Fashion took a dark turn at the 2014 Academy Awards, where, for the first time in recent memory, black and midnight blue were surprisingly popular choices among A-list actors and nominees (along with the occasional over-the-top sparkler, of course). This made for a fairly sober, rain-soaked red carpet that was, at times, even a little sleepy. What the awards lacked in bold and bright colors, though, was made up for with some daring shapes and fabric treatments – so long as you could make them out.
When the red carpet rolls out for the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s biggest stars step out dressed in some of fashion’s most extravagant gowns and some even dare to take risks. Dating back to Barbra Streisand‘s Oscar moment in 1969, the nominated actress took home a golden statute for her role in Funny Girl clad in sequined Scaasi evening pajamas. “I didn’t realize the outfit was so see-through,” she told InStyle. “You couldn’t tell that in the dressing room.”
In the years following, starlets including Celine Dion and Halle Berry have followed in Streisand’s steps wearing looks that have kept everyone talking—like this backwards John Galliano for Christian Dior tuxedo and peek-a-boo embroidered Elie Saab gown—and for good reason. They made outrageous Oscar gowns a trend and we culled our favorite 24 looks from over the years just in time for the 86th annual Oscars ceremony.
Click through the gallery to see more daring looks and be sure to check back here this Sunday, March 2 beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST to see just who might take the “most outrageous” title at this year’s ceremony.
Fashion risks can pay off on the red carpet, but one place you don’t expect to see them? The Olympics. That’s about to change as figure skater Ashley Wagner gets ready to make her Olympic debut in the Sochi Winter Games. Her first event is today in the team figure skating event’s ladies’ short program, but it’s her free program — happening Feb. 19-20 — that has everyone talking. Following a less-than-her-best finish at the 2014 nationals, the 22-year-old announced she was scrapping the Romeo and Juliet program she’s skated to all season and instead will debut a revamped Samson and Delilah program in the ladies’ final, which, among other victories, won her her second national title in 2013.
It’s a risky move for sure, as making a big change like this so close to competition is unheard of. But as we learned during our chat, Wagner is no shrinking violet.
Winter white has become a buzz-word. And yet, some are still a bit hesitant to give the look a try. We urge you to go white-out style with a head-to-toe monochromatic look. If you need a push in the white direction, fall runways served as proving ground that snow-hued ensembles make a lasting impression.
Elie Saab, always one to turn out delicate yet attention-demanding looks, closed out his monochromatic lineup with all-white looks (some complete with capes!) for Fall 2013, while Lazaro Hernandez and Jack MCollough of Proenza Schouler kept some looks in their grayscale collection all-white. If you’re really craving some color, take a cue from Peter Copping’s Nina Ricci Fall 2013 collection and add pops of red via a crimson pout and pumps.
The key to nailing the look is in the fabric. You need a hearty, cozy material. Look for whites with yellow undertones, they’ll convey that desired softness. Ready to give winter white a go? We gathered all the goods – from a lace covered tank and a jacquard bomber jacket to alabaster-hued accessories.
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Country’s brightest stars aligned last night for the 2013 CMA Awards in Nashville, with Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, and newcomer Kacey Musgraves donning their most glamorous ensembles for their walk down the red carpet. Lambert and Swift were pretty in primary colors (Swift went for a dramatic red Elie Saab couture gown to match her trademark crimson lip, with Lambert opting for a royal blue Roberto Cavalli number). Musgraves, who took home the award for Best New Artist, stunned in an illusion Blumarine dress and a sparkly Swarovski clutch. One of our favorite performances of the night — aside from the cast of Duck Dynasty covering “Blurred Lines” — was when Kenny Rogers and Jennifer Nettles did a duet of “Islands in the Stream” and “The Gambler,” proving the timeless quality of both songs. Miranda Lambert in particular had a lot to celebrate: Her husband Blake Shelton was awarded Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, while Lambert herself received the honor of Female Vocalist of the Year for the fourth time! “I can’t believe I’m up here holding this right now, but I’m gonna try to represent for all the females who that want to be up-and-comers and just want to get their country voice out there,” she said in her heartfelt acceptance speech. “There’s room for all of us girls, and we’re a team, and we’re gonna stick together.” So sweet, and so well-deserved!
The high-low hem is a trend with no end in sight. It first picked up a few years ago, and it has a surge of fans in the summer due to rising temperatures, including like Olivia Palermo, Kate Hudson (in Elie Saab) and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (in Christian Dior). Lovingly dubbed “the mullet” look for its raised hem at the front that drops at the back, the asymmetrical silhouette focuses all attention on your stems. This year, we’re seeing more variations than ever—such as high-lows on a mini, midi, and floor-sweeping looks. Click to see more celebrities who mastered the high-low mix and get inspiration for how you can wear the style.
It’s time to pick your Fashion A-List! These five glamorous looks from around town made InStyle‘s Look of the Day section and scored spots in our Top 5: Kristen Stewart (in Zuhair Murad), Kate Hudson (in Elie Saab), Blake Lively (in Burberry Prorsum), Salma Hayek (in Saint Laurent), and Catherine Zeta-Jones (in Maria Lucia Hohan). Now that you know our faves, tell us yours by making your own Top 5 with InStyle.com’s A-list tool. Visit instyle.com/instyle/a-list and pick your top looks, then share your picks with your fashion-savvy friends on Facebook and Twitter. Head to the A-list maker right now to get started.
The young ingenues aren’t the only ones who know how to steal the show! Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Mary-Louise Parker proved that age really is just a number last night at the Los Angeles premiere of Red 2, their comedy-meets-action-flick about a group of unlikely elite operatives who must save the world by hunting down a missing portable nuclear weapon. The ladies showed off their age-defying figures in gorgeous designer gowns: 67-year-old Mirren chose a jade floor-length Elie Saab number, 43-year-old Zeta-Jones paired a sexy black lace strapless Maria Lucia Hohan design with Neil Lane jewels, and 48-year-old Parker showed off her toned legs in a draped-back mini dress by Memeka, accessorized with a Graziela ring and Finn earrings. Way to work it ladies! Catch Red 2 when it opens in theaters nationwide July 19.
Plus, click the photo above to see more stars at this week’s parties and premieres.