Best and Worst Dressed Celebrities at the 2017 Oscars – Who Won The Red Carpet On Hollywood’s Biggest Night?

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1. Most Successfully On-Brand: Ruth Negga in Valentino

If you asked us to predict what Ruth would wear, we’d have called the prim high neck and long sleeves. Less obvious? The striking hue of this demure, bold custom gown, which is stunning on her and makes her ACLU pin stand out that much brighter. (Twitter quickly dubbed that the accessory of the night; we saw it with increasing frequency as the evening progressed.)

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2. Best Dress That Defied Description: Naomie Harris in Calvin Klein

The scuttlebutt before Naomie showed up on the red carpet was merely that she was in a sleek, white sequined Calvin Klein. And while technically that is true, said scuttlebutt failed to mention that her dress was cocktail length and also incorporated a cape. We’ll be honest: As surprises go, this one was kinda fun, made spicier by the mixed-up shoes.

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3. Boldest Runway to Red Carpet Move: Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo

There’s no better way to confirm that you’re a Grown-Up Actress than by sporting this very adult Ralph & Russo confection, straight from the Paris runways — and no better get for Ralph & Russo than landing on someone as generationally appealing and talented as Hailee. We’ve been wailing throughout this awards season that this brand should be getting way more play on the red carpet, and we’re glad it did. With one caveat: We wish she’d lined it, because everyone got an eyeful in this thing. No need to be that adult.

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4. Best Old Hollywood Style: Taraji P Henson in Alberta Ferretti

This is utterly timeless glamour, from the major jewels to the flawless fit. It all comes together for a look that’s going to be on every single best-dressed list, and with good reason. It’s amazing. We’re still sputtering, frankly. Words can’t capture it.

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5. Best to Dance In: Emma Stone in Givenchy Couture

This is the what you wear when you are pretty sure you’re going to be looking at photos of this evening for the rest of your life — but, win or lose, it’s also the dress you wear when your post-ceremony plans involve kicking up your heels to celebrate the end of awards season and the beginning, maybe, of your vacation.

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6. Best Reappearance: Charlize Theron in Dior

Where have you been, Charlize? We missed you, and high-octane glamour like this is exactly why. Fun fact: Dior has a new creative director, and possibly not coincidentally, Dior also had a very good night at the Oscars.

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7. Worst Reappearance: Alicia Vikander

Vikander — who won Best Supporting Actress last year, and presented Best Supporting Actor this year — has been wholly absent from this awards season until tonight. Unfortunately, she re-emerged with a whimper rather than a bang, in an underwhelming black frock that tortured her cleavage. Better luck next time?

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8. Best Red: Viola Davis in Armani

Honestly, does she ever get it wrong? From head to toe, this is elegant, eye-catching perfection. We’d say she should teach a class, but she plays a professor every week on TV, and that’s ended badly for just about all of her students. Perhaps she could put out an instructional pamphlet instead.

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9. Best Ruffles: Brie Larson in Oscar de la Renta

OdlR is another brand that changed creative directors recently, and this is an excellent re-entry into the red-carpet realm. It’s dramatic without veering into corny, and striking without being too showy. In short, Brie looks like the Major Movie Star she is.

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10. Most Dramatic: Janelle Monae in Elie Saab Couture

Gosh, why so understated, Janelle? (ZING.) As ever, Janelle did not bypass the chance to dress as big as the telecast’s ratings. The bodice evokes Halle Berry’s groundbreaking 2002 Elie Saa, in which she became the first African-American Best Actress winner, for Monster’s Ball — and maybe that’s not by accident, given that Hidden Figures commemorates trailblazers and has broken records of its own.

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11. Shiniest: Jessica Biel in KaufmanFranco

We’ve never, ever said these words before in this order, but: maybe too much gold here? You’re not the Mar-a-Lago ballroom, dude.

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12. Biggest Misstep: Dakota Johnson in Gucci

Yikes! While we appreciate the vintage aura of this satin gown, there’s a fine line between “fabulous retro” and “I’m a mega-fan of Ryan Murphy’s Feud.” This is great if you’re throwing a drink in your rival’s face, but harder to pull off on a modern red carpet, and her hair and makeup aren’t helping.

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13. Best Curls: Halle Berry

We love Halle’s coif; it’s so refreshing and cool to see her change it up, and on such a high-profile night. If only her Versace were giving us equal life. It’s looks like a perfectly reasonable evening gown got sabotaged by someone who’s trying to invent Charmin for Funeral Homes.

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14. Most Fantastic Use of Feathers: Octavia Spencer in Marchesa

It was a delightful surprise to see Octavia go Full Ballgown. Both the cut and the color of this are perfectly princessy, which isn’t a silhouette she usually embraces and is a charming change of pace. Here’s to more feathers on the red carpet that aren’t in the form of a Swan Dress. #NeverForget

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15. Best Go Big Or Go Home: Cynthia Erivo in Paolo Sebastian

There’s an art to showing up early on the red carpet, as Cynthia did; you don’t want to miss out on the chance to own the cameras before it gets too crowded, but nor do you want to seem like too much like you’re courting them. She pulled it off with elan. This is beautiful, ornate, sweeping, and significant — and yet totally in keeping with her year in personal style. Best of all, she never gets lost in it. Cynthia, please go to everything, always, forever. Thanks in advance.

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16. Best “Sorry, Karl”: Meryl Streep

Whatever did or didn’t happen with Meryl and Chanel, one thing is true: She picked the right dress. The gray gown Karl allegedly was making for her — before he claims she spurned him, and he lit the Internet on fire — would never have beaten this vibrant delight. We guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that Meryl Streep’s creative instincts are correct.

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17. Best Nude: Nicole Kidman in Armani

This color is tough to pull off without looking washed-out or wan, but in this elegant Armani, Nicole easily reminds us why she’s been a red carpet mainstay for 20 years and counting. Thus far, her awards season has been peppered with wacky, dramatic frocks — so it’s a refreshing change to see her turn down the quirkiness for the Oscars without blowing out the flame entirely. A welcome sartorial edit.
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18. Best Director: Ava DuVernay in Ashi Studio

Okay, sure, she wasn’t technically nominated for Best Director (though her documentary 13th was recognized, losing to the OJ one). But she is a director, and she looked the best out of all of them, so we’re giving her the only award within our personal control. Always classy, always elegant, always with flair: Ava is as consistent as she is awesome.

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19. Best Debut: Auli’i Cravalho in Rubin Singer

Auli’i is the voice of Moana, and at what is surely the biggest event of her young career, this 16-year-old both looked like an angel and sang like one. They say you should start as you mean to continue; we can’t wait to go on this journey with her.

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