Oscar Fashion: Angelina Jolie Wins

The Oscar for best-dressed at the Oscars, however, goes to Angelina Jolie, in a daring, strapless Versace gown of black velvet, with a bustle and an asymmetrical bodice that resembled tulip-petals, slit to show off her legs to die for. That is more like it: something to die for! She resembled Sargent’s Madame X.

And in the to-die-for department, special mention goes to Rooney Mara, who lost to Meryl Streep, but showed the competition what Oscar fashion should be. Her white slip of a dress, by Givenchy, evoked vintage Chanel (Chanel-Chanel, not Lagerfeld-Chanel, one of the bias cut slips of the nineteen-thirties). Mara seems to understand that style requires exaggeration, and everything about her is exaggerated: her emaciated figure; her shellacked hair; its inky artificial blackness, the punkish bangs; the thick brows over the alarming blue eyes; and the aching fragility—all of it a contrast to her freshness.

– Judith Thurman on the best-dressed and last night’s trends (red hair and sequins):

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