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WHO WORE WHAT?.....Oscars 2018: My TOP TEN Best Dressed!

Gown Glorious--Three of my FAVORITES from last night's 2018 Academy awards Red Carpet (L to R) Nicole Kidman, Lupita Nyong'o and Allison Janney 

Last night were the 90th Annual Academy Awards--the BIGGEST NIGHT in Hollywood! It was also the biggest night for the Red Carpet since naturally the Oscars Red Carpet is THE Empress of all Red Carpets! I was so EXCITED to be on KTLA's "Live From the Oscars" Pre-Show TV Special, discussing the Red Carpet, the Academy Award-nominated Costumes on exhibition at FIDM Museum as well as showcasing a special Fashion Presentation of our NIKOLAKI gowns celebrating 90 years of Oscars Style...

Nick Verreos and Megan Henderson during KTLA "Live From The Oscars" Pre-Show--I'll be doing a blog on all that soon...but for now, it is time to discuss my list for BEST DRESSED of last night's Oscars...

 Allison Janney at the 2018 Academy Awards Red Carpet--Dolby Theater Hollywood

First, I was very surprised (and thrilled) that the Red Carpet was FESTIVE, COLORFUL and (kind of) Fashion Fabulousness! The Oscars has been SO SAFE and, frankly, so drab, as of late that I just assumed it would be "lather, rinse and repeat" all over again. But Thank Goodness it wasn't! (Yeaaay!) 

So, without any more delay, here are my TOP TEN BEST DRESSED of the 2018 Academy Awards Red Carpet:   
1. Nicole Kidman in Custom Armani Prive--Nicole Kidman is a fashion DIVA! Ever since many, many years ago (1997), she stepped onto the Oscars wearing that chartreuse-colored Chinoiserie-inspired Christian Dior by John Galliano gown, it was "Done & Done"! This year, she wore this gorgeous royal blue colored strapless gown from Armani Prive. The custom-made gown was done in a coated silk organza, and featured a perfectly fitted shape--created by all those panels--a center front slit and that statement-making bow...right in the front! I thought it was FABULOUS! I know that many people (I can just hear them now!) "Oh Nick! That BOW!! I just can't!" I have three words: "Get Over It!". I think she was a red carpet fashion goddess in this. Full stop.

2. Gina Rodriguez in Zuhair Murad Spring/Summer 2018 Haute Couture--When Gina Rodriguez stepped onto the Oscars red carpet, I gasped--and in a fabulous way! She definitely made an impact at this year's Oscars Red Carpet by wearing this beautiful golden/blush gown from Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad and his Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The gown, made in silk organza and stiff crinoline featured a plunging neckline, column base and an attached very full overskirt. The gold sequins were all sewn by hand. I thought she looked every bit an Oscars Red Carpet A-lister in this gown. In addition, everything about the styling--including her chic center-parted hair and simple jewelry--was perfection.

3. Rita Moreno in Vintage Jose "Pitoy" Moreno--I literally BOWED to the TV screen/monitor when I saw the LEGEND of Rita Moreno in this. But  then when I found out that this was the same gown she wore back in 1962 when she won the Academy Award for "West Side Story"...I almost dropped to the floor! Here's the background on the dress: It was designed by Jose Moreno (no relation to Rita Moreno) who goes by the nickname "Pitoy", and was a renowned Filipino couturier. The story goes that Rita received news of her 1962 Best Supporting Actress nomination while filming a movie called "Cry of Bataan" in the Philippines, and Pitoy quickly created the embroidered black-and-gold gown in no time at all. According to her autobiography, Rita tells the story that "They would release me for only three days: One day to fly over, one day for the Oscar ceremony, and one day to fly back to the jungle. I didn't care. The important thing was that I was going! I ordered a heavily brocaded dress made of special Japanese obi fabric, a gorgeous gown with a black bateau top that I still have (and can still get into, happily)." Well, she did and had it re-worked to a lovely strapless design, but keeping the gloriously printed skirt intact. The designer, Pitoy Moreno, passed away just this past January so what a wonderful tribute to him, that dress and connection to her 1962 Academy Award. Perfection. 

4. Jennifer Garner in Custom Atelier Versace--One word: WOW. Jennifer Garner looked stunning in this royal blue silk chiffon draped Custom Atelier Versace gown. The gown which featured a gathered one shoulder drape and back fall, ruched bust and asymmetrical midriff/waist detail. It fit Garner to a 1/4" of her life and is a perfect example of the incredible work those Atelier Versace tailors and seamstresses can do; they are not messing around kids! Jennifer Garner was flawless. 

5. Lupita Nyong'o in Custom Atelier Versace--The minute I saw the gold chainmail, the shoulder-padded Swarovski crystaled shoulder detail...I knew this was Versace and in fact it was Custom Atelier Versace. This gown and especially Lupita Nyong'o wearing it--was one of my TOP FAVORITE looks of the night. The glittering chainmail looked like dripping gold against Lupita's skin. I am sure this design was inspired by her film "Black Panther" and while it could be construed as a bit "costume-y", I loved how sexy and gorgeous Lupita looked. And once again, take a look at that FIT! I bow to the Atelier Versace petite mains

6. Zendaya in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018--Zendaya is a FASHION QUEEN. Period. And if there was any doubt (there isn't on my end!), just take a look at her in this gown! She wore a chocolate brown silk mousseline full gathered gown from Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The sweeping gown featured an off-the-shoulder billowing blouson sleeve that expertly blended onto the side of the gown. This was a masterful lesson in Haute Couture with its delicate hand gathering and oh-so-chic effortless and sweeping silhouette.

7. Jane Fonda in Custom Balmain--Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you the one-and-only Jane Fonda. Looking sexier and more fabulous than many, many, many women half her age. I loved this white column gown custom-made for her by the French fashion house of Balmain and designer Olivier Rousteing. The fit was perfection, the pointed neckline was great and I loved the on-trend structured "Power Diva" shoulders. And look's all done in SEQUINS! I also loved her hair and makeup. Diva doesn't even begin to describe Miss Jane Fonda in this gown.

8. Allison Janney in Custom Reem Acra: Allison Janney wore this red Custom Reem Acra gown and I LOVED it! The fit-and-flare gown fit her perfectly but the stars were that sweetheart neckline and THOSE fabulous Elizabethan-inspired hanging sleeves. The gown was dramatic, structured yet classically elegant. The minute I saw it, I thought "now THIS is a gown you win an Oscar in!"...and she did.

9. Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein by Appointment: In my No. 9 spot of my TOP TEN BEST DRESSED at the 2018 Academy Awards is Saoirse Ronan in this elegant powder pink gown. The dress is from Calvin Klein by Appointment, the U.S. fashion house's "Couture" line, only available to top actresses for big red carpet events such as the Oscars. The recently appointed Creative Director for Calvin Klein is Raf Simons who was previously at Christian Dior. The gown looks VERY Dior old school and VERY Raf Simons: The 50's-inspired shape and silhouette, the delicate hi-lo length and that dramatic back. Saoirse looked very Grace Kelly-esque in this simple and very pretty gown. But seriously...THAT BACK:

A Couture Knot Bow--Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein by Appointment by Raf Simons

10. Emily Blunt in Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018--To round out my Top 10 Best Dressed, I have Emily Blunt in this point d'esprit powder blue colored gown from Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The gown evoked an "Empress Josephine"-like vibe with this Empire sequined embellishment and delicately cowl-draped shoulders. I thought she looked ethereal, pretty and regal at the same time.

Who were YOUR BEST DRESSED at the 2018 Academy Awards?

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