Red Dress Ranking Red carpet. Red dress. It happens a lot. And for good reason. Scarlet, crimson, poppy, vermilion-- call it whatever, this color looks incredible on most women. Not for the shrinking violet, a red dress makes a big impact; but as we saw this weekend at the Oscars, bigger is not always better. Sometimes there's just too much of a good thing.
1. Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein. Gorgeous, gorgeous, and more gorgeous. Did I say this woman is gorgeous? Jennifer tops my red ranking because, well yes, she looks gorgeous, but also because her column dress is refined rather than overwrought. The focus is on the color and her. No matchy-matchy red lipstick or brash accessory competes with the look. And she oozes sex appeal, a noted red dress benefit.
2. Sandra Bullock in Vera Wang. Elegance and old Hollywood glamour personified. As last year's reigning Oscar winner and beauty, Sandy passed the torch to Natalie and burned red hot while doing it. The dress fits her to perfection, and she looks absolutely regal-- a modern Ava Gardner.
3. Rhea Durham in Naeem Khan. Mark Wahlberg's wife and in my books the most beautiful non-actress in Hollywood, Rhea Durham nailed her Oscars look. Traditionally tinseltown's WAGs (wives and girlfriends) wear either non-descript or ludicrous look-at-me attire; Rhea, however, was classy and punchy. In her metallic bodice and bold wrap skirt, she may have been "the other half" but wallflower she certainly was not.
Her Naeem Khan dress, now available at bergdorfgoodman.com.
4. Anne Hathaway in Valentino. I want to like this look. I really do. It has a lot going for it: the classic shade of Valentino red, her sassy lips, the understated jewelry. But... the dress, with its massive bustle, voluminous folds and overdone rosettes, ages her. Rather than classic, Anne looks stuffy and matronly and like she's headed to a costume party dressed as a Spanish Scarlett O'Hara. Even the hair parted in the middle doesn't flatter Senorita Anne. As cohost of the ceremony, all eyes were on her-- and perhaps that's not such a good thing here. But hey, at least with her multiple costume changes, she didn't stay in this one for very long!
5. Jennifer Hudson in Versace. The fiery orange-red suited JHud's complexion and fabulous personality, but the silhouette was just too pageant-y. The pleats at the side, the train in the back, the multiple bracelets, the bouffant hair: much too much. And to top it off, an awards-show-dress-crime-101: the fabric just looked cheap. But great new body, by the way.
**Penelope Cruz deserves a notable mention here. As hubby and nominee Javier Bardem's date, she sizzled in a sequined L'Wren Scott design. But I didn't include her in my ranking out of respect because Wow! the woman just gave birth a month ago and she looks spectacular; but her dress perhaps offers a little too much evidence of her new 'mothering' role. And I'm not used to Penelope looking like Sofia Vergara.
Up next: Oscar's golden girls