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Posted at 1:03 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Oscar's best and worst dressed: Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett wow for totally different reasons.

By Liz Kelly

This year's Oscar ceremony was underwhelming in myriad respects. One of them was fashion. This year's crop of gowns failed to produce even one buzzy fashion trend. And wiith considerably less bling on the red carpet, 2011 may just go down in history as the year that Oscar fashion was a bit of a yawn. Still, there were some standouts -- both stunners and stinkers -- worth a second look.

Best dressed


The insouciant Gwyneth Paltrow in utterly stunning Calvin Klein (which totally made up for her off-key on-stage performance), host Anne Hathaway's red carpet look: a dress from the Valentino archives (though we loved her in most of her gazillion on-stage gown changes, too), Helen Miren in drop-dead gorgeous grey Vivienne Westwood and a slimmed down Jennifer Hudson in Versace.

Worst Dressed


The usually fashion forward Cate Blanchett in a homely concoction from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, Helena Bonham Carter in a corseted number she cooked up with costume designer Colleen Atwood (still, an improvement over her Globes look), best-supporting actress winner Melissa Leo in Marc Bouwer's structured, Elvis-evoking F-bomb dropping dress and Nicole Kidman in a white Christian Dior embroidered frock that actually manages to give the lithe Aussie battleship hips.

Agree? Disagree? Share your faves and flops below.

Getty Images

More coverage from tonight's Oscars:

View Oscars red carpet photos

James Franco in drag: Oscar fail?

The actors' Oscar acceptance speeches: Who said it best?

Related Oscar news from around the web:
More Red-Carpet Looks

By Liz Kelly  | February 28, 2011; 1:03 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season  | Tags:  Academy Awards, Oscars  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The actors' Oscar acceptance speeches: Who said it best?
Next: Kirk Douglas: The highlight of the 'young, hip' Oscar broadcast


Let's see these two "beauties," Liz and Jen, model something other than their grey sweatpants; and let us be the judge of how they come across on the red carpet. Look in the mirror ladies; you have NO right to criticize!!!!

Posted by: ginabw | February 28, 2011 3:21 AM | Report abuse

ROFL. Whack job meat parade.

"Straightening their hair is all they ever do, why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside"

Posted by: stugots711 | February 28, 2011 3:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey, after Lady Gaga's meat dress I'm just happy with any celeb who wears material.

Posted by: DiscordianKitty | February 28, 2011 5:35 AM | Report abuse

How can a skank like Liz be qualified to judge how someone else is dressed?

Posted by: ginabw | February 28, 2011 6:40 AM | Report abuse

For crying out loud, this is a blog, more specifically a blog about celebrities, and the regular posters here are witty and funny.
If you have nothing clever nor amusing to say, then what right do YOU have to criticize anyone - the blog writers OR the celebrities.
As Nosy would say, Shoo now, just go away. Shoo, shoo!

Posted by: agog1 | February 28, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

jeez ginabw, you suffering from insomnia or something? what are your credentials to offer up insults to liz and jen beyond a crabby mood?

Posted by: scolmar | February 28, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

There should be a rule that Helen Bonham Carter must dress as a normal woman or not be allowed at any event.

Posted by: msjn1 | February 28, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Love that you included Dame Helen Mirren! She defines grace and elegance in my mind.

Posted by: changling | February 28, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Jen and Liz about the dresses. I thought Halle Berry had a beautiful dress. I think that Jennifer Hudson's had great color and flow, but the top was a little too bare. She looked great though.

Biggest surprise of the night was Cate Blanchett's dress. Givenchy doesn't usually miss, but this dress was really ugly.

Posted by: cococo | February 28, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I disagree. I think there should be a rule that everone has to dress like Helena (not Helen) Bonham Carter instead of all dressing out of the same cookie cutter mode.
I love Helana's style!

Posted by: Iowahoosier | February 28, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

There's no dress that can make up for Gwyneth's singing. None.

Posted by: sarahabc | February 28, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Cate Blanchett...w-what...why...who did this to her? Amy Adams also looked terrible a necklace over a high neckline glittering mess of dress. Most of the dresses looked terrible or uninteresting. Good dresses belonged to Gwyneth, Helen Mirren, and Halle Berry. Jennifer Hudson would have gotten an A from me if her milk-makers weren't hanging out.

Posted by: forgetthis | February 28, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Cate Blanchett is so beautiful that I just about convinced myself on that on her, the dress worked. It was a bizarre concept, but the still photos make it look even worse than it did on tv.

I believe that HBC must always try to strive for over-the-top, yet without straying into Cher territory - you know, Bag Lady with money. I thought last night she looked a little tame.

Posted by: mat00 | February 28, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

You know, I always feel a little sad for the ladies caught in the background of a star's photo wearing their off-the-rack or "I'm my own stylist" evening dress. Don't mean to be unkind. Just an observation, and admonition to myself that if ever invited to Hollywood awards show, will check mirror twice before leaving house. And not forget the Spanx.

Posted by: mac4700 | February 28, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that every other day we are subjected to Gwyneth Paltrow's face plastered on the front page of major news outlets, both media
and print, when soooooooo many people dislike her? As to the
Oscars, her gown was not exceptional and her signing voice even
worse. Knowing we are not that into her, are the entertainment
editors just trying to draw fire in the way of negative comments?
Because, believe me they WILL!

Posted by: antiqueheart | February 28, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The problem with Cate's dress with the big circle of plain material in the middle of her chest. If the purple flowers had continued throughout the bodice it might have worked. But that big old circle just jarred.

Jennifer should have used the fashion tape a little more. She looked a little too close to a wardrobe malfunction for the dress to completely work.

I liked Melissa Leo's dress. It worked for her.

HBC was incredibly tame. Guess even she is awed by the Oscars.

Not a fan of the no jewelery look. It's all part of a complete outfit. Hair, dress, shoes, makeup, jewelery. All of it is necessary and must work together to create a finished look. Guess after the Lilo incident the jewelers were afraid to loan out stuff this year.

Posted by: epjd | February 28, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Cate Blanchett's dress was hideous---looked like an ancient ornate picture frame. Marisa Tomei looked terrific, and a normally beautiful Scarlett Johannson looked dull and lifeless. Jennifer Lawrence could have used a necklace or at least big earrings, but her dress looked perfect on her. Hailee Steinfeld had the right look for a 14 year old. I expect great things from the last two mentioned starlets in the years to come.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 28, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thought Cate Blanchett's dress made her look like she was covered in barnacles, or worse, pustules? I wanted to pop them...

Posted by: mikamage | February 28, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Anne Hathaway's late-in-the-broadcast strapless dark red dress was absolutely lovely. I wish she wore it longer. The color was amazing and it was extremely flattering on her. I thought Helen Mirren and Halle Berry were both stunning and other than that, much of the fashion left me thinking "meh".

Posted by: JLF03 | February 28, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I just wished I had the figure to wear even what people consider to be the ugliest of these Oscar outfits.

Posted by: catlady6 | February 28, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer Hudson had on too much makeup and her hair looked plastic.

Posted by: cej7401 | February 28, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I just wished I had the figure to wear even what people consider to be the ugliest of these Oscar outfits.

Posted by: catlady6


Me too catlady, me too.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | February 28, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I expect to be entertained watching the Oscars. If every actress wore attractive, well-fitting dresses, where would be the fun in that?

Posted by: lemmetellia | February 28, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it funny - in an Academy Awards that was supposed to be "young and hip" ... the two best-looking and best dressed women are both over 40: Halle Berry and Helen Mirren. Both ladies looked fabulous and classy. And can someone please answer this - does James Franco need glasses or is he naturally squinty??

Posted by: ounanm1 | February 28, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The only important thing about these ladies is how they look........undressed.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 28, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Stone looked downright awful--worse than Helena Bonham Carter. I agree with the rest of your "worst dressed" list.

Helen Mirren always looks classy. Jennifer Hudson looked terrific!

Posted by: Heron | February 28, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

J. Hudson looked fabulous! At least she took care to have a pulled-together look. And her cleavage was just right. Anne Hathaway's red red-carpet gown was the worst one she wore all evening. What was that fat poof??? Did she have a wardrobe change in there???

And why did Gwyneth Paltrow spend all that money and time finding just the right dress, and then not bother to do anything with her HORRIBLE hair? I mean, she really needs help with that thin, boring, fly-away mess. Any hairdresser at Cheap Cuts could have made her look like a star.

I thought Helena Bonham Carter looked fabulous and very stylish.

As usual, Halle Barry and Helen Mirren are practically the only ones that have any class. And don't forget Reese Witherspoon; black and white is not my thing, but her elegant "Do" really made her look gorgeous.

Posted by: Rider4 | February 28, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Changling said:

"Love that you included Dame Helen Mirren! She defines grace and elegance in my mind"

I agree. Its nice to see former porno actresses defining grace and elegance.

Posted by: allknowingguy | February 28, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

No mention of Reese Witherspoon? She looked fabulous too!

As for HBC, at least she didn't think she was still filming Harry Potter & dressing as Bellatrix, she lost the crazy & stepped up her game. By HBC standards, she looked great.

HATED ScarJo's dress & every other dress that had that weird shape & neckline. It's a very elderly look that was mostly worn by younger women which is not a good thing.

Posted by: wadejg | February 28, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Kelly's choices for best and worst dressed are spot-on. Good eye there. It's amazing how many other outlets listed Cate Blanchett as a best dressed and then listed Jennifer Hudson as worst dressed. Please! Close-ups of Cate Blanchett's dress revealed bizarre bead work that looked like a bad skin disease, and that ugly medallion style front, blech!

Posted by: jkbalt | February 28, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I have to say I am entirely sick of every posting feeling compelled to refer to Jennifer Hudson as 'slimmed down'. I mean is that really necessary?

I would have loved Mila Kunis' outfit except I kept seeing that lace and thinking that there was a wardrobe malfunction and she was popping out.

The middle circle on Cate Blanchett's dress reminded me of really weird 'fixed curtains' you might find in your grandmother's windows. Not a fan.

Posted by: LTL1 | February 28, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

i everything want you see go to ready love you keep yourself said hot sex 90 vh1 joy watkins pokemon red and blue versions nintendo gameboy pikachu mewtwo and charizard.

Posted by: demonteriusniblack200620072008200920102011 | February 28, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Cate looked like a chair. A chair with a yoke on each shoulder. Helen was so elegant. Gwenyth scored with that 60's drop waist that was drop dead elegant. Jennifer Garner scored - hair back - dress lovely. And HBC - had matching shoes, which is all we now request of her.

Posted by: janetfleur | February 28, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Cate looked like a chair. A chair with a yoke on each shoulder. Helen was so elegant. Gwenyth scored with that 60's drop waist that was drop dead elegant. Sandra scored - hair back - dress lovely. And HBC - had matching shoes, which is all we now request of her.

Posted by: janetfleur | February 28, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Dame Helen aside, the majority looked too thin.
One has to wonder who talked poor Cate Blanchett into that dress.

I think many of the women were trying for classic, but in the case of Michelle Williams, she simply looked unfinished.

Posted by: padre1957 | February 28, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how much vintage you all were imbibing during the awards, but Gwyneth's threads were not on my top five. Or ten. Or 20. In fact, she was on the bottom. And made Worst Dressed on the official list ( To me, she looked like some strung out Malibu Barbie in that worn-out gold lamé. I pity poor Cate, choosing edgy fashion. I liked it, but I lean on the fringy edge of high design. Keep it for the runway and away from prying eye, dearest.

Posted by: sgitana | February 28, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Best Dressed: Mandy Moore.

Posted by: ellabellisima | February 28, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Somebody please tell me what in the world was it with Scarlett Johannson's hair? How that mess could be attractive to anybody is totally beyond me. That she probably had a hairdresser and spent time creating an "I just woke up" look is mind-boggling. Well, on second thought, she just falls into the hobo look of today's male stars--the unshaven, unkempt crew.

Posted by: Rehcab1 | February 28, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Gowns aside, this was probably the worst Academy Awards show I've ever seen...and I've a seen a lot. Gwyneth looked anorexic, tired, and washed out. The gown did nothing for her. Ann Hathaway and What's-his-name were much too cutesie and/or bored (not to mention boring). Experience does pay! Overall, we were very happy with the winners if not all their speeches (really, Ms. Leo!!)

Posted by: olgal | February 28, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of the others, loved the vintage Valentino on Anne Hathaway. Scarlett Johannson has always looked so elegant in the past she appeared as though she had tried to cut her own hair.
As a dirty old lady, I couldn't believe how shabby and seedy Matthew McConaughey looked. He is such a handsome guy and he looked like he had been on a bender and styled his hair with Crisco.
What happened to that drop dead gorgeous guy in the Dolce and Gabbana ads?

Posted by: menopausequeen | February 28, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Helena is just so cool, I don't care what she wears -- especially since she is deliberately dressing quirky. I heard she was once quoted as saying "I am here to act, not to look pretty".

IMHO, Reese Witherspoon was, hands-down, the best of the best-dressed. Her dress looked vintage couture, it was so beautiful.

Cate Blanchett was a dead ringer for Tilda Swinton, but I do love her new short 'do.

Jennifer Hudson's cleavage was too much -- it sorta just jumped out and grabbed ya, and it was far to glossy, like it had been shined up with Vaseline or something.

Yeah, Scarlett Johanssen -- yech. Dress did nothing for her coloring or fabulous figure, and neither did the dead-looking lipstick. She also needed a hairbrush, badly.

I actually liked Amy Adams' blue dress and thought Nicole Kidman looked great (I also think those two look a LOT alike). If anyone can wear a dress with hip bustles, it's someone as thin as Nicole.

Posted by: Californian11 | February 28, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

THANK you for including Helen Miren. She always dresses classy and gracefully and manages to compete with the young hot ladies.

Do we really need a 'worst dressed' list? All these people have their own unique style and contribute something interesting to the event. Most curious is that all of the 'best dressed' end up on some critic's worst list and ditto for the 'worst'. Who are the real experts?

Can't we just embrace the fact that these people are willing to take risks and subject themselves to the scrutiny? It's very easy to be a critic, but few would have the guts to show up in public to two different colored shoes. Could you walk in those shoes? Probably not.

Posted by: gold5107 | February 28, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

As much as I love Cate Blanchett, she always looks like she's about to run to the grocery store...Her hair is always a mess, and her dress this year was terrible. I wish she'd either develop some better fashion taste or hire someone to help her...Quick.

Posted by: catsmeow | February 28, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone picking on ScarJo. When I look at her I see ScarJo; what she's wearing is secondary. The same goes for Halle.

Posted by: wp318676 | February 28, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

hi,ms. blanchett's dress reminds me of a dress one of the pussycat girls worn on the mississipi video.check out is on my facebook,except the color,and elvis collar.
and that was back in 75.maybe it was a tribute!

Posted by: beesaresweet1 | March 5, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

sorry, I wanted to say melissa leo dress reminds me of that pussycat dress.

Posted by: beesaresweet1 | March 5, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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