Fashion at the Oscars

Despite plenty of feather ruffling, this year's Academy Awards proved itself to be a celebration of mediocrity in fashion. While there were few disasters, few dresses stood out and many more received mixed reviews.

The top trend of the year was the one-shoulder dress.

Cate Blanchett was one of the only risk-takers of the night, and she pulled it off beautifully. She was nearly flawless in a dark grey sparkling one-shoulder number. The beaded embellishments at the shoulder and bottom of the dress were balanced out by the lightness of the rest of the dress. The color and dress was unique and stood out.

Maggie Gyllenhaal, too, chose a winner. Gyllenhaal wore a dark blue and black formfitting, one-shoulder gown. It was polished off a feather trim at the bottom. The color and shape were great, the feather trim added just enough spunk to the outfit and Gyllenhaal looks sophisticated.

Penelope Cruz took the biggest risk of all and came away with the best dress of the night. The dress was a pale, peach strapless gown and a full skirt adorned with feathers. Any small change — a different color or the sleekness of the top bodice — would have turned a fashion hit into a fashion miss.

Helen Mirren certainly looked like the queen she won her Oscar for playing. Her three-quarter length sleeve dress with the beaded bodice exuded glamour and sexy while still looking her age. The skirt was full and the cream and silver color looked great with her complexion and hair.

Reese Witherspoon was the picture of mediocrity Sunday night. The purple strapless dress with a ruffled bottom were not horrible, but, for lack of a better word, boring. While Witherspoon is beautiful in anything, the dress did not do her justice.

Unfortunately, this is where the bad and questionable begin.

Kate Winslet and Beyonce both showed up in one shoulder dresses in a rather strange color: mint green. The dresses were by Valentino and Armani respectively. With her pale complexion, the color completely washed Winslet out. Beyonce fared a bit better but the obnoxiously loud beaded shoulder strap drew the attention away from her beautifully done face and hair.

Jennifer Hudson chose a lovely chocolate brown gown by Oscar de la Renta. When seated inside, she was elegant and stunning. Sadly, while walking down the red carpet, she chose a horrible gold cropped jacket to pair over the dress. The jacket reminded me of space. While the futuristic look is a major trend for spring, it just did not work on the red carpet.

Speaking of futuristic looks, Cameron Diaz was another anomaly. She almost pulled it off ... almost, but not quite. Her dress looked hard and the odd shape dragged down the red carpet in the most abnormal way. While the dress worked in theory, it did not quite make it in practice.

While others are "oohing" over Nicole Kidman's bright red dress, I just can't get over the red bow. It was huge and dragging. Also, it was probably supposed to be the centerpiece, but for some reason, her stylist chose to leave her hair flailing over it. The color was stunning but overall, this dress just screams awkward.

Two beautiful women chose to use an extra yard of fabric on their dresses.

Jennifer Lopez's peach Grecian-inspired gown by Marchesa had a beautiful studded neckline. However, the empire waist was way too baggy. Is she pregnant?

Jessica Biel's fuchsia dress was absolutely horrible. The color was dreadful and there was far too much fabric causing her to look much chubbier than she probably is. Probably.

The disaster of the night goes to Kirsten Dunst. I can't decide where to begin. The grey mesh completely washes the pale Dunst out and the collar resembles a Polo shirt. In case she missed the memo, this is the Oscars, not a tennis match. The busy silver-sequined pattern on the skirt is too much and unlike Gyllenhaal and Cruz, she could not make the feathers work. The feathers were spread throughout the bottom of the skirt in sporadic poofs. And we can't forget the terrible hair. Dunst just looks like a confused old lady.

Best dressed: Penelope Cruz with Maggie Gyllenhaal in a close second.

Worst dressed: Kirsten Dunst

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