It really is true what they say about the Oscars being the pinnacle, apex, apogee and a bunch of other words that mean “tops” of awards season. And holy smokes did the ladies turn it out in their best red carpet ensembles at the 2012 Academy Awards.
White was a huge trend with Jennifer Lopez in a luminous Zuhair Murad, floor-length dress that looked striped since it featured so many peek-a-boo slivers of the singer’s caramel skin. To echo the effect, the long sleeves showcased mega cutout action at the upper arms as well, which complemented the dramatic V of the neckline. Spectacular.
“The Descendants” breakout star Shailene Woodley was similarly pristine, swanning around in a long-sleeved, cream-colored Valentino Couture that showed off a delightfully complicated bodice comprised of teeny-tiny rosette coins of varying sizes. The top part basically looked like rattan furniture up close but fascinating, expensive, delicate rattan, not the sort that ravages your hosiery in the event that you’ve made the mistake of sitting al fresco in tights.
Milla Jovovich also wore white, in a shimmery rendition dripping with paillettes with an asymmetrical, solo, draped capelet sleeve. Gwyneth Paltrow, too, opted for white and looked very much like Marvel Comics’ resident ass-kicking ice princess Emma Frost because her Tom Ford featured an excellent cape feature. Ballsy, with extra points for flair.
Last, but certainly not least, the highly anticipated Rooney Mara also wore all white in a Givenchy gown she found last-minute that flaunted delicate swaths of lace at the shoulders and at the train. The willowy, almost ghostly looking protagonist of the American, David Fincher remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” looked perfectly at home in the spare dress despite the slight chill in the air. Also, her glossy, jet-black bun and severe blunt bangs anchored the look, rendering the architectural, backless outfit that much more dramatic.
Flinging ourselves into other regions of the color spectrum, Emma Stone stunned in red Giambattista Valli spring 2012. While there was some division among MTV Style’s Twitter followers as to whether the enormous, floppy bow at the neck provided a welcome accent or an unwarranted distraction, we loved it and the conviction of this flame-tressed lovely opting for crimson.
Michelle Williams was flawless in her tangerine/coral Louis Vuitton. It was made up of what seemed like millions of tissue-thin, inch-wide layers from the bodice to the hem and featured a peplum — a big trend as well —which in fashguistics means there was a little bit of miniskirt action at the hip over a longer skirt.
George Clooney’s girlfriend Stacy Keibler wore a drapey, gold Marchesa gown, which on her impressively lean and looming physique made her look reminiscent of an Oscar statuette. But my personal favorite of the night has to be Angelina Jolie: the triumphant, full-lipped smile, the Adonis on her arm, and the way she can work that Atelier Versace dress. In black velvet featuring an asymmetrical, dramatically angled side bustle and a leg slit cut so far up north that on a mere mortal it may read tawdry, Jolie takes the cake. Total Knock Out. Game over. Absolutely breathtaking.
Oscars 2012: My Picks for Best Dressed
Angelina Jolie: A goddess in black, velvet Atelier Versace with a dramatic, jutting, asymmetrical bustle and a leg slit that was cut so far up north that we swooooooooned. Hard. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Angelina Jolie’s genes are made up of unicorn’s souls. She is always a triumphant vision.
Emma Stone: I just loved this Giambattista Valli spring 2012 couture. There were titterings on Twitter about how people either loved or hated the bow, but I thought a dramatic, festive accent at the neckline looked stunning and complemented the side sweep of her red hair. A risk, definitely, but I think it absolutely paid off.
Rooney Mara: White was a huge trend on the red carpet tonight, and this stark, architectural Givenchy looked absolutely surreal against the phosphorescence of her alabaster skin. She looked just pristine, and the fact that her impossibly shiny, jet-black hair was in a tight bun with blunt bangs really anchored the look. She dresses with a certain severity, given her young age, but I’m a huge fan.
Jennifer Lopez: Holy smokes. It’s hardly news that Jennifer Lopez is a looker, but what is it about the woman in awards-show mode that makes her turn everything out in the most beautiful way? This Zuhair Murad white dress looks striped, it showcases so many succulent slivers of skin. She looks like She-Ra princess of power with this radiating pattern of glory that begins at her lower torso. Plus, the shoulder cutouts are to die for.
The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Keep it locked at MTV.com all night and beyond for updates on the night’s big winners and the best red-carpet fashion. Get daily updates on the hottest Hollywood fashion at MTV Style.