The Oscars 2015

This past Sunday night, like millions around the world (and many of you too, I presume), I tuned into the Academy Awards. I was excited to see the all the glitz and glamour, find out who would take home Oscars, and yes … check out what they all wore.

Perhaps, as an actress, my perspective is a little different than yours – I have never been to the Oscars, but I’ve been to awards shows, and understand how intimidating and crazy the red carpet can be. That said, I think I probably watch and enjoy the Oscars just like you do. Who gave the best speech? Did the person I think deserved the award win? And who looked the best on the red carpet.

As always, the opinions on the fashion of this year’s red carpet are all over the place. Personally, I loved the looks of Lupita Nyong’o, Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon.

Honestly, I can only imagine the pressure these ladies (and gentlemen) felt as they made their choices. I’d like to think I’d go bold and make a splash, but then I start thinking about my arms or my stomach or how in the world I’d survive those shoes all night and … yikes, I’m not sure I envy that part of their journey.

My friend Cynthia & me
My friend Cynthia & me

Fortunately, I have a close friend, Cynthia, who is an amazing stylist. And I know that if I ever have the occasion to attend that sort of event, she’ll be my first call. HELP!

With that in mind, I asked for her thoughts on this year’s Oscar fashion and she was kind enough to share them with all of you too! We both want to hear from you, so add a comment or two and let us know what you thought of this year’s red carpet!

Mary Beth



By Cynthia Carr Gardner


I was longing for some glamour, praying for a return to elegance and wondering if we would see something ‘lady-like’ on that iconic Red Carpet at the Dolby Theater.

They didn’t disappoint…

I was raised, nay, elevated by a beautiful mother who by day was a 60s housewife and at night, a style siren. My parents didn’t run in tony circles however, my mother believed that a special occasion deserved a supreme effort, whatever your social strata. So, when those nights on the town were proposed by my father, she would transform herself into what I considered Vogue-worthy. She set the bar for me, and every client who solicits my opinion. Glamour is in every woman.

So, as a stylist, and one who consistently encourages everyone to be their best self whether going to a school meeting or the Met Gala, I felt vindicated in proffering this philosophy when I watched the parade of Oscar beauties. Here’s one style maven’s take on the night.

Let’s start with the ultimate winners…

Oscar Red Carpet

Emma Stone in her chartreuse Elie Saab expressed current and classic with a dress that fit beautifully and showed just the right amount of flesh in a deep slit and exposed back. The color was stunning against her alabaster skin and fabulous, asymmetric finger waves finished the look. Red lips brought it to perfection.

Rosamund Pike in a laser-fitted, red Givenchy, was elegant and understated. She let the silhouette of this stunning dress speak for itself when the accessories were kept to a minimum. The updo that framed her beautiful face and perfect makeup left her flawless and ultimately modern.

Jennifer Aniston proved that she needs little to own the red runway. Fresh and pretty in a beige Versace sparkler that fit like a proverbial glove, Jen let her tresses and beautiful visage be her best accessories.

Julianne Moore shone in her couture Chanel. Eighty thousand points of light were the hand-painted sequins that adorned this column. She raised the style bar when she heightened her beauty with lacy diamonds earrings and a sleek, swept-back chignon.

Cate Blanchett, in her inimitable, regal way, chose to make her style statement with a Tiffany multi-strand, turquoise necklace framed by a sleek, black Maison Margiela gown. Her glorious features were enhanced by this stunner and that was it … Cate, a necklace, a simple gown equals a timeless look. She showed us that less is more when you pick the perfect piece.

Curves Ahead…

Oscar dresses 2

Octavia Spencer in a soft teal Tadashi Shoji owned her beautiful curves. It’s all about fabric and draping when you’re a curvy girl and this dress proved that perfection doesn’t come in a petite package.

Oprah got my vote for her choice of a buff rose Vera Wang which made her float across the floor. Every gossamer pleat and brilliantly folded feature enhanced her ample curves with consummate elegance. The wild, curly coif added visual balance and softness to a look that she obviously loved. Only Oprah…

Scarlett Johanssen wasn’t quite as successful with her direction. She, too, wanted to make a statement with jewelry. This didn’t quite work with the deep green, sublimely-fitted Versace and its very emphatic companion necklace appearing more theatrical than stylish. Add to this, her slicked, short hair and she took on the look of an actor in costume. The dress could have been smashing without the added collar. I’m not quite sure why she was channeling Miley Cyrus.

And J Lo? Well, we’ll just have to wait until the day that this glorious creature will wear something that doesn’t feature her bare breasts. Elie Saab outdid himself when he created her peach confection of a gown. It was Oscar-worthy as was her impeccable makeup, Neil Lane jewelry and perfect pony. Why Jenny feels that she can’t let her beauty, not her breasts, be the focus, I simply don’t know. The gown was magnificent and needed little more than Jen and a bit less cleavage.

And the ‘worst’? I have learned from years of working with fabulous women who express themselves in all ways through their choice of wardrobe that there is no ‘worst’….rather, a point of view that should be appreciated and respected.   Clothing is the ultimate expression when we daily step out into the world. It sends a message of who we are and exhibits our sense of confidence.   And while we may never walk the ultimate Red Carpet…every street is our runway to strut.

cynthia2Cynthia Carr Gardner is a stylist in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston. Katie Couric and James Taylor are counted among her roster of clients. She resides in Boston and travels far and wide, making the world a more stylish place.



  1. Love love love this…I am only just catching up after starting a new job but loved reading this with a glass of wine!! Please keep your blog going….it is my ‘relax’ & ‘chill’ read!!! Even if I do it a bit late!!

  2. I loved Cate’s dress, simple, figure flattering with a statement necklace in a fabulous and trendy color. That added just the right touch!

  3. I love personal styling and wardrobe. It brings me sincere joy to see a clients face beaming when they feel better and secure in their clothing. The red carpet can be a dangerous place and just watching that certain show on E! you can be left for dead in an instant. On the other hand, the red carpet is a great way to see whats trending in the celebrity aura. My absolute favorite was Emma in Elie Saab. To me, Emma is someone who, even though she is still in her 20’s, always dresses with class and rarely shows to much skin. I have loved every gown Emma has worn to all of the events this year. I dislike the low V front dresses that JLO and Aniston have tried to bring back this year. One of my favorite trends this season are earring crawlers or earring jackets. They are a great ad on to a dressed up casual look and also be paired with the most glamorous dress. With all that being said…
    more posts like this please!!

  4. Lisa Carnevale

    Love this post and I love Cynthia!! Totally agree with all of your thoughts and really did not like that necklace on Scarlett with that dress(maybe not with any dress:/). I really though there was such elegance this year, loved it!

  5. Of course, my biggest girl crush is on Mary Beth 😉 but Cate Blanchett would be next. She looked so great. Her outfit was my favorite- classic with a little boldness.

  6. Besides Mary Beth, of course, I have a huge girl crush on Cate Blanchett. Definitely my favorite of the night. Classic but slightly bold.

  7. Love hearing the thoughts on the red carpet, but I have to disagree on Emma Stone. She’s beautiful and seems like a really fun person but that dress was just not good, at least on camera.

    Anybody who knows me knows that I am as far from a fashion expert as you can get and generally figure that if it works for the person wearing it then it’s good enough for me. But Emma really should have said no to that dress. 🙂

    I’m probably also the only person who likes Lady Gaga’s red carpet dress. It’s not for everybody, but I thought it worked for her and fit the occasion.

    Oh, and while outvoted by my friends, I thought Benedict Cumberbatch looked yummy in the white tuxedo jacket.

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