Steve Granitz/WireImage; Gilbert Flores/Celebrity Photo
The Showdown: Sandra Bullock in Marchesa (2010) vs. Nicole Kidman in Balenciaga (2007)
The Editor’s Pick: Nicole Kidman
Who Made the Call?: Bronwyn Barnes, Senior Style Editor
Why She Chose It:
Balenciagaaaaaaaa! Sorry, I just had a Myrtle Snow moment there. (American Horror Story: Coven fans will know what I’m talking about.)
Nicole’s halter dress, created exclusively for the actress by the French fashion label, is the pinnacle of crimson-hued red carpet gowns – or at least it was until Lupita Nyong’o came along.
The look was polarizing: Some fashion critics raved, while others gave it two thumbs way down. Much of the discussion centered around that giant bow, which surely would have been the fashion meme of the night had Twitter been as popular in 2007 as it is now. The oversize knot was a little much, but I loved the way it draped into an over-the-shoulder train that cascaded down Nicole’s back, adding just the right amount of volume to the gown’s crepe silk skirt. I didn’t love the matchy-matchy red shoes, but this isn’t the Best Oscars Footwear Showdown.
(Speaking of shoulder embellishments, there was actually a bow detail on the original Marchesa design that Sandra wore in 2010, but the actress and her stylist removed it when they reworked the dress for the red carpet.)
With its lace-patterned illusion bodice and a sterling beaded skirt that shimmered like liquid metal, Sandra’s gown was a fitting choice considering that, by the end of the night, she had picked up the ultimate accessory. Not only was the dress a fan favorite, it became a part of Oscars fashion history, marking the first time Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig had ever dressed an Oscar winner.
They’re both memorable gowns, but for me this decision came down to looking at the side-by-side photos and deciding who wore it better. It may have had nothing to do with her ensemble — it’s just as likely she was experiencing a few Oscar nominee jitters — but Sandra seemed a little uncomfortable on the red carpet. And whether you loved it or hated it, you have to agree that Nicole really worked that dress.
Voting is now closed but click here to see who came out on top — and to weigh in on today’s matchup: Anne Hathaway vs. Nicole Kidman!