Some truly striking gowns hit the red carpet at the Academy Awards Sunday night — in fact, we’d be hard-pressed to pick one loser among a sea of really stunning dresses. But of course, the most fun part of the night is choosing our favorites, so below, check out the six that we (and Style Council member Louise Roe) were drooling over last night, keeping in mind that some of us had to battle to earn the rights to our pick. Then tell us in the comments who won your Best Dressed of the night (or even better, make your own list and share it with your friends on Facebook!)
Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor: There was a big fight over who would get Kate Hudson as their best dressed pick, but since I sent the email out to the Style team to get the ball rolling on this post, I was able to claim her first! (Sorry, not sorry.) First of all, the actress’s custom Atelier Versace gown featured a bolero, and in my book if you can pull off any sort of cape, you have some serious style cojones and should be praised. Plus, the gorgeous plunging beaded off-white design fit Hudson’s body perfectly, and her side-swept waves just found themselves a spot on my wedding hairstyles Pinterest board.
Zoë Ruderman, Deputy Style and Beauty Director: Before the red carpet even started, I had a feeling my vote for Best Dressed would go to a plunging look. The thing is, I assumed that would mean Amy Adams, reigning queen of the cut-down-to-there gown. But she showed up in a surprisingly demure dress (and then Brittany claimed Kate Hudson before I could) so I’m going with Lupita. As a fellow member of the small-breast club, I love that she went with a deep-V Prada design despite the lack of Kardashian-esque cleavage. It felt classy, chic and just plain gorgeous. The “Nairobi blue” shade and Fred Leighton diamond headband only made me love the getup more.
Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor: I knew Cate Blanchett would be wearing something magical, but I was lucky enough to be in the Dolby Theater when the lights went out and Blanchett’s stunning gown lit up the room like a disco ball. It looked like it had been made to highlight her perfectly from head to toe, but in fact, she shared that she had only chosen it 10 minutes before hitting the red carpet. You know you’re truly famous when you have three equally intricate gowns in your closet and picking something so sublime is just a matter of playing eenie-meenie-miney-moe.
I’ve been covering Oscars style for six years now, but this was my first year getting to see the gowns in person. And what really struck me was how much gets lost in translation on a computer screen. Looking at this photo now, it seems a little dishwater-y and washed out. But to watch it move, catching the light with every swish, was truly ethereal and breathtaking — and exactly what fashion is supposed to be about. It was a shimmering golden gown for her golden moment.
Bronwyn Barnes, Senior Style Editor: My top moment: Seeing Jessica Biel all aglow in a strapless dress from Chanel’s Spring 2014 Haute Couture collection. The iridescent pastel shades of sequin embroidery created a shimmering effect that actually had me wondering if she was hiding a string of twinkly Christmas lights under there. And while I’m usually not a fan of the piled-on diamond jewelry look, the combination of the bracelets, cloister necklace and a matching aquamarine ring and earrings — all from the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Collection — was, pardon the pun, just brilliant. Then, when Jessica turned around to throw a few over-the-shoulder poses, I caught a glimpse of the column from the reverse view and realized it was even better from the back. A long row of buttons accentuated the perfect C-curve of the actress’s famous booty. When she decided it was time to move on down the red carpet, I hated to see her go, but I loved to watch her leave
Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director: I told Brittany she could have Kate Hudson on one condition: I could choose Jared Leto. The same boy who made me swoon with his flannel and leather choker is now a designer tux-wearing Oscar winner who also happens to have the best (natural?) hair color in Hollywood. He clearly loves getting decked out for red carpet events, having recently sported a Saint Laurent gold blazer with a hot pink pocket square and Dior Homme suit with a white bow tie. For the Oscars, he brought his fashion A-game, choosing a cool white jacket and burgundy bow tie (both Saint Laurent). I could practically hear Angela Chase weeping in a high school bathroom somewhere.
Louise Roe, Celeb Style Council member and TV host: So as a fashion expert, I confidently predicted the Oscars red carpet would be awash with pink. Such a huge trend at fashion week … but oops, how wrong I was. Nobody rocked the soft, girly hue except Jada Pinkett, and Matthew McConaughey‘s beautiful wife. Camila Alves earns my best dressed award for her stunningly elegant Gabriela Cadena gown, which her tall, statuesque body posed in like a true Hollywood icon. The fabric had a slight sheen to it (and normally the thought of shiny pink would make me go eww — but not tonight). And the silhouette was daring: a half cape that called to mind Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Academy Awards white Tom Ford winner a couple of years back, and a long, slight-mermaid shape to the dress … it was just a dream. With her loose brunette waves and gleaming tan skin, Camilla nailed that balance between fairytale and avant-garde.
Who topped your “Best Dressed” list? Tell us below!
All the Oscars Glitz, Glamour and Gowns — Don’t Miss a Moment of the Best Beauty and Style By Clicking Here!
*BEST DRESSED: The Most Gorgeous Gowns of the Night
*BEAUTY AWARDS: See the Makeup and Hair We Love
*RISK-TAKERS: Which Stars Were Fashion Daredevils?
*STYLE 360: The Hottest Looks from Every Angle!