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Oscars 2016: The 8 Best Looks From a Dull Red Carpet

If you can count on one thing at the Oscars, it's glitz and glamour. Another thing? No one really wants to take a fashion risk. It's not the Met gala, and if you're not going to win an award, you can at least win a spot on the next day's best dressed lists by wearing something pretty.

With fresh faces like Brie Larson, Saoirse Ronan, and Alicia Vikander — all of whom the fashion industry's readily embraced — there was a lot to look forward to this year. Even better, a host of reliably well-dressed actresses were also on the invite list: Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, and Rooney Mara.

But truth be told, we were let down. Plenty of the looks were perfectly fine, but nothing stole the show. Brie's blue Gucci dress was underwhelming, Alicia's yellow Louis Vuitton was odd — both for her and the brand. We'd planned to feature ten of our favorite looks, but only eight caused real excitement.

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8. Charlize Theron in Dior

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Nia Porter, fashion assistantThe $3.7 million worth of Harry Winston jewelry is so distracting.

Nicola Fumo, style editor: There is something odd about the proportions up top, including how the necklace hits. I want to like this but something is off.

Rajni Jacques, fashion editor-at-large: It was not the best, but I can appreciate her aesthetic. She did mature-sexy very well.

Nia: This is a pretty forgettable look to me... and it reminds me of a swimsuit.

7. Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Nia: Chrissy was my favorite Marchesa look on the red carpet tonight. [Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum also wore the brand.]

Nicola: Okay I don't like Chrissy-the-celebrity, which is a me thing, but I have to give it up for doing a Naked Dress while pregnant and pulling it off. There is something a little '80s about the neckline, though.

Nia: I wish the neckline wasn't so visible, but I'm loving this deep red color.

Rajni: The color was great on Chrissy, I thought she looked great.

6. Olivia Wilde in Valentino

VPhoto by Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Nicola: This is southern hemisphere cleavage goals, disrupting the traditional top boob cleav. Also she looks like a goddess with a degree in architecture.

Nia: I saw the dress and I was like wow, it's very pretty — then she turned around and I was like... damn.

Rajni: I'm not really into it. It seems basic and not stunning. That dress style has been done over a thousand times — Lupita at the 2014 Oscars, Natalie Portman wearing Lanvin at the 2005 Oscars — and the fit was not great.

5. Naomi Watts in Armani Privé

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images


Nicola: I'm not a sparkle girl, but I am weirdly into this look! It works because the silhouette is so simple; it balances out the extreme sequins.

Nia: The dress reads very '80s art gala to me. I don't hate it, but I'm having a hard time getting past the tiered ombré.

Rajni: Naomi was glamour. I did not gravitate to the dress, but she did bring glamour.

4. Charlotte Rampling in Armani Privé

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Rajni: Old lady chic. Plain and simple, but that's exactly what French style is. Effortless regal.

Nia: Really tasteful and classic, yet high-fashion with the subtle emellishments.

Nicola: Totally. It's all about the details here: That texture, that slit, the red piping at the neckline contrasted with baby blue shoes. Win win win.

4. Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein



Nicola: I love this neckline, which we've saw a lot of tonight. Like I said with Naomi, I'm not really a sequins girl, but contrasted with the clean lines, the balance works. Plus, the back is so good; sexy as hell but not, like, crass. Love a good 360 dress.

Nia: I've been obsessed with this emerald color lately —

Nicola: Me too!

RajniEmerald seems to be a hit on the red carpet (Rachel McAdams wore it tonight, as well).

Nia: Apparently she wore it to commemorate her home country of Ireland.

Nicola: That could be so corny, but here it's just like a great Calvin Klein silhouette in a color that happens to be having a moment. Boom.

Rajni: The dress is simple, but it fits her body perfectly.

2. Rooney Mara in Givenchy Couture

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Nicola: I love Givenchy so much, and I love it on the red carpet so much, and I love it on Rooney Mara so much, even if she's done this look many, many times before.

Nia: There's a real formula to her red carpet looks: Slick hair, dark lips, and a badass Givenchy couture dress. Love.

Nicola: Yes, I love the hair and makeup, too, so much.

Rajni: It's a uniform, but a uniform that never fails. She brings to life any Givenchy dress she wears — she makes the gown seem not so costume-like. It's the opposite of what happens when Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian wear Givenchy.

1. Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Nicola: So, no one really blew it out of the water on the red carpet this year. Of the underwhelming looks, though, I think Gaga takes the cake. It's such a great balance of her two personalities: Her classic, gorgeous voice and the Old Hollywood look she sometimes plays with, plus the avant garde NYC art freak we first knew her as. It's pretty, but still interesting. Not "safe," but not wild.

Nia: Loving the white here. It's very interesting to look back at how she's evolved in the last two to three years. In 2012, this would be considered safe as hell for her.

Rajni: It's perfectly her. Over the top, but tailored to perfection.


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