Oscars 2014: Signature moves by Pharrell, Nyong’o rock red carpet

Lupita Nyong'o shines as this year's Academy Awards sweetheart in a silk georgette Prada gown in a shade of the lightest blue that the supporting actress Oscar winner said reminded her of home.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Pharrell Williams’ Lanvin shorts tuxedo, Kate Hudson’s caped Atelier Versace gown and Lupita Nyong’o’s fairy-tale princess Fred Leighton headband.

At Sunday’s Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, stars mastered the art of the personal style statement. Even poor Jennifer Lawrence’s slip-and-falls have become a kind of signature. If she never stumbled again, we’d probably miss it.

Pale, metallic hues were a trend as much as black dresses were. But what distinguished the best looks were truly unique textures and embellishments. In other words, it was all about the details.

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Take Angelina Jolie’s gray, long-sleeved Elie Saab Couture gown. The sheer bodice was embellished just enough to cover the necessary places. And the result was bewitching, almost as if the dress were melting on her smokin’ body.


Another barely-there embroidered gown, Cate Blanchett’s Armani Privé, featured pale gold degrade sequins and crystal baguettes resembling flower petals.

Naomi Watts’ white Calvin Klein Collection cap-sleeve column was also interesting, with multiple sizes of crystals creating a printed look. (Her spidery diamond Bulgari choker also added a dramatic edge.)

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Then there was Nyong’o, playing the role of this year’s Oscar sweetheart in a plunge-front, sun-pleated silk georgette Prada gown in a shade of pale blue. “It’s a blue that reminds me of Nairobi, so I wanted to have a little bit of home,” she said. If it looked as if the gown shined, it’s because it did — delicate crystal beading enhanced the edges of the pleats.

On the other end of the color spectrum, Charlize Theron’s sculptural black silk duchesse satin and organza Dior Couture gown cast quite a magical spell, tethered to her shoulders with illusion straps.

Julia Roberts’ black ruffled silk crepe custom Givenchy haute couture by Riccardo Tisci peplum gown was a more classical choice. And Anne Hathaway’s Gucci halter dress was maybe the most modern, featuring a geometric crystal bodice that was the stuff of fashion superheroes.