Oscar Gowns – Red Carpet Colors

Celebrity gowns are rarely ideal colors for those who wear them on Oscar nght. Why would that be? Wouldn’t they or their stylists be keenly aware of what colors they look best in? Gowns are usually donated by designers so their names will be mentioned when someone with a microphone on the red carpet asks “Who are you wearing tonight?” The publicity value of having a designer’s name mentioned at the Oscar’s couldn’t be bought for 5 times the price of that gown. So you see…it’s a win win situation for both designers and celebs. Last night’s Oscar show had hits and misses in the color department. Here are a few of the most obvious.

Penelope Cruz (above) wearing a rich dark red that provides an appropriate level of contrast and compliments her coloring exquisitly.

Helen Mirren (at left) in a beautiful and synergistic soft gray with equally flattering contrast to her coloring. Helen gets it right most every year.

Anna Kendrick (right) supporting actress in ‘Up in The Air’ wore a gown that almost matched her skin tone exactly. This doesn’t work. Skin tone colors are great for undergarments because they are less visible through clothes. They disappear on the body. But as outerwear they’re a mistake. As outwear, skin tones should be at least 2 shades darker or lighter than your skin.

Queen Latifah (left) wore a pale orchid-pink gown that conflicted with her rich warm skin tone. A similar value in a salmon color would have been more complimentary. Fortunately most gowns worn on the red carpet have low
necklines and bare shoulders. When there is a lot of skin exposed just below the face, the color has less of an impact. These women are all beautiful even in colors that miss the mark but as a colorist, I’d love to see every one of them strutting their stuff in their ideal colors. Future nominees take note. I’m available for consultations.


Oscar Gowns – Red Carpet Colors — 1 Comment

  1. helen mirren looked great but I think she has had some work done recently.

    That was a great point you made about the further away the neckline is (when color is not quite right) the easier it is to pull off. I like to rely on a pretty scarf to take care of that problem.

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