Oscar Night Retrospective

Since I felt so personally robbed by the lack of imagination (and color) at this year's Oscars, I resolved to go back in time and revisit some of my favorite award-winning looks.

Here are my Top 10:
1. Michelle Williams tops the list with her elegant marigold-hued Vera Wang in 2006. It's ruffled neckline, knotted waistline and flowing train harkens back to the golden age of cinema.

2. Reese Witherspoon killed it in her violet, multi-tiered Nina Ricci in 2007. I remember being able to only truly appreciate it's full glory when photos came out the next day. On TV it looked almost black for some reason.

3. Gwyneth Paltrow was a vision in Zac Posen's salmon fishtail gown in 2007. The whole look is polished, modern and feminine from her straight long hair to her diamond chandeliers and cuffs. I love the delicate pleating thoughout as well as the unexpected neckline.

4. Hillary Swank brings old glamor back to the Oscars, literally, in her Guy Laroche in 2005. The up-do and minimalistic earrings kept it clean, classy and uncomplicated. She left critics up in arms over her bravado to wear, gasp, sleeves.

5. Kiera Knightly manages to look sophisticated without losing her gamine charm in her garnet toned Vera Wang in 2006. The simple, yet statement-making accessories only compliment the look. Her hair, however, leaves something to be desired.

6. Amy Adams channels Rita Haworth in her emerald Proenza Schouler in 2008. The side-swept, loose curls and the Art Deco-esque bag only adds to the green-on-redhead one-two punch.

7. Although the pink Ralph Lauren Gwyneth Paltrow wore when she accepted her Best Actress award in 1999 is not the most exciting, I think we can agree that it has secured it's place in our collection consciousness, making it nearly as unforgettable as her teary acceptance speech.

8. Not even the Lanvin goddess gown can take full credit for the vision that was Natalie Portman at the 2005 Oscars. The complete look: the smoky make-up, plunging neckline and the diamond headband completed, if not stole the show.

9. I like to reminisce back to a time when Renee Zellweger was first lauded as a great actress and not for the annoying, squinty-eyed pouter we have come to know. This beautiful canary, 50s-era vintage number by Jean Desses was a stand out at the 2002 Oscars and secured her spot as a sartorial force to be reckoned with.

There is a tie for number 10, for multiple reasons, least being the obvious that they are almost the same dress. I will explain more at the end.

10.1: I remember hearing critics complain about Nicole Kidman's peacock-toned complete with plume Gucci in 2006, but it forever remains one of my favorites. Maybe it's my predilection towards peacock feathers? Anyways I think she nailed it. Simple clutch, check. Romantic, unfussy hair, check. Beautiful show-stopping dress? Check.

10.2: I absolutely love everything about this whole look Charlize Theron has going on with her peacock blue Dior gown, simple jewelry and hair in 2005. This was also not a favorite with the critics but I can still hear a million blondes hitting the bottle (of dye, that is) after seeing how hot Hollywood's golden girl looked with her raven-tinted bob.

Admission: So the last two are technically not Oscar gowns. OK, they aren't at all, they were worn to the Golden Globes, but in my memory they were worn for Oscar. And for that I will concede and put them at the end of my list since they shouldn't be there at all. If they were, though they would definitely be higher up on the list (number 2 and number 5, respectively). Meaning Renee would get the bump; but I'm OK with that, it almost hurt to have her here anyway...

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