Fernando 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.
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!