88th Academy Awards Red Carpet Review

February 29, 2016

Brie Larson, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Alicia Vikander posing with their Oscar statues
Well, the curse has been lifted. After twenty-two years and six nominations, Leonardo Dicaprio has finally won an Oscar for his lead role in The Revenant. In other news, Spotlight took home the top honor, Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander won for lead and supporting actress, respectively, and Mad Max proved it was a technical feat with six wins.

The 88th Academy Awards were a fun but politically minded affair, with Chris Rock driving home the importance of diversity in film and Lady Gaga delivering an incredibly powerful performance of her song "Til It Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground, a documentary about on-campus sexual assault. Leo stressed the importance of environmental awareness during his misty-eyed acceptance speech. Even Vice President Joe Biden was there! All in all, an entertaining evening that also reminded viewers how something as trivial-seeming as Hollywood has the power to influence politics and opinions.

But let's get to the clothes, shall we?

As usual, Hollywood's biggest and brightest turned up for the red carpet, dressed in couture and drowning in diamonds. I was delighted with the dresses we saw because celebrities weren't afraid to experiment with color, texture, and shape; in other words, it wasn't boring! (Last year's red carpet, if you'll remember, left something to be desired) The fashion risks paid off for the most part, and even the looks that weren't my favorites were not horrible.

Here were the biggest trends and most exciting moments from the red carpet:

Trending: Red & White

BOLD REDS AND SOFT WHITES RULED THE CARPET: Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad | Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney | Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell | Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture | Olivia Wilde in Valentino Haute Couture
While there were plenty of gorgeous colors on the red carpet, the two most popular colors of the evening were red and white. Olivia Munn and Charlize Theron stunned in bright red gowns, letting the bold color do the talking, while Priyanka Chopra, Lady Gaga, and Olivia Wilde rocked gorgeous white dresses (well, technically Lady Gaga was wearing a jumpsuit).

Trending: Rey-Inspired Updos

Rooney Mara | Daisy Ridley
It seemed Daisy Ridley was channelling her Star Wars character, Rey, with her fun twisted updo. Elsewhere, Rooney Mara was also rocking a sleeker version of Rey's triple-bun hairdo, cementing the look as the second most iconic Star Wars hairdo yet (first place is reserved for Leia's classic buns, obvi). 

Trending: Stunning Sparkles

LEFT TO RIGHT FROM A HINT OF GLITTER TO FULL-ON SEQUINS: Julianne Moore in Chanel Haute Couture | Emily Blunt in Prada | Daisy Ridley in Chanel Haute Couture | Naomi Watts in Armani Privé | Margot Robbie in Tom Ford
You can always expect to see some serious bling on the red carpet, and this year was no exception. From bits of embellishment (Julianne Moore—wearing a Chanel dress I was considering for Cate Blanchett—and Emily Blunt) to head-to-toe glitter (Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, and Margot Robbie) these ladies stole the show. Naomi Watts' Armani Privé look in particular caught my eye. Supposedly her husband picked it out for her; talk about a man with good taste!

Supporting Actress Nominees

Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier | Jennifer Jason Leigh in Marchesa | Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton | Rooney Mara in Givenchy | Kate Winslet in Ralph Lauren
Alicia Vikander may have taken home the golden statue (and looking like a real-life Princess Belle while doing so), but I thought all the nominees for Supporting Actress looked like winners. I love that Rachel McAdams went for a more minimal dress in a striking emerald, and I adored Jennifer Jason Leigh's pink Marchesa gown. Kate Winslet went with a black dress as expected, but I like that she mixed it up with a really cool texture. Rooney Mara looked good, if not also a bit predictable. I'd like to see her get out of the white Givenchy dresses for once, since it's a look we've seen several times before, but I guess it works for her!

Lead Actress Nominees

Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé | Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein Collection | Brie Larson in Gucci | Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture | Charlotte Rampling in Armani Privé
Brie Larson won for Best Actress in a Lead Role, but her Gucci dress has me on the fence. The color is beautiful but made her skin look orange on television, and I agree that the ruffles and beaded belt are a bit too suburban prom for me. At least it's better than Jennifer Lawrence's Dior Haute Couture gown, which was too heavy on her and just generally not exciting (I would have prefered the tea-length runway version, actually). Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett both dazzled in green gowns, and Charlotte Rampling looked absolutely elegant in Armani Privé. 

Best Dressed

Jacob Tremblay in Armani
Seriously, this kid has more swag than most people will ever attain in their lives, and he's only nine. And he's wearing Armani. To the Oscars. Also, did you see his face when C3PO, R2D2, and BB-8 came on stage? Too precious. Leo may have won the Oscar, but Jacob Tremblay was the true star of the night. 

Daisy Ridley in Chanel Haute Couture | Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé | Naomi Watts in Armani Privé
I absolutely adored all these looks and counted them among my favorites, but my top pick would have to be...

Academy Award winner (!!!) Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton
Alicia Vikander was simply the Belle of the Ball (pun intended) in her yellow Louis Vuitton dress (hey, I called it that she'd be wearing yellow!). Between the dress—note to self: the bubble hem is making a comeback—the earrings, and the fun yet laid-back hair, Vikander was one of the first looks I saw in the evening and made a lasting impression. 

What were your favorite red carpet looks? Tell me in the comments!

My 2016 Oscars Red Carpet Predictions

February 26, 2016

Who will win the big prize? And more importantly, who will be the best dressed?
I could write a whole article on why Brie Larson will be taking home a little golden man for her role in Room or lament the impending death of "Leo doesn't have an Oscar" jokes (as much as I hate to say it, dude's probably going to finally win an Oscar for The Revenant) but come on, do you really think the awards are the most important part of the Oscars? 

Here at the Fashion Barbie, it's all about the red carpet, so in preparation for an exciting weekend of couture and custom gowns worn by the leading ladies of Hollywood, I'm sharing my predictions (and hopeless wishes) for what the nominees will be wearing.

Keep reading to see my picks!

Alicia Vikander

Alexis Mabille | Reem Acra
Alicia Vikander is a stunning actress and total fashionista. Ever since Ex Machina's press tour she's been wowing the public with her Louis Vuitton looks and restrained glamour. I would love to see Vikander embrace the spotlight with a shimmering sequin Alexis Mabille gown in oceanic blue or a Grecian yellow silk dress. Each one has just the right amount of bling to make a statement, but not be overpowering. Plus, Vikander is one of the few people on the planet who could pull off that color yellow.

Brie Larson

Carolina Herrera | Naeem Khan
Brie Larson is almost guaranteed to win an Oscar on Sunday, so girl's gotta bring her A-game. Luckily, Larson is another up-and-coming style star, so securing a gorgeous gown won't be an issue. If I were her, I'd have my eye on the gorgeous royal purple Carolina Herrera dress for a modern look, but the white and gold Naeem Khan gown will look stunning as well. I just love the Carolina Herrera dress since it's simple and laid-back in shape, but absolutely breathtaking in details. No matter what, Larson is going to look radiant!

Cate Blanchett

Alexis Mabille | Alexander McQueen
Queen Kate can do no style wrong, so why not go for it with the crazy tattoo-embroidery dress from Sarah Burton's Alexander McQueen? Seriously, she would look like a badass Renaissance royal/witch, and I would be all about it. Sure, the masses may not ~understand~ it, but Cate is on a whole other level and the fashion crowd would totally fawn over it.

But, if Cate has to wear a more universally-appealing dress, Alexis Mabille has just the thing: a simple blue gown with a trailing train and lace back. It's the kind of sophistication that Blanchett exudes, and I'd be just as happy to see her in a lovely dress like this on the red carpet.

Charlotte Rampling

Carolina Herrera | Jenny Packham
As the oldest nominee among the women this year, Charlotte Rampling is bringing her years of style experience to Hollywood's biggest night. I think an elegant cream Carolina Herrera gown or deep red Jenny Packham dress would look lovely on her. Pair with statement earrings and you've got yourself a classic look.

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Andrew Gn | Derek Lam
To be honest, I don't know that much about Jennifer Jason Leigh's red carpet style, but if her most recent appearances are any indication, I think she could really pull off the one-shoulder Andrew Gn dress with sweet floral detailing or this fun black and white Derek Lam dress.

Jennifer Lawrence

Ralph Lauren | Christian Dior
Oh, J Law, what will we do with you? While I enjoyed what the design house had to offer for Dior Spring 2016 Couture, I was left wanting when it came to their eveningwear selection. As you all probably know, Lawrence is still in contract with Dior, which means there is a 95% of her wearing the designer on Sunday. Granted, she'll probably don a custom creation, but if I had to pick, I'd love to see an altered version (think, a more dramatic skirt) of the sky blue dress on the right.

If Lawrence were to go with another designer, however, I think she could do wonders with this rich velvet Ralph Lauren dress. It's simple columnar shape works with Lawrence's figure, but it's the deep purple hue that will really take people's breathes away.

Kate Winslet

Naeem Khan | Marchesa
Kate Winslet tends to play it safe on the red carpet, so I would love to see her don a dramatic red a la this caped Naeem Khan dress. She would look totally breathtaking in that gorgeous color, and Kate in a cape? Yes, please. But if she opts for a less flashy look, this Marchesa dress with emerald beaded sleeves is a good compromise.

Rachel McAdams

Marchesa | Reem Acra
I can always count on Rachel McAdams for some much-needed princess gown action. When this brilliant red ruffled gown made its debut on the Marchesa runway a few weeks back, everyone was begging for it to make a red carpet appearance. McAdams could be the one to pull it off. I also like this gold and navy dress that looks like a radiant night sky. Either dress would make me happy!

Rooney Mara

Marchesa | Roksanda
Does Rooney Mara ever smile? That was the question I asked when trying to find a picture of her to use for this, and according to my vast research (10 minutes of browsing Google Images) the answer is no. But that's besides the point. Regardless of her facial expression, Mara knows how to rock a fairy princess dress and give it a punk rock edge, so I'd love to see her in this ethereal lavender dress from Marchesa. For a more vampy approach, this cool Roksanda dress could fit nicely, too, and would flatter Mara's lithe frame.

Also, because Mara has such a distinct style, I could also see her wearing any of the Rodarte gowns from the Fall 2016 collection or any of Gucci's kooky dresses.

Saoirse Ronan

Nina Ricci | Delpozo
Saoirse Ronan is only nine days older than me (!!!) so she should wear something sweet and youthful. I adore this fifties-style baby blue Nina Ricci dress; with the right jewels it could be a spectacular Cinderella moment dress. But I also think Ronan is the perfect girl to wear a Delpozo gown (seriously, more celebrities should be wearing Delpozo on the red carpet). I want Ronan to look like a 21st-century princess, and I can't wait to see what she wears.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is nominated for her work on the song "Til it Happens to You" from the documentary The Hunting Ground and I wasn't going to include her on my predictions list, but then I saw this Moschino dress and come on. Gaga HAS to wear this dress! It's a sophisticated version of her former days of fashion antics, and she would be WALKING AROUND WITH A CHANDELIER ATTACHED TO HER HIPS. Make this happen, people. If not because it would be the most talked-about red carpet look since Bjork's swan dress, then to see how one can possibly sit down in this. But yeah, #ChandelierDressForGaga2016. Get it trending.

Which designer dresses do you want to see on the red carpet? Let me know your predictions!

What I Wore | Perfect Spring Day

February 25, 2016

Lucca Couture dress | Juicy Couture heels | Kate Spade purse | Madewell sunglasses and necklace | C. Wonder bracelet
One of my favorite things about springtime in southern California is when all the flowers start to bloom! We may be in the midst of a drought, but luckily most of Los Angeles is covered in plants that are accustom to a more arid climate, like the beautiful pink bougainvilleas! They only bloom for a short period of time, but they are so gorgeous. And, lucky for me, the fences of our parking lot are covered with them! Naturally, I had to use them as a backdrop.

It's been seriously lovely these past couple of days, total sundresses and iced coffee vibes. I thought it would be fun to pose in this Mexican woven dress from Urban Outfitters against the flowers, plus pink on pink is always a winning combination.

The great thing about this dress is because it's a bold print in a bright color, you really don't need much else. I love printed sundresses for gorgeous days like this one; they're an easy one-and-done outfit! And while this particular one is a few years old (Hannah wore it in season one of Girls, though I'd venture to say that I wore it better) I've selected some current printed dress faves of mine below.

Shop Perfect Printed Dresses:

What's your favorite thing about springtime? Tell me in the comments!

My Dream Oscars Look

February 24, 2016

I'm obsessed with red carpet fashion. If you've been following me for even a little bit, this isn't exactly a secret. So when I was asked what I would wear if I ever found myself on the Oscars red carpet, naturally I was excited!

We're going to assume that I've been nominated for my amazing lead acting role in a period piece with equally amazing costumes. In reality I'd have a higher chance of being nominated for best original screenplay, but unfortunately writers don't usually get to wear the big couture designers (please change this, Hollywood!), so let's just pretend I'm a famous actress so I can wear the best gown!

What I'd Wear

Reem Acra Pre-Fall 2016 Gown
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley | Pink Lip | Jemma Wynne necklace
I'm absolutely in love with this Reem Acra gown from the 2016 pre-fall collection. While it's a simple shape, the bold pink floral embroidery and sequin detailing makes this dress a standout piece. It's pretty enough to please the Fashion Police-watching crowd, but daring enough to be memorable; if I'm going on the red carpet on the biggest night in Hollywood, I'm going to make a statement! And of course, a Fashion Barbie's gotta wear pink!

To keep focus on the eye-catching gown. I'd keep my hair simple and sleek with soft, glamorous curls à la Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and my makeup would be minimal too, but with a punchy pink lip to compliment the dress. I'd wear a simple necklace like this Jemma Wynne one to highlight my collarbone without overpowering the look.

What My Date Would Wear

Midnight Blue Tuxedo from The Black Tux
My date's gotta have style, so he'd skip the traditional black tux for a cool navy one. I love that the deep blue would compliment the pinks and oranges of my dress, and plus, all the cool kids were wearing navy tuxedos last year

Also, ideally my date would be Michael B. Jordan and we would be the hot Hollywood It couple. Look how much fun we would have:

Sorry for blocking your face, Meryl Streep
But seriously, Oscars red carpet or elsewhere, I'm a big fan of the rental suits and tuxedos from The Black Tux. They're cool and modern and will make your date look amazing, which is very important for Instagram-able photos.

What would you wear on the Oscars red carpet? Let me know in the comments!

Shopping List | Bomber Jacket

February 23, 2016

Via A Love is Blind
The must-have jacket for spring: the lightweight bomber jacket. This style has been all over runways and outside fashion shows, with everyone from Kate Moss to Jeanne Damas tossing a silk jacket over their shoulders for an instant style statement.

Shop my Favorite Bomber Jackets:

What do you think of this jacket style? Let me know!

Things I'd Like to Wear | NYFW Edition

February 20, 2016

10 Crosby Derek Lam
Creatures of Comfort
J. Crew
Michael Kors
Rebecca Minkoff
Proenza Schouler
Rebecca Taylor
Red Valentino
See by Chloé
Tory Burch

NYFW Recap

February 19, 2016

Delpozo by Kevin Tachman for Vogue Runway
Since I was gone most of this past week I didn't have the chance to do my usual day-by-day reviews of all the shows from New York Fashion Week, so instead I'm recapping my top collections and moments! Here are the things that caught my attention:

Alexander Wang Gets Sacrilegious

Showing marijuana leaves and stripper poles in a church is such a Fashion thing to do. That's right, Alexander Wang sent 90s-tinged street looks featuring drug references, strippers, and prison down the runway at Saint Bartholomew's Church in an explicit denunciation of the line between sacred and secular. It's the kind of borderline offensive thing only one of New York's favorite designers could get away with, and judging by the amount of Instagrams and Snapchats of the show, it was a huge success. You just know those stripper sweaters are going to be everywhere come next Fashion Week.

Victoriana Reigns

Zac Posen | Jill Stuart | Marc Jacobs | Brock Collection | Rodarte
Several designers harkened back to simpler times where corsets and leg of mutton sleeves were all the rage. Rodarte got gothic with dainty lace and veiled brides, while Marc Jacobs went totally theatrical with full skirts and coats adorned with raven feathers and brocades. Don't be afraid to get a little dramatic with 1800s-inspired styles this fall.

I Want Everything From J. Crew

Once again, the J. Crew presentation gave me plenty of outfit envy as well as styling inspiration. Somsack Sikhounmuong, the new head of womenswear at J. Crew, is off to a promising start with a collection full of bright colors, print clashing, and awesome layering. I'm happy to see J. Crew return to its preppy cool roots; it's at its best when it's not trying to be something else. Also, as long as they try to answer the eternal question "What would Jenna Lyons wear?" J. Crew's gonna be all good. 

Delpozo Wows Again

Josep Font has become the most consistently exciting designer at NYFW. His collections for Delpozo are fun and inventive and breathe life into what can get to be a rather redundant week of fashion. These clothes aren't for the faint of heart, but they are gorgeous, with an attention to detail that few non-couture designers give. I said this on Tumblr, but I think Josep Font could be a great fit for the head designer job at Christian Dior.

Are We Ready For the Return of the Tracksuit?

Pam & Gela (from Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor) are trying to bring their infamous velour tracksuits back. Are we far enough removed from the early 2000s already that those styles are coming back around again? It certainly feels that way. While it remains to be seen if customers will flock back to the tracksuit, several other designers like A.P.C. and Assembly are featuring luxe athleisure tracksuits in their collections, so brace yourselves.

Metallic Mood

Opening Ceremony | Tibi | BCBG Max Azria | Tory Burch | Saint Laurent
Metallics and iridescent fabrics were all over the NYFW runways, from evening gowns to simple T-shirts and pants. For the fashion girl who is looking for an easy way to add intrigue to her outfit, metallics are the way to go. We already see the numerous reiterations of the Gucci gold accordion pleat skirt; expect for this style to remain popular for the foreseeable future. 

What were your favorite NYFW moments? Let me know in the comments!