On January 16, the 2011 Hollywood awards season kicks off with the Golden Globes. For folks like me, who care about the red carpet fashion statements as much, and perhaps more, than the on-screen performances being feted, this is an exciting time. So many dresses to peruse, so many judgments to pass. All the hoopla of nomination announcements and prognostications gave me an idea – why not an awards style pool? Everyone can play along at home; just review my picks below and pick the person you think will come out on top, in the style rankings, this awards season. We’ll review the progress of each candidate as the various awards shows take place, and then (democratically) crown a winner after the Oscars in February. Interactive fun!
OK, down to the nitty-gritty. In order for this to be as fair a contest as possible, I had to pick candidates who are likely to make the rounds at most, if not all, of the major awards shows. Red carpet junkies aside, the best way to do that is to go with nominees. Although the grand-daddy of all awards shows (the Oscars, natch) will not announce its nominees till the end of the month, it’s a safe bet that most of the names that have been showing up on other nomination lists will pop up again come January 25. So, in no particular order, here is the awards style pool shortlist, along with my initial thoughts on each candidate (including my picks for best/worst looks):
Natalie Portman (SAG, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards; Black Swan)
As if the buzz off Black Swan was not enough, with a recent engagement/baby announcement, Portman is guaranteed to be the belle of the 2011 awards season. On the red carpet, she’s rarely put a foot wrong in the past, and although her choices sometimes leave me cold, I put that down to style differences. I do love Portman in Lanvin, though; this recent look is one of my faves:
However, while I like eclecticism, I’m not fond of this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink Rodarte dress:
Nicole Kidman (SAG, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards; Rabbit Hole)
In a field of relative newbies (yes, I know, Natalie Portman has been acting for a long time), Kidman stands out as a red carpet veteran. She’s had some amazing, memorable looks on the Oscar red carpet in past years, so it will be interesting to see what she pulls out this time. I have to admit that, lately, I have not been overly impressed by her outfits, which have tended to be reiterations of the same silhouette (tight all over, mid-calf length). I understand a style rut as much as the next gal, but hope Kidman re-discovers her taste for adventure, and goes for something as risky and fabulous as her Oscars Galliano dress:
And less like her recent Clements Ribeiro pick for the Rabbit Hole premiere (is that … tinsel??):
Amy Adams (SAG, Golden Globes; The Fighter)
I have to confess that I’ve never paid a ton of attention to Adams on the red carpet, which is a shame – after all, gingers have to stick together. But as a result, I don’t have a clear idea of “who” Adams’ red carpet persona is, and I’m not really sure what to expect this time around. Much like Mila Kunis (below), she’s a bit of a dark horse. But she has proved that she can shine in the spotlight, as this gorgeous mermaid dress by Proenza Schouler attests:
However, her other Oscars dress, by Carolina Herrera was a “miss” for me (though I looooved the necklace):
Anne Hathaway (Golden Globes; Love and Other Drugs; Oscar presenter)
In researching Hathaway’s red carpet history, I quickly realized that it might easily be summed up thus: very, very pretty dresses. She wears a lot of them, especially Valentino. Pretty, princess-y dresses are one of my weaknesses, so Hathaway has an edge, in my book, over her competition on that score alone. She’s also consistent; even when her look is not mind-blowing, it’s still solid – she’s rarely on the “what was she thinking?” lists. In terms of my favourite Hathaway look so far, I was torn between this Valentino gown, and the one she wore to the Venice Film Festival (sea-foam, ruffles, looks far better than it sounds), but in the end of the sparkles won out:
Though I applaud her for experimenting with a different look, this Marc Jacobs dress, on the other hand, is a bit of a tragedy as far as I’m concerned:
Mila Kunis (SAG, Golden Globes; Black Swan)
While she’s certainly no unknown, Kunis doesn’t seem to have spent a lot of time on awards red carpets in the past (and, if she has, I can’t find the pictures). Her various movie premiere looks have not overwhelmed me, but there is clearly room for a few surprises this year. She certainly has an eye for the unconventional, if this Monique Lhuillier gown (from the 2009 Emmy’s) is anything to go by:
On the other hand, this Elie Saab dress is a bit “blah” (the kiss of death on the red carpet, as far as I’m concerned):
Michelle Williams (Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards; Blue Valentine)
I’ve added Williams as a 6th pick to my shortlist because she may turn out to be true dark horse of awards season – particularly where the awards themselves are concerned. Her movie, Blue Valentine, is getting a ton of great reviews … and, hey, it doesn’t hurt to co-star with Ryan Gosling in a movie that boasts sex scenes sufficient to warrant (an initial) NC-17 rating. Style-wise, I will always have a soft spot for Williams, both for her adorable pixie haircut and for wearing one of my all-time favourite Oscar looks, this stunning yellow Vera Wang gown:
On the other hand, Williams’ apparent love for the off-beat can be a little … well, too off-the-beaten path for me. Take this bedsheet-esque Chanel dress:
So, now that you have reviewed the candidates (and some of their past red carpet efforts), it’s time to name your pick. Make your choice known in the comments to secure bragging rights in the event that your pick ends up reigning supreme in the 2011 awards season.
To get you all started, here is mine. After much deliberation, and with some regret (Michelle, you were my close second), I’m going to go with my “safe choice”, Anne Hathaway. See – it isn’t hard! Your turn!