If awards season is the playoffs of Hollywood, the Academy Awards are the Superbowl. Both budding and iconic celebrities feel the sartorial pressure to shine at this event. Some of the most indelible Oscar moments have included Audrey Hepburn’s feminine Givenchy gown in 1954, which caught the attention of millions for its timeless appeal and slender silhouette; Cate Blanchett’s ethereally sculptured Givenchy haute couture gown at the 2010 Oscars made her an unlikely member of the fashion camarilla, and the eternally stylish Diane Kruger’s Chanel gown spoke volumes in 2010. It was chic, alluring, and exotic, just like her.
With the 2012 Academy Awards fast approaching, magazines and websites across the world are making bets on what each nominee will be wearing. With the fate of their award out of their hands at this point, it seems as through the only power they have is the ability to control what they are wearing. Unequivocally, safe choices will keep a star off worst dressed lists, but they run the risk of leaving her entirely forgotten. There is immense pressure on actresses to hail the look, but luckily they have their stylists to do most of the heavy lifting for them.
We begin with the best actress in a leading role category. Rooney Mara, nominated for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” has developed a much darker style since landing the role for which she is nominated. She gravitates towards edgier looks which serve her striking looks well. Mara says her choice of gown will not be about how she looks, but is “all about how I feel and if I feel good in it.” To the recent Golden Globe awards, she wore a low-cut black Nina Ricci dress which, though hardly girly, was surprisingly more feminine than expected of her. Since she rarely moves out of the black and white spectrum, she should stick to what she knows best and wear all black to the Oscars, specifically, a noir, floor-length, heavily embroidered Alexander McQueen dress from the Spring collection would catapult her to world-wide stardom. Its dramatic shape at the hips extends outwards, a feature, that would be wise to edit out of her Oscars edition.
Emma Stone, whose film “The Help” is also nominated for Best Picture, has not yet established what one could describe as a signature style, but continues to master a wide variety of trends. At 23, she is still very young, and has plenty of time to develop a signature style. For the Oscars, I think she should try the only trend she hasn’t yet been seen in: a black, two piece Emillio Pucci Spring 2012 gown. While not as obvious a stand out piece as her shockingly minimal Calvin Klein dress at last year’s Golden Globes, the body-conscious look is heavily embroidered and its dramatic nature will read well in photos.
One of the main reasons why designers put gowns on the runway is to vie for the chance at the red-carpet. The Academy Awards draw some of the highest ratings every year, so the chance for a celebrity, especially a nominee, to wear a designer’s dress to the event is a major business opportunity for any brand. Whether or not these predictions come true, hopefully celebrities are willing to take more risks and make Oscar history with their looks this year.