasion and want to wear colour, look for one that makes you glow. Don’t settle for less. Everyone has certain shades that work magic with their colouring. Don’t settle for less. If you are not sure about your best shades, try asking for help at Sephora or MAC where there are trained consultants. Good makeup people can tell you what colours work with your skin tones.
Left: Ice blue chiffon $106 form JJHouse.com