Fashion camps were divided into two; old school purists oozing pared-down elegance, and the newbies who plumped for show-stopping, peacock colours.
What is it about awards ceremonies traditionally being black holes for fashion? You can almost hear the clumpy platforms, almost smell the Ellenett and definitely always see the flesh coloured tights. We fancy though, that last night was an exception. It didn’t rain (too much), Hollywood was decked out in fabulous British design, and Brangelina had an historical fashion moment, but more on that later.
Let’s cut to the chase. First up we have Amy Adams who went all prim and proper on us after a series of navel-grazing gowns that were a hangover from American Hustle tailoring. We thought we’d miss the lurex and the perm, but Adams’ Victoria Beckham dress was the perfect Alka-Seltzer to the 70s overkill. Pay attention, because this is how to do understated without being dull – see the sheer paneling, marvel at the made-you-look kneck-to-floor-zip and crop-top overlay. This is red carpet dressing VB style. Less can be more people.
Let’s move swiftly on to one of the smash hits of the evening. Lily Allen is officially back and we don’t think we’ve ever seen her looking quite so good. Hot pink, silk, orange, an oversized bow, and a feather headpiece: on paper, sounds like the worst bridesmaid dress ever conceived. Add Lily Allen, Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, David Morris and a lot of vivacious cheekiness into the mix and you have this show-stealing look. We think the headpiece is genius and if that is indeed a spray tan Miss Allen is rocking we want to know where, when and how much, immediately.
Firstly congrats to Cate Blanchett who scooped the best actress award last night for her performance in Blue Jasmine, (on another note we think her character’s Chanel jacket should have been honoured in some way too). Cate is a red carpet pro and last night was no exception. The actress looked refreshingly cool amongst a sea of big ball gowns, in a simple Alexander McQueen silk t-shirt maxi dress – another British design triumph. We’ll ignore the art teacher necklace because we’re kind and more pressingly distracted by the amazing just-got-out-of-bed low pony that Blanchett was rocking – perfect for playing down red carpet stiffness. We salute the ‘do.
Lupita N’yongo can’t seem to step a fashion foot wrong. Lupita’s gown was Dior and total perfection. The strapless gown, with synched waist and gently fishtailed skirt rendered the already stunning actress statuesque. Note how perfectly her gold cuffs mirror her belt – swoon. We think this may be our favourite ensemble of the whole shebang.
Enter our favourite national treasure, dame Helen Mirren, who should frankly be the global poster girl for how to do black tie dressing for older women. Mirren also gave low-pony cool but it’s the dress we must talk about. Sleeved (tick), embellished (tick) and NAVY (giant tick) – truly fabulous. Navy is so different from black and we love that Mirren went blue for last night. The sheer paneling at the top of the frock keeps it feeling fashion-y and fresh.
Talking of navy, let’s just bask in Uma Thurman’s navy victory for a few moments please. We almost shouted ‘pow’ when we saw Uma and may have let out a wolf whistle. We’re sure the red carpet didn’t know what hit it. This is how restraint can be jaw droppingly sexy. The dress was Atelier Versace – go figure!
Laura Carmichael did us Brits proud last nigh eschewing traditional floor-length hemlines in favour of the most fashion forward outfit of the night, an Erdem cocktail dress. Erdem is the stuff of fashion fantasy and the dress featured the House’s signature moody florals in a forest green. We love the sleek catwalk hair too – so now.
And the BAFTA for most divisive outfit goes to… Ok, ok, let’s broach the Brangelina story, because it is headline-worthy indeed. Couple dressing is a phenomenon that died a horrible death after Posh and Becks’ leather-clad look and Brit and Justin’s denim disaster – but they were basically teenagers and it was the noughties for crying out loud. You should never even consider couple dressing as a civilian and Brangelina’s tuxedo twin set is why. Yes, Angelina’s in custom made Saint Laurent, yes Brad’s is Valentino, but there is something fundamentally twee about coordinating with your partner. We think they pull off camp fabulousness mainly because they’re so breathtakingly beautiful and the whole Ken and Barbie thing is working for them. However, we are concerned about where Brad’s collar has disappeared to, the width of Angelina’s belt, the shininess of Brad’s shoes and that they may have accidentally swapped trousers whilst getting changed. We have a feeling this may come back to haunt them, but we love them, and this is what red carpet dressing is all about – unforgettable fashion moments
See all the red carpet photos from the BAFTAs 2014.