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Not a lot of Best this time around, sadly, but no especially spectacular horrors either.

Needs More Color

Wish this were not a perennial category.

I know I’ll be in the majority on this but I didn’t think this was the best look for Emma Stone: the color washed her out and the transition to tassels looked like an old-fashioned lamp shade. Great fit and good bustline, though, flawless hair and makeup, and spectacular beadwork featuring a Planned Parenthood pin.

Good fit on Nicole Kidman with beautiful beadwork and a nice modest train but otherwise looks like a coloring book before it’s been colored in.

Felicity Jones is totally washed-out in this off-white unflattering Degas tribute

Shoulder Straps Are for Shoulders

What was with the trend for shoulder straps that are much narrower than the shoulder and then the bodice widens out?

Otherwise, a nice color and design for Charlize Theron.

This multi-hued version on Hidden Figures screenwriter Allison Schroeder isn’t too bad - I assume it’s trying to be patriotic. At least the waist fits well and the thin belt works, although it would have benefited from jewelry, missing from both her neck and wrists.

Emma Roberts in a similar color scheme to Michelle Williams but with a minimal bodice that still manages to exhibit the narrow-then-wide pathology.

Probably the worst of this look was Scarlett Johansson, wearing sheer curtain material with a clunky belt that visibly pulled the loose material in, and jewelry too heavy for that material. Awful from the back, too, where you could see her slip. And if you’re going with this look, wear a necklace!

E for Effort

The fit is okay in most places on Pryanka Chopra but the material looks like it’s made from padded pillow material and the bodice looks like it could walk by itself.

Never thought I’d see the day when I complained about a neck treatment but this all-white vestal virgin outfit on Karlie Kloss has too high a neckline to carry the very beautiful wrought-metal collar.

Funky collars seemed to be the order of the day, with Jessica Biel sporting an Aztec warrior jeweled-feather number. The rest of the dress did not work as well for me: it certainly fit well but it didn’t have much style and I thought the beading in certain lighting looked like a mold infestation. The schoolmarm hair didn’t help…

Nice fit and the shimmery tiers actually work for a change on Olivia Culpo but the skinny black belt and the shred look in the back are confusing. Great beadwork, though, and I like the hair.

Otherwise fit well but Taraji P Henson looked like her dress was giving her a mammogram.

This probably looked great on the drawing board and I suspect I'm just not fashion-forward enough to appreciate it but I thought this dress on Chrissy Teigen was confused: it fit well and flattered her figure but the asymmetry with one sleeve solid and one sheer seemed pointless, and the bodice was really funky: the design was carried out on one thin vertical strip but not the other, and the strips led to a flowing train from the shoulders (will never understand white trailing trains on busy floors for events like this). The design worked on the transparent sleeve but was way too busy imho for the bust, where it looked like spiders had crawled around.

Young Moana star Auli’i Cravalho starts out well: bodice well-fitted with interesting design, interesting off-center gathered waist, white and gold good for a young person, but then the material starts ballooning out and the design for some odd reason peters out at the hem. If only they’d continued with the top design with a narrower skirt...

Worst

Before I wrote this, I double-checked whether Ruth Negga was religious and needed a very modest outfit but apparently no, this is just an ugly unflattering gown with sleeves that are too long and an awful design for someone with no bust (as seen from the side. Props for the tiara, though.

Salma Hayek in a spiderwoman outfit with hieroglyphics on her tummy.

Naomie Harris in a schizophrenic number: dress can’t decide whether it’s short or long, bandeau bodice and midriff slit are too casual, shoes can’t decide which is better: yellow strap with bling anklet or the other way around, and a silly, silly train.

Brie Larson needs to learn how to tie a bow better, as hers at the hem is unraveling.

Busy Phillips wearing a velvet train-stop map which exaggerates her hips.

I often say this for exaggerated dramatic effect but I seriously do think that you could make two dresses out of this balloon-like Beauty and the Beast cartoon dress on Leslie Mann.

Octavia Spencer is too short-waisted for a cummerbund waist and the shredded feather skirt makes her look wider than she is tall.

Ginnifer Goodwin - I plead every year for some stylist to rescue this poor woman from disasters like this inexplicable red/transparent stripe number which clashes with the carpet and does absolutely nothing for her probably decent figure.

The subtitle of this dress on Amy Adams is basically "Boobs on Parade" although I like the Veronica Lake hairdo.

I kind of appreciate the idea behind Hailee Steinfeld’s outfit but the "interesting" fabric looked more like a shower curtain and the continuation of the neck ruffle down the back looked like she was giving a cockatoo a piggyback ride. Also, the skirt is too long and not well-fitted at the waist.

Sofia Boutella has not quite finished molting.

There’s always one saloon madam outfit and this year it belonged to Alicia Vikander in black tiered lace with a corset and bustline that were ridiculous on her small frame and a necklace that didn’t work with the outfit. The man-bun hairdo didn’t help either.

Ava Duvernay wearing a sofa upholstery sample.

Noooo… Pod people must have taken over one of my usual fashion icons: Halle Berry. This dress couldn’t decide what it wanted to be: dramatic criss-crossed black ties over a lighter sparkly underdress, great, especially from the back. Trailing feathery bottom half of the skirt, odd. Both together? WTF, especially from the side. And her hair looked like a retro wig from a Key & Peele episode.

Worst Fit of the Night: Nominee Isabelle Huppert in Miss Havisham white with no waistline and sleeves that are too long.

Worst of the Night: Dakota Johnson in a badly wrinkled gold satin version of a Harvey Girl uniform. (I actually saw a review claiming that this was "fashion forward" and "a great choice for a young starlet"!)

Best

Great color and fit on Viola Davis and terrific haircut.

OK, OK, it was inappropriate for the occasion and *way* over the top, but as a fantasy, this worked on Janelle Monáe, especially the amazing bead and embroidery work everywhere, and the fabulously wonderful collar. So what if it was walking her instead of the other way around?

This might one of the few times a guy has ever made this list but had to give major fashion props to Pharrell Williams.

Yay, we got Good Meryl! She looks terrific in this midnight blue gown that I didn’t realize at first was over leggings.

And, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a miracle that in the same year we got the good Meryl we got the good Laura Dern too, in a flattering design with interesting material and point-of-interest shoulder straps, plus nice hair and makeup.

Couldn’t get a solo shot of Matt Damon’s wife Luciana Barosso but had to share this: very well-constructed silver-glass mosaic bodice and clever belt and shimmery skirt combination.

Best of the Night: It’s pretty common for people to try to dress like the Oscar statuette and this flowing, well-fitted number on Robin Roberts with interesting shoulder straps (note: on the shoulder!) is one of the most successful.
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