Anne Hathaway

And the Best Oscars Dress Of the Past Decade Belongs to ... (Drumroll)

Mar/01/2014 at 12:47 PM ET

Anne Hathaway Best Oscars gownKevin Mazur/WireImage

It’s been an action-packed week in the People.com offices thanks to our nail-biting Oscars gown bracket. In trying to determine who wore the best gown of the past decade, we endured some neck-and-neck races, some major upsets and some early favorites go down unexpectedly.

But the two weeks of suspense were all worth it to get to this moment: Anne Hathaway, in her custom Armani Privé gown, has taken the official title of “Best Oscar Dress of the Past Decade.”

RELATED: See the whole bracket here!

And Anne did not have an easy path to victory. First, she had to take out Naomi Watts’s similarly striking metallic Armani. Then she conquered Mila Kunis’s memorable lavender Elie Saab. And finally (and most tragically for our Style and Beauty Director Andrea Lavinthal), she took out early favorite Michelle Williams in yellow Vera Wang, before finally taking on Nicole Kidman in the final matchup.

It was a tough choice, neck-and-giant-bow-at-neck ’til the end, but Hathaway pulled out the win with a 56% vote. And we certainly can’t argue with a gown this classic, a hair and makeup look this elegant and accessories this special. Now we just can’t wait to see if anyone tops Anne tomorrow.

Oscars Gown Final Showdown: Anne Hathaway vs. Nicole Kidman -- Pick Your Favorite!

Feb/28/2014 at 09:45 AM ET

Oscar Gown Showdown: Anne Hathaway, Nicole KidmanFernando Allende/Broadimage; Gilbert Flores/Celebrity Photo



The Showdown: Anne Hathaway in Armani Privé (2009) vs. Nicole Kidman in Balenciaga (2007)
The Editor’s Pick: Anne Hathaway
Who Made the Call?: Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director
Why She Chose It:

I’m on Oscars Gown Bracketology strike. Allow me to explain. Yes, both final contenders look stunning in their respective gowns but I’m still reeling from the early elimination of Michelle Williams in that yellow Vera Wang. This is worse than when the Bachelor sends home the fan favorite mid-season.

I suppose I have to choose between Anne Hathaway and Nicole Kidman, but before I do, I’d like to take a few minutes to highlight what our editors said about Michelle’s gown in previous rounds:

Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor: Michelle Williams’s striking marigold number has made countless best-dressed (and best-ever) lists since the moment she walked onto the red carpet … The dress fit her like a glove, and had just enough drama in the details to make her stand out without overwhelming her petite frame.

Brittany Talarico, Associate Editor: This was Michelle’s first Oscars appearance ever, and I love that she totally went for something bold and fresh. With the vibrant color, ruffled neckline and ruching at the waist, it’s no surprise this design launched the nominee to the top of best dressed lists.

Check out the full Oscars Gown Showdown bracket here!

OK, now I’m ready to accept Michelle’s defeat and move on. I was surprised when Nicole’s dramatic red Balenciaga beat out Gwyneth’s now-iconic white Tom Ford (two equally polarizing dresses, but Gwyn’s was such a moment), but I was downright stunned when it also kicked Charlize Theron’s Dior-clad butt. For a minute it looked like Sandra Bullock’s Marchesa would break her winning streak, but with 52% of the votes, Nicole was victorious once more.

The success of Anne’s iridescent Armani Privé gown was easier to predict. It’s glamorous, it’s elegant and even though it weighed 15 pounds, she made it look effortless. “Anne is so lovely and ethereal — she reminds me of the great actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age,” Giorgio Armani said of the look he created for her. “For this reason I dressed her as a type of fairy-mermaid, pure and sparkling … She looked truly breathtaking.”

Both of these stars are drop-dead gorgeous in their gowns, and I’d be perfectly happy to let it end in a tie. But since that’s apparently not how things work with these brackets, I’m going to give this to Anne by a very narrow margin. I think her shimmering champagne moment is going to stand the test of time for decades to come.


Do you agree with me or should Nicole Kidman win this round? Vote in the Oscars Gown Bracket and check back tomorrow to see who comes out on top!

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Oscars Gown Showdown: Anne Hathaway vs. Michelle Williams -- Pick Your Favorite!

Feb/26/2014 at 09:45 AM ET

Oscar Gown Showdown: Anne Hathaway, Michelle WilliamsFernando Allende/Broadimage; Frazer Harrison/Getty



The Showdown: Anne Hathaway in 2009 vs. Michelle Williams in 2006
The Editor’s Pick: Anne Hathaway
Who Made the Call?: Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor
Why She Chose It:

I’ll admit it: I’m feeling pretty cocky right now, because I picked both Anne and Michelle in previous rounds. That being said, this decision was nearly impossible. Picture me sitting at my desk making this exact face for over an hour. I feel like I’m the Academy, and I’m about to deny one of these gorgeous women an Oscar. It’s been rough. But I also want to preserve my winning record, so I have to go with my gut and pick Anne.

Check out the full Oscars Gown Showdown bracket here!

Anne’s look screams glamour. Her pearly iridescent Armani Privé gown with the circular paillettes and Swarovski crystal detailing on the bodice gives nods to Old Hollywood, while still maintaining an ageless elegance. This is a gown that will never feel out of style or dated. I think we’ll still be talking about it 10 years from now, with the same admiration. It will never lose its awe. (Anne, if you’re reading this and you want to bring it back for this year’s show, we won’t judge. Promise.)

On the other end of the spectrum, Michelle’s marigold Vera Wang stuns with its vibrant color and ruffle neckline. Gorgeous, but it just doesn’t feel as strong in comparison to Anne’s timeless design.

Hey, I’d be more than happy to wear Michelle’s dress. But if I opened my mailbox the day before the Oscars and an invite to the show was in there along with both of these gowns, first, I’d chew out the delivery guy for cramming designer couture in a tiny Brooklyn mailbox. But then I’d reach for the Armani Privé and book my ticket to LAX.

Voting is now closed but click here to see who came out on top — and to weigh in on today’s matchup: Sandra Bullock vs. Nicole Kidman!

Oscars Gown Showdown: Mila Kunis vs. Anne Hathaway -- Pick Your Favorite!

Feb/20/2014 at 09:45 AM ET

Oscar Gown Showdown: Mila Kunis, Anne HathawayJason Merritt/Getty; Jason Merritt/Getty; Fernando Allende/Broadimage


The Showdown: Mila Kunis in 2011 vs. Anne Hathaway in 2009
The Editor’s Pick: Anne Hathaway
Who Made the Call?: Bronwyn Barnes, Senior Style Editor
Why She Chose It:
Anne wins, hands down.

I realize that’s like announcing the name of the winner without the dramatic tension of “And the Oscar goes to…” but my decision was a gut reaction.

When Mila wore this gown to the Oscars in 2011, she was my pick for best dressed. The silhouette was ultra-feminine and unrestrained, the pale lavender hue gave her skin an ethereal glow and the strategic draping of the delicate chiffon made the diminutive actress appear to be inches taller. But in the two years since then, there have been so many copycat dresses — if I see one more lace panel, I’ll scream! — that when I look back, Mila’s frock seems almost too familiar. ( Now this is a truly unforgettable Elie Saab gown. )

Check out the full Oscars Gown Showdown bracket here!

On the other hand, although I’ve seen countless metallic dresses over the years, I experience the same visceral reaction every time I see Anne in this Armani Privé column gown; I wish I’d been there in person so that I could have admired how divinely radiant she looked in it… and then knocked her to the ground and stolen it right off her back.

Up close, the diagonal cascade of iridescent paillettes circling down to the hem conjures visions of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. From a distance, those shimmering scales and Swarovski crystals morph into designer armor, accentuating Anne’s womanly curves and transforming her into a red carpet gladiator. The gown was heavy — weighing in at 15 pounds — and constricting, but Anne made it look effortless.

Voting is now closed but click here to see who came out on top — and to weigh in on today’s matchup: Michelle Williams vs. Reese Witherspoon!

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Oscars Gown Showdown: Naomi Watts vs. Anne Hathaway -- Pick Your Favorite!

Feb/11/2014 at 09:45 AM ET

Oscar Gown Showdown: Naomi Watts, Anne HathawayJason Merritt/Getty; Jason Merritt/Getty; Fernando Allende/Broadimage


The Showdown: Naomi Watts in 2013 vs. Anne Hathaway in 2009
The Editor’s Pick: Anne Hathaway
Who Made the Call?: Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor
Why She Chose It:
Disclaimer: This decision was almost as difficult as picking out my wedding dress. Okay, maybe not quite as difficult, but just know I took it very seriously. So before you Hath-a-hate all over my choice, hear me out. Yes, both actresses are stunning in their Armani Privé designs. Yes, both have the high-shine, metallic thing going on. And yes, both look out of this world. But Anne has something Naomi doesn’t have: vintage appeal.

Check out the full Oscars Gown Showdown bracket here!

The circular paillettes, pearly iridescent color and the mermaid silhouette are just so Old Hollywood. There’s something about the gown that feels really timeless and special and makes it impossible to divert your gaze. (When the actress walked across the carpet — watch here — I almost felt as if she were floating. (And for the record, I don’t think she’s ever smiled so big.) Plus, the Swarovski crystal detailing on the bodice perfectly matches her subtle Cartier jewels.

Naomi’s dress, while gorgeous, has a much more trend-focused feel. It’s the kind of thing I love now, but I could see myself being not quite as enamored of in a couple years. It just doesn’t have the style staying power of Anne’s strapless design. (That said, if we were weighing in on the Best Oscars Gown Neckline, I’d be casting a different vote.)

Voting is now closed but click here to see who came out on top — and to weigh in on today’s matchup: Michelle Williams vs. Keira Knightley!

Anne Hathaway's Style: The Obsessed or Hot Mess Edition

Jan/06/2014 at 02:08 PM ET

Anne Hathaway styleFameFlynet; Kmm/X17; Wenn

We love that Anne Hathaway is never afraid to take a style risk. And it appears she’s prepared to push the fashion envelope even more in 2014, as she’s worn a few new items that are bold, even for a star who loves to play with fashion. So we’ve decided to dedicate an “Obsessed or Hot Mess” special edition post to the actress and her unique wardrobe choices.
Read More

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Adam Shulman and Heidi Nahser Fink Make Beautiful Jewelry Together (and Confess that Anne Hathaway's Pretty Good With a Blowtorch)

Nov/07/2013 at 10:47 AM ET

James Banks Design Jewelry, WOCA necklaceCourtesy James Banks Design

Perhaps the only thing we like better than gorgeous, sparkly jewelry is gorgeous, sparkly jewelry that benefits a good cause. So we’re head-over-heels for this striking James Banks Design pendant, from which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to World of Children Award, a foundation dedicated to advancing work on behalf of children worldwide. Its launch coincides with the World of Children Award ceremony Thursday night, which honors people making strides in the world of child advocacy, and it was inspired by the WOCA logo, according to co-designers Adam Shulman and Heidi Nahser Fink. (If Shulman’s name rings a bell, he also designed Anne Hathaway‘s engagement ring, then gave it to her!)

Over two months, Nahser Fink and Shulman collaborated on a piece for WOCA that incorporated elements of the logo into an elegant, wearable piece, as well as one that their two-man shop (Shulman designs from N.Y.C., Nahser Fink creates by hand out of her Calif. studio) would be able to make to keep up with demand. From the first iteration (see below) to the current one, the process was quite involved.

“We wanted, when people wore it, for it to look like a piece on its own, but the closer you get, you say ‘What is that?'” Shulman tells PEOPLE. “It incorporates children, worlds. It looks like a flower blooming, but up closer it’s another thing. The concept of the key is, you put a key in and it unlocks. The key itself can’t work on its own, you need people — it’s a group effort. That’s what’s so beautiful about this organization, it’s not just one person.”

James Banks Designs Jewelry, WOCA necklaceCourtesy James Banks Design

The attention to detail in the key is typical of the work the two do together for James Banks Design. Each piece is painstakingly crafted and has tiny details (like butterfly wings that move, or meaningful custom jewels enclosed in glass) that are meant to start a conversation. “We want people to get close, to get a conversation from it,” Shulman says. “We want them to come up to it and ask ‘What is that?’ [Then you'd say] ‘It’s not just a ruby … it signifies my husband who was born this time of the year,’ or ‘He ignites my heart.'”

The idea for their first piece, the “Lightkeeper” (a charm shaped like a lightbulb with precious stones inside) came from Shulman’s wife Hathaway. “My wife said to me, ‘I feel like when I’m away, I lose my light, I don’t have the light in my life with me.’” he shares. So he created the lightkeeper concept with Nahser Fink, in which the wearer could choose the stones inside and add to them as they go. Says Nasher Fink, “It’s interactive, like our process; the wearer as well as the designer interacts with the piece. Everyone’s in the process together. The process of designing is an endless journey … It’s like a path, it tells a story.”

James Banks Designs Jewelry, WOCA necklaceCourtesy James Banks Design

The duo first met on the set of Hathaway’s Alice in Wonderland, for which Nahser Fink designed jewelry and props. After sending her a few ideas for Hathaway’s light pendant, “I said, Adam, you should be a jewelry designer!” Nahser Fink recalls — and their company was born. And despite their unconventional bicoastal approach, they work together perfectly. “He just got it. I just couldn’t believe how visual he could be with just words, while I had the pieces,” she says. “I never knew I would find someone to work with that would be so inspiring.”

So has Shulman tried his hand at the intricate metalworking Nahser Fink is so known for? “A little bit,” he says, then adds, “My wife — she was pretty good, wasn’t she?” Nahser Fink agrees, laughing: “She was manhandling that torch and using the wire, rolling it out. At one point, I was like, ‘Should I leave you alone in here?'”

While they love collaborating on personal pieces for clients on an intimate scale, they do dream of opening a store in the future. “I imagine that store on the corner of a street, in London or N.Y.C.,” Shulman says, “and the jewelry isn’t out, it’s tucked in these hidden drawers and boxes that open up and reveal other things. Heidi’s husband … would build all the cabinets, little cabinets of curiosity that we open up. It [would feel] like you’re in this magical little land and you don’t know what’s behind each door.”

In the meantime, you’ll have to explore their site on your own. See the pieces above (including a butterfly bangle, silver lightkeeper and rose bronze butterfly) at JamesBanksDesign.com, and be sure to check out their necklace for World of Children Award and learn more about the World of Children Award honorees here.

What do you think of their designs? Which is your favorite piece?

–Alex Apatoff

 

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