The most awkward awards name of all (close second to the Golden Globes) happened last night! This is the one where stylists don’t have to worry about dressing anyone except the actors, which sounds like a gimme, but when an actor is wading through a sea of people trying to Make These Borrowed Clothes Look Awesome, the stakes are high. It’s not the same danger as the Met Costume Institute Gala, when they’re competing against models whose ONLY job is Make These Borrowed Clothes Look Awesome, but there is an occasional pose that is trying waaaay too hard, some of which didn’t even come from Lea Michele.
I am pleased (?) to report that the Bafflement Trend of 2012 is still going strong. As usual, some people got the memo about it and some people just chose to look amazing, but that means there’s something for everyone to make faces at one way or the other, which is what a red carpet is all about.
Let’s open on a Full Baffle:
Kristen Wiig deftly avoided the choker+low-neckline Saloon Girl ensemble mistake (recently made by Jennifer Lawrence, sartorially breaking my heart every time she leaves the house). However, she instead chose a lovely dress with a neckline so high that it bangs against the choker when she walks, which has to be a red flag that you have chosen the wrong accessory for your dress. But that’s putting aside the even bigger flag that, amidst all the ’90s trends that are coming back, the choker is not one, for a very good reason, and that is because LOOK AT IT, KRISTEN. LOOK AT IT.
With Kristen leading the way as Unfortunate ’90s Bride, let’s just tackle all the brides at once, shall we?
Tilda Swinton, So Chic It Doesn’t Even Bother You She Didn’t Wear a Belt Bride.
Rose Byrne, So Chic You Decide Not to Laugh at Her Hair Bride.
Zoe Saldana, Got Her Bridal Portrait Taken in a Delightfully Ramshackle Designer Field Bride.
Viola Davis, Everybody Gasps Bride.
Judy Greer, Such Amazing Accessories You Can Just Tell You Wish She’d Fought Her Mom for the Grey Dress Instead Bride.
Kaley Cuoco, I Missed My Chance to Be a Debutante, but Not This Time, NOT THIS TIME Bride.
Julianna Marguiles, For My Second Wedding I Traded Up and I Am Ecstatic About It Bride.
Octavia Spencer, The Top Half is Actually a Great Cockail Dress and This Skirt Comes Off for the Reception Bride.
Kelly Osbourne, Oh, This Old Thing? I Found it at a Vintage Store, it Belonged to Jean Harlow Bride.
But of course, there were those who eschewed the bridal action in favor of the official color of New York City.
THE WOMAN IN BLACK DIVISION
Tina Fey, looking awesome.
Archie Panjabi, in a drapey bib I can sort of let slide, and some insets of a different texture that nearly put her in Bafflement except I liked her earrings so much she lives here instead.
Emma Stone. The dress is sort of wearing her, but it’s an adorable dress, so that’s not as big a problem as it could be.
Melissa McCarthy. I like the sequin inset and the drape of the bodice quite a bit. After Judy Greer, though, I sort of wanted a more colorful clutch purse here.
Emilia Clarke, who could have removed about three design elements before she left the house, except that without the platinum hair she’s not recognizable yet and she was trying to get her picture taken, so, mission accomplished. (The tendrils of hair getting snagged on her high collar have no such excuse.)
Amber Heard. I think it’s nice that she honored her love of comic books with a Strategic Bosom Cutout. (I love the rest of this look, but that chest fissure reminds me of every fight Rogue ever got into.)
Of course, a lovely color is more likely to be photographed, and no one’s in this for their health, so a lot of ladies went with color. Sometimes there’s only one color that happens over and over (looking at you, Yellow at the Golden Globes), but this time around there was actually a nice variety, and almost everyone looked good! Almost.
ROY G. BIV DIVISION
Michelle Williams. I actually really like the bodice details here, but if you’re going to have an asymmetric hem that shows your shoes, you should probably pick better shoes.
(Note: No yellow dresses. Nobody wanted to have the Golden Globes thing happen again.)
Emily Blunt. Man, were two-shoulder dresses subject to a fine this year? I’m honestly asking.
Ellie Kemper, who paid the $200 for a symmetric dress (in a really great color).
Jessica Chastain…existing inside this dress. (I really do not think there is a lot to her acting, and I cannot get behind this Keira Knightley-esque ubiquity.)
Diane Lane, in a gunmetal blue dress on which she did not have to pay the Two-Shoulder Fine.
Julie Bowen. The color is great, the tassels are great, the idea of the design is great. However, when the visual width of the shoulder treatment is about twice that of the skirt, it makes you look startlingly thin, and that’s pretty much all I take away from this outfit.
Regina King, in a dress so girly that Giselle from Enchanted stopped by to ask her to tone the ruffles down a little. (However, the color is amazing on her and she looks like she loves it, so it’s a win.)
Sofia Vergara. This is where the clutch comment comes back to bite me, because I wanted more interesting clutches, and she brought one, and the jade green is amazing, but the snakeskin is…pass.
Speaking of passing, passing right by this swarm of relative whippersnappers are the grand dames who have been playing this game long enough to either do it right, or not give a fuck. Both of these things are awesome.s
THE PLEASE, NEWCOMERS, PLEASE DIVISION.
Jessica Lange, wooing me effectively with sequins.
Glenn Close, working Full Glam to great effect.
Meryl Streep, “Oh, sorry, is this dress a little weird? I couldn’t quite hear what you said about it because I’m Meryl fucking Streep.”
People who do not deserve to stand within fifteen feet of Meryl Streep include everyone in:
THE GLEE DIVISION
Lea Michele, we know your vagina is famous. Put it away.
(Pictures of her always make me laugh, and then make sort of a sad face, because her public persona is Former Vegas Showgirl Trying to Prove She’s Still Got It, and I do not know why someone who is barely old enough to rent a car by herself needs that.)
Dianna Agron, in a beautiful color and classic shape.
Naya Rivera, who manages to make Bombshell look a lot more natural than some people whose names rhyme with Blea Schmichele, and who is singlehandedly subsidizing the double-sided tape industry this evening.
And Jane Lynch, who looks great in this. She has a tendency to pick a lot of dress and then look uncomfortable, but this is simple, nicely tailored, and the perfect color for her.
And of course, stranger even than Glee’s success, there is…the Bafflement.
Gretchen Mol. The more I looked at this dress, the more I wanted to like it, and wish someone else had worn it, because for whatever reason, on her that collar just looks like Weightlifter Neck.
“I am going to this fancy acting event,” said Busy Phillips, flipping through her collection of beachy cover-ups. “If I wear a dress that’s only nice, no one will take my picture. And yet, I want them to! What am I going to do? WHAT am I going to do…?”
Heather Morris IS an extra from the wedding scene in Children of Dune!
Jennifer Carpenter. The thing about her dress is this: I completely see and accept the bodily-interior theme of the beading. Ribs and sternum outline? I’m with you. Boob flowers? If you insist. Pelvis flowers? Sure thing. But if you’re going to do that, you cannot stop at the knee. I want glittering tibia and fibia, I want another big circle with anchoring flowers at the side of the knee, I want the works. If you cut it off at the knee, it’s just a too-casual cocktail dress with pelvic flowers, and that, Jennifer Carpenter, is nobody’s friend.
So many dresses, yikes! And yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Head on over to Yahoo! (from whence these photos came) to check out the full spread!