Oscars 2017: Who was the best dressed actress?

Gold lamé used to look very tacky in the Eighties but Charlize Theron has given it a new lease of life with this gorgeous gown by Dior Couture. (Who else for the designer muse herself?) The deep plunging neckline emphasised her statuesque physique while the full flowing skirt with sunray pleats added drama as she strode across the red carpet — just like the J’adore advert. The shiny gold fabric was tempered by a superfine overlay of black silk tulle which turned her from a golden goddess into a bronze bombshell. Meanwhile her shoulder length locks were swept back into a sleek ponytail with a bouffant crest. Priceless jewels by Chopard, no less. Nicole Kidman, who was up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lion, chose a flesh-coloured sari silk column dress by Armani Privé to showcase her slender frame. This was detailed with a mandala pattern in gleaming beads and sequins and looked, well, pretty spectacular against her alabaster complexion. I loved the way she had styled her strawberry blonde hair into a loose bun with a tousled fringe framing her face.

Matt Damon’s Argentine wife Luciana Barroso totally upstaged her mega-famous husband by dazzling in a truly exquisite dress in quicksilver satin. This featured a floor-length sarong skirt draping from a silver belt and an intricate bodice in silver devoré fabric in a mirror mosaic design. She wore this with matching skyscraper stiletto sandals and smoky quartz chandelier earrings.

The Disney channel starlet Sofia Carson made her Oscars debut with great aplomb, wearing a dazzling white taffeta princess gown by Monique Lhuillier. This was strapless with a vast full skirt in three tiers, each of which featured embroidered sprigs of foliage in black and silver threads at the hem. Her jet black hair was pulled back into a gleaming chignon and adorned with a sparkling hair slide of diamonds and pearls, also designed by Monique. Heels by Christian Louboutin, of course.

You can always rely on Salma Hayek to wear something super sexy and this year was no exception. Her Alexander McQueen dress in Mantilla lace was a nod to her Hispanic heritage and included a plunging gypsy neckline that (only just) managed to contain her famous burgeoning bosom. The spaghetti straps and fine tulle underlayers were both delicate and feminine. For me though it was her hair and make-up that stole the show. Curtain straight and in a middle parting, her glossy raven locks were accentuated by a sparkling diamond headband; while her smoky eyes, scarlet lips and jet black nail varnish provided a very glam goth finish.

Tareji P Henson starred in two of the nominated films, Fences and Hidden Figures, and she absolutely stunned in a gorgeous gown by Alberta Ferretti. So simple and elegant, the column style featured an off-the-shoulder sweetheart neckline and one dramatic and daring thigh-high slit at the side. The luxurious satin velvet in deepest purple complemented her complexion and colouring perfectly.

Edge of Seventeen and True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld, who is only just 20, wore a sheer white hand-painted silk gown with strategically-placed iridescent crystal embellishments. It had a high, scalloped halter neck which was finished in a beautiful silky flounce flowing down her back. Very pretty, very youthful and absolutely perfect for her age.

The Losers

They always say never wear red on the red carpet. Rare exceptions get away with it, but Big Love actress Ginnifer Goodwin wasn’t one of them. Her scarlet lace frock by Zuhair Marad clashed horribly with her surroundings while its cut simply looked frumpy with its high collar, long sleeves and shapeless tiered skirt while her hair and make-up were just uninspired.

Everything was wrong about actress Blanca Blanco’s monstrosity of a dress. From the colour (a sickly sulphur yellow) to the design, featuring gigantic ruffles at the shoulder (reminiscent of those poisonous lizards with venomous gills that flare up when they’re under attack) to the cut (which included a front slit so high that she practically bared all, and I mean all) for the cameras. What was she thinking? Don’t ask me!

Scarlett Johansson is very hit and miss on the red carpet and this time for me it was a miss. The sheer floral chiffon looked a bit like a nylon shower curtain from a student bedsit in the 1970s. As for the chunky studded belt ...words fail me. Above the shoulders, though, she did look the part, with a very trendy undercut hairstyle and multiple piercings showing her rock-chick side for a change.

The big winner of the evening was Emma Stone and although she got praised to the hilt by stylists, I’m sorry to say that I did not like her dress one little bit. The heavy brocade fabric and the gaudy gold fringing looked like the soft furnishings from a National Trust property rather than a dress of a lifetime for a leading lady. Mind you, her hair did look pretty in soft waves.

Dakota Johnson, the Fifty Shades siren chose a vintage Gucci number in old gold satin that had everything but the kitchen sink attached including leg-o-mutton sleeves, a plisse bodice, pie-crust collar and a gigantic bow at the waist like a waitress’s pinny. Terrible. As for her hairstyle? It made her look like a boring geography teacher circa 1975.

Naomie Harris’ short white dress with a long train didn’t work. The white self-coloured sequins gave the impression from a distance that she was dressed in white shrink-wrap plastic or had simply adapted a strong Tesco’s bag for life. Meanwhile, the yolk yellow strappy sandals were completely wrong too.

Felicity Jones is always complemented on her feminine English upper-class style but I just find it very dull, predictable and boring. She’s worn similar nude coloured diaphanous ballerina styles many times before. Or maybe she only has one dress?

Leslie Mann’s overflowing duvet dress in Coleman’s Mustard yellow clashed horribly with her strawberry blonde hair and the shape/size/cut of the cloth reminds me of a family-sized sleeping bag.