Friday, March 2, 2012

The Closer: Oscar Ends the Awards Season with the Leg and the ‘Slip’ that Launched Their Own Twitter Accounts…and Some Pretty Hair

Angelina Jolie, sans leg...

While the consensus was the 2012 Academy Awards show was the usual snooze (Eddie Murphy really could have been a game changer), we did have the leg and the wardrobe malfunction that launched their very own Twitter accounts, courtesy of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez, respectively (#AngiesRightLeg and #JLoNipSlip). Trending topics aside, both ladies looked amazing at the Oscars.

For the second time in the 2012 awards season, Angelina broke with her tradition of wearing a nude lip in favor of bringing down the house with a red pout that simply has no equal. Combined with her loose, tousled waves and brighter hair color, she was radiant, a perfect foil for the structured black velvet Atelier Versace gown with the thigh-high slit that caused such consternation when she very self-referentially struck the highly common, exaggerated Red Carpet pose designed to maximize exposure in the wink-wink tradition of “oh, I’d simply FORGOTTEN this old dress was slit up to my hip.”

Jennifer Lopez, front and back
La Lopez looked amazing in her cream-colored Zuhair Murad gown with illusion panels and deeply plunging neckline, perfectly set off by her high classic ballerina bun. The fact that the double-sided tape holding things together chose her onstage appearance with Cameron Diaz to plead exhaustion made her short presentation of “Best Costume” award the most replayed TiVO moment of the year, a record she may well retain for the other 10 months remaining of 2012.

Berenice Bejo, roots and all
Best Actress nominee Berenice Bejo wore one of the prettier versions of the bohemian braids we’ve been seeing on the runways for the past two seasons – at least from the back. 

Berenice Bejo, the view we prefer
It was very on-trend, very in vogue, but the execution in the front wasn’t flattering. Unfortunately, we also weren’t on board with her switch from brunette to redhead; her skin tone is too olive for this shade of red and it made her look sallow, and its one-dimensionality reminded us of nothing more than home haircolor – so did the dark roots. If you can’t get it right on the most important night of the year – maybe your entire career -- well…

Miley Cyrus, all grown up
How lovely did Miley Cyrus look? Without those extensions – and oh, do we wish we could talk some people into removing theirs for the health of their hair – she looks fresh and her hair looks so much better, a much brighter and more flattering warm shade. Her makeup was beautiful, and she’s finally really come into her own. The gown was way too old for her, but overall it’s a major step in the right direction.

Viola Davis, au natural and gorgeous
Another actress who revealed her real hair is Best Actress nominee Viola Davis, who decided to abandon her wigs and appear with her natural, closely dropped hair. The coppery shade, slightly darker that her own burnished skin tone, was beautifully complimented by her emerald-green Vera Wang strapless gown and verdant eyeliner. It was very brave to step out on a night like this and show her natural beauty, to be herself without hiding behind a false image contrived by Hollywood. We thought she looked stunning, and hope it is the start of a trend toward women accentuating and accepting their beauty instead of working so hard to conform to an impossible standard.

Stacy Keibler, Hollywood Blonde
Stacy Keibler, rear view
Perennial bachelor George Clooney’s latest “plus-one,” Stacy Keibler, was practically the female version of the golden statuette with her perfect multi-dimensional highlights, long golden hair, and strapless liquid gold Marchesa gown. For a new twist on flowing, sexy Hollywood blonde hair, her stylist rolled her tresses across the back of her head so they would cascade over her left shoulder. It was quite pretty, except that her stylist didn’t anchor the pins very well and they were visible from many angles. No doubt she was a bit mortified when she arrived home and started to remove them – unless George did. In which case she had a perfectly fantastic evening and didn’t know about this minor mishap until she saw these same pictures after the fact, and who cares when you have George Clooney unpinning your hair at the end of the night?

Sandra Bullock rocks the high pony
Presenter Sandra Bullock has been wearing a version of this high ponytail to events recently (having a grabby two-year old is often the mother of invention), and with her bone structure, it’s a very flattering look. To bring a more formal air to it, her stylist wrapped either a lock of her own hair or a hairpiece around the base. Her dark hair is glossy and healthy, and we think this is one of the best versions of the high-pony going, and her backless Marchesa was the perfect frame.   

Rooney Mara, retro edgy
Rooney Mara’s retro black bangs, a result of growing out the shorn hairstyle worn in her Oscar-nominated role in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” are in high contrast to the actress’s translucent white skin and piercing blue eyes. She looked both beautiful and avante garde in a white Givenchy Haute Couture gown, retro yet edgy and modern. 

Penelope Cruz, retro matron
A not-so-successful retro look was Penelope Cruz’s faux-bob. It was very “40s pin-up,” yet somehow came off as too matronly. Had it been longer, we would have said “Veronica Lake” but instead what we were thinking was more “Lauren Bacall.” It just wasn’t quite right, and she was not helped by her drab Armani gown, which was also just a bit off.

Rose Byrne, iconic perfection
A Vivienne Westwood-clad Rose Byrne pulled off the classic bob-with-bangs look that always comes back into vogue, decade after decade: think of Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction,” Michelle Pfeiffer in “Scarface,” Julie Christie in “Shampoo,” Faye Dunaway in “Bonnie & Clyde”…all the way back to Cleopatra (or at least Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra). It’s an iconic look that we love, and it suits Rose, who wore it to the Oscars with a deep side part.

Emma Stone, too severe in front, so pretty in back
Emma Stone has some of the most beautiful red hair in Hollywood (we suspect this shade must be fairly close to her own natural color; it is simply too well-suited to her skin tone and eyes to be more than a shade off at the most), and this low, twisted chignon is quite pretty from the side and back, elegant yet not too formal. But Emma is too young for so severe a look in the front with the bangs so flicked down. Wouldn’t she have looked even more gorgeous with a bit of volume and height in the front for a softer finish?

Gwyneth Paltrow, boring from the front
She may have been the critics’ darling for her Tom Ford gown-and-cape combination, but Gwyneth Paltrow’s hair was shockingly sloppy for the Academy Awards show. 

...and sloppy from behind
There was nothing finished about it at all, from the front or from behind. She had visible roots, a plain exposed rubber band, and it frankly looked like she could have done it herself. This was not the star-quality hair we expect from her. See Sandra Bullock’s pony tail for a casual look done up elegantly.  

Jessica Chastain, the sexy half up-do
Viola Davis’ and Emma Stone’s “The Help” co-star Jessica Chastain has made quite the impression on the Red Carpets this award season, and the Oscars were truly her crowning achievement (pun intended!). Her highly embellished Alexander McQueen gown was perfectly offset by a soft, sexy half up-do – very Bardot-esque with some volume at the crown and the artful “bedhead” look she perfected for the hair cascading over her shoulders. Bella!

Kate Mara, in Rooney's stylish shadow
Unlike her sister, Rooney, Kate Mara opted for a much less controlled up-do; instead of controlled messy (the usual goal) she ended up with just “messy messy.” While Kate has very thick, healthy hair, she also has a low hairline, and the sideswept bang really accentuates it. This was not a flattering choice.

Milla Jovovich, just stunning
We’ll end on a high note with model-turned-action-star Milla Jovovich. She looked stunning in a crystal-beaded Elie Saab gown and a sexy up-do that could be the textbook definition of “controlled messy.” It had the height and fullness needed without being in any way severe or hard. Her hair looks soft and touchable, and the style is flattering, her color dimensional and alive. Add the evening’s other statement red lip, and this one’s a winner.

Until next week, ciao… 

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