Fug or Fab, and a Face-Off: Jessica Chastain


This is from the same Elie Saab collection as the green dress Nina Dobrev wore to the PCAs.

The consistency here seems to be an “almost… not quite” deployment of lace, which Fug Nation correctly noted looked like a strange skin ailment on Dobrev, and which here is stretched over her chest like a window and helps give off the impression Chastain just polished her brass knockers. The color is still great, though, and the rest of it is breezy and pretty. The sunset at Nipple Beach is really the most distracting part — well, that, and the fact that this last-ditch deployment of green has me fearing she’ll go baby pink or nude at the Oscars, which will make my eyeballs explode, and y’all KNOW how much I hate even the mere mention of eyeball-related shenanigans (and if you didn’t, you do now), and so you know I MEAN IT.

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Later, Chastain pulled out this number:

Wah-waaah. The bodice is a bit Sexy Bedsheets — it actually kind of reminds me of how in Clue, Miss Scarlet’s green strapless dress kept falling off her shoulers — ┬ábut the rest of it seems to swallow her up again, like so much else she wears. Perhaps she is that delicious.

[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (32):

  1. Colleen

    I really hope she blows us away on Sunday. I fear she won’t.

  2. lisas

    This woman has yet to wear a dress that fits.

  3. anny

    I seem to be in the minority thinking Dobrev’s is better, but here’s why:
    1) It fits.
    2) Peek-a-boob garments are sooooo yesterday.
    a) Either they reveal an unattractive foundation garment/lining, or worse, they don’t.
    b) Starlets wearing them: YOU ARE FEMALE. YOU HAVE THE USUAL SECONDARY SEX CHARACTERISTICS. DULY NOTED. Decorate them interestingly, but really, we’ve all seen them before.
    3) Placement of strange skin ailment – I wouldn’t wish Chastain’s location on anyone less than an outright enemy.

    • megs283

      yeah I agree. Lace over boobs just seems tacky (even when it’s lined).

  4. Sam

    I’m beginning to think that Chastain just doesn’t look good in clothes.

    Which does not mean that she should parade around naked. Just maybe stop parading?

  5. Katharine

    Dobrev’s version strikes me as boring, the kind of thing you could find in the bridesmaids’ racks at any given wedding store, but it fits and the bodice is much nicer than the klunky thing Chastain is wearing. (Lace aside — and I don’t like the lace boob-windows at all– the unflattering high neckline, clumsy bound edges, nasty centre band and weird side detailing of Chastain’s dress all add up to “bleh.”)

    The neckline drapery on the second dress I actually really like; it looks delicious in the satin. I like the colour, too. From there down, though, it quickly becomes a scrolldown schlump.

  6. Libby

    On the plus side, she’s picking better colors. The 2nd dress is such a gorgeous shade of blue, if only it fit better….

  7. CJ

    The blue satin is a ridiculous mess. It doesn’t even look finished.

    Love the green color on her — she looks so vibrant and alive — but I am in agreement that the lace inset is not all that flattering. Still, not her worst dress. I actually like the green one with the lace better than the blue satin number. Whether or not she is actually built that way, she or her stylist has a tendency to pick dresses that make her look thick in her middle, way thicker in the middle than she actually is (case in point: that blue satin dress.) The waistline on the green dress is very flattering. I like how the area just above the waist has an inset in the middle and then fabric on the sides. She looks three sizes smaller than the woman wearing the blue dress.

  8. Kris M

    If the bodice on the green dress had just been 4 inches higher and covered the essentials, I think it would have been an easy fab. But the fact that well, it doesn’t, I vote for Dobrev.

  9. Stefanie

    Okay, call me crazy but I love the green dress. I like the peek a boo detail and the color is to die for. Of course, this is coming from someone who has been coveting a green dress for years and I have yet to find one that fits my chest.

    • Geemee

      I’m with you! I love this dress on her and I really like the way it fits. I wouldn’t change a thing except big ol’ diamond studs in the ears and something in the wrist/hand area.

  10. Stefanie

    Oh, I forgot to say: I chose Jessica’s over Nina’s. But I choose Nina’s when she put on that black leather jacket and those boots at the airport.

    • Kat Seaborn

      I would like to solve: Dobrev. In the airport. With the black jacket.

      The black jacket made it 100 times better, which says to me that the problem is the lace. I am a huge fan of the green on both ladies, but the lace in the color comes off as cheap. Maybe it’s just the pattern of the lace — maybe a more delicate pattern wouldn’t be so … how do I say “trashy-looking” without saying “trashy-looking?”

      Wouldn’t it be GREAT if Chastain pulled out the big guns for Oscars? I mean, girl was in a movie with Emma Stone. I feel like Emma would help a girl out.

      • Stefanie

        I agree the problem lies in the lace with Nina’s. To me it seems so unneeded on the arms.

  11. Lina

    Chastaine’s RC wardrobe could be its own drinking game. Bad fit? Weird proportions? Strange lace fungi? Unflattering color? Wheee! Granted, she rocks the green, no surprise, but that second dress is horrible. Regardless, she needs a stylist who can get her free clothes in suitable styles and colors that actually fit her shape. Girlfriend has to dress the figure she HAS.

    Re Nina’s E.Saab, she also rocks the color, but it’s a less interesting design in cocktail length. I do prefer that bodice, though. Hmm.

  12. drPhilG

    I think the argument against the peek-a-boo lace tops over skin colored undergarments is that it’s just not anatomically right. I mean, women have nipples, and if they aren’t covered up, then you should see them. When they aren’t covered up, but not visible, it looks like the person doesn’t have them–which looks weird to me. For me this is the strongest argument for NOT using lace. And the biggest argument for covering the nipples with solid material.

  13. Mahastee

    Damn I want to style this lady so much – she is so often not quite there.

    The green would be quite lovely except for the boob thing which is so weirdly distracting. Has the GFC chewed up every designer’s lining budget? Does that account for all the boob lace and leg curtains? The lace seems to end in the wrong place, anyway. It seems it should be a little lower, or maybe it fits wrong – there should be a greater contrast between the way that the waistband fits and the way that the boob area fits *sigh* I give up. At least her makeup looks good?

    I can’t even start on the blue.

  14. vandalfan

    That woman cannot dress to save herself. It’s her pale, wan, wispy-haired wishy- washyness of it all. The green monstrosity really couldn’t be worse, and the stained bed sheet with aggressive hem, just make that go away. There’s no helping either of these.

  15. cruzilla

    The bodice on the green Chastain dress looks like it’s just a rip away from something you would wear to an organ-grinders ball. It could be from a 1970s Italian soft-core porno. It’s awful and desperate. Ugh. She’s too talented for that. The bottom number looks fantastic in comparison.

  16. corriner

    the reason Chastain’s dresses of late make me so sad is because I remember how AMAZING she looked at Cannes, when no one knew who she was yet. GIRLFRIEND KILLED IT:


  17. Sandra

    Dobrev’s is less awful, in the sense that the lace parts are smaller. Neither one is objectively good. Is that blue thing mottled, or is it just shiny and the light reflects oddly? No matter, it looks like a Walk of Shame garment improvised from satin bedsheets anyway. There is little the color can do to make it worse.

  18. zona_gale

    Oh honey just stop! Seriously. STOP. I can’t understand how she continues to wear ill fitting saggy droopy clothes. Someone help her before Sunday.

  19. Amy

    I can’t get past that giant tacky hem on the 2nd nasty dress. Yikes.

  20. Leah

    I keep hallucinating that she’s doing a shoulder shimmy in the first picture. I need to get off the computer.

  21. Rowynn

    She really looks gorgeous in green, no question, but that lace top.. yeah, it’s bothersome. The blue dress is horrible, but yet… looking at it, I feel like someone could have made a really pretty dress from that fabric. This isn’t it, though.

  22. Amber

    I voted for Nina’s dress because it was the lesser of two evils. Chastain just can’t seem to find a dress that FITS. The green one is too tight or something-it’s doing weird things to her chest and middle. That lace is horrid. I generally dislike lace, anyway, but this just takes the cake. The blue number is too big and too…I don’t even have words.
    Since she can’t get it right anyway, I, for one, hope she comes to the Oscars in Celia Foote’s pink dress.

  23. lynn

    The blue dress shrieked out Christina Hendricks and not in a good way.

  24. kathleen

    Amazing call on the Miss Scarlet look.

  25. Maria

    Wait, airport? Leather jacket? What? Where?

    Anyway, I voted for Chastain because Dobrev’s shoes are so so bad. I do think I’m of the (minority, apparently) opinion that the Chastain dress is better anyway. The boob thing is definitely a minus, but I find the cut more graceful and the whole thing more interesting.

  26. Shiitake

    Like she tore the curtains off the rods…Sheesh.

  27. Sajorina

    Chastain wins… I just LOVE everything she wears and COVET it all!!!

  28. NYCGirl

    At least Nina doesn’t seem so exposed. Actually, I genuinely would have liked her dress with no (or at least shorter) sleeves.

    The blue dress is just messy-looking.