Oscars Fug Carpet: Viola Davis

I love you Viola, but I don’t know if this worked.

THE PROS: The hair is great! The color of this dress is great! And it looks much better in photos that it did on the red carpet.

THE CONS: It goes crazy at the bottom,  like it’s a remnant from a slasher movie about a killer with really aggressive tastes in evening gowns. Like if Heather and I went psychotic. “I hate this….AND HERE’S WHAT I’M GOING TO DO WITH IT.”

THE GOOD NEWS: You didn’t win wearing something that was, ultimately, a bit mediocre . But you’ll win eventually. It’s going to happen. And next time, you can skip the Vera Wang.

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Comments (75):

  1. Liz_bee

    I honestly thought she nailed this one, head to toe. Yes, there is something slightly wonky going on with the skirt, but I LOVE IT.

  2. Jen

    This photo – slight side view — is FINE, but from full front, the dress top was uncomfortable to look at.

    I think she COULD wear Vera Wang — Sophia V. carried off an amazing one recently, right? — just with a little more bodice coverage! It’s all about the fit, apparently.

    the color is amazing, and I don’t mind the bottom bit. It’s the top that baffles me.

    • Chasmosaur

      I concur. I thought her girls were looking very crushed. Also, all the seaming through the torso doesn’t look right with the skirt.

      Also, was anyone else disappointed with these earrings? You can’t tell me the jewelers weren’t willing to throw her some glorious emerald drops.

      • Billie

        I feel like she’s been doing this all season with her chest. I mean, come on, please put them away a little bit more. I think this could’ve been a well played if she wasn’t spilling over. Yet again.

      • Charlotte

        I don’t mind well-supported cleav, but there was definitely some pancake boob going on and that’s not okay. The top really does not fit her at all.

    • Heather

      Yes, exactly!

    • eee

      I agree. It’s the top that throws the whole thing off for me. But the color. THE COLOR! Beautiful.

  3. Jules

    The colour saves it for me; when I first see it all I can think it ‘WOW that green looks good on her’ and I’m distracted from its less-than-perfect details. The dress isn’t bad overall, but the colour is GREAT!

  4. JoJo

    More fabric on the top please! How did they let that slide? Those puppies were trying to escape in every direction.

  5. Sajorina

    I lover the color, but I only like the dress from the waist up! The skirt is such a confusing disaster! Her natural hair looks great, the makeup is beautiful, the clutch & jewelry are fabulous, but the skirt ruins the whole look for me! Sorry, Viola!

  6. Sajorina

    I love the color, but I only like the dress from the waist up! The skirt is such a confusing disaster! Her natural hair looks great, the makeup is beautiful, the clutch & jewelry are fabulous, but the skirt ruins the whole look for me! Sorry, Viola!

  7. BrownEyedBetty

    This didn’t do it for me at all. Yellows, peaches and oranges look stunning on black skin…sorta wish she’d gone for that. I applaud her going with au natural hair but the color was an odd choice for the Oscars, I thought. All in all, I was so excited for her…felt sure she was going to win…and I finished the night disappointed. This wasn’t her night I guess…

    • Dru

      I agree with you, but I think a warmer green like I think she wore to the NAACP awards would have looked wonderful. This particular shade of green is just not flattering.

      Lesson here: pay attention to your skin undertones, people! And don’t wear dresses with bodices that look so uncomfortable from the front.

      I do love her choice of hairdo, though.

  8. Anna

    Agree with Sajorina on hair, jewelry and clutch but I’m blocking out the dress completely; i don’t even like the top part – it does not fit right…

    • LoriK

      I’m with you. I love that she showed her hair instead of a wig and the accessories were good. Unfortunately, aside from the color I didn’t like anything about the dress. The top didn’t fit and the bottom was bad-weird, not interesting-weird.

  9. aka

    The boobs aren’t fitted properly and her skin is ashy. Such a disappointment.

  10. xtine

    i don’t like the fabric. am i the only one who thinks it looks kind of pleather-y?

  11. Kris M

    Yeah, I had more problem with the fit of the bodice. She looked so squished. Also, I liked how it looked as a darker green on the red carpet. Amazing how different the flashes change the colours of these dresses!

  12. erin

    I was absolutely furious earlier today when I read somewhere (can’t recall where, some AP article?) that Viola Davis took a huge risk by not wearing a wig. What?!? Why is beautiful natural hair a risk? Thank you Jessica for pointing out that her hair is, in fact, fantastic.

    I’m with you on the dress. I adore the color, I like the cut, I don’t care for the “slasher” detail. However, overall I think she looks so gorgeous that the one detail in the skirt doesn’t ruin the look for me.

    • Lindy

      Her real hair is a “risk”? That almost sounds racist. I love her real African hair.

      The dress, though, is an over-designed mess that looks like it came from Bridesmaid Barn.

    • Kit

      I actually don’t like the colour, (I don’t think it suits her skin tone); but I love that she’s been wearing her hair natural for the last little while.

      I was really disappointed with her look overall. This green was the wrong shade for her (again, unflatterting on her skin tone); and the dress was kind of boring in a weird way given so much is going on with it. Hate the fabric too – too taffetta-80′s prom-y.


    • dvj

      It is true that very few black women actors wear anything in the neighborhood of a natural (maybe the occasional shave down to the skull), especially not on the red carpet. In the sense that she is stepping out of a particular box, she is being quite daring with her hair. It was very striking.

    • eee

      See, I’m so dense that I didn’t realize she was wearing wigs all this time. When I saw her I said something like “That drastic of a haircut is SUCH a huge risk to take right before the Oscars.” And then they said that’s her real hair and all the other hair was fake, and I was all “Why didn’t she show her real hair off more? It’s pretty!” I guess because I’ve never worn wigs or had the opportunity to do so, I thought it was a drastic haircut rather than her finally showing off what she’s got. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of, because it’s pretty and kind of funky. More ladies should rock the short hair.

  13. TonyG

    I like the color. I like the lines of the dress accentuating her amazing figure. I don’t hate the slashing. But, I am not liking the contrast of the material between the cut part of the dress and the main part of the dress — that is, the shininess (is that leather or satin?) versus the matte.

    Also, love the new do, but the eyes were a little heavy with the make-up for me, especially on television.

    • megs283

      Yes… her eye makeup washes every other facial feature out (including her eyebrows).

      • Kara

        Yeah, the makeup is what didn’t work for me. More color in the lip, less on the eye would have been better, I think.

        Also, while I looooooove that she wore her real hair (I am black & wear my hair natural but longer – think Tracee Ross, Cree Summer), I am not in love with the color on her. Would prefer a deep, rich brown.

  14. kate

    Agreed on the pleather… it was the nail in the coffin for me on the bodice.

  15. marianna

    I actually kind of liked it! I thought she looked stunning.

  16. Clarence Beeks

    I think she has looked much better at the other award shows. This did not work for me at all.

  17. Kate

    I love her hair, and I actually like the dress. I just really think she needs some more brow.

  18. Amanda

    I loved this when I saw it. I thought she looked beautiful last night.

  19. Claire

    I’m suprised no one has commented on the matchy-matchy eyeshadow yet! Other than her smashed boobs (which we’ve seen too much of recently), I’m most disappointed in the makeup. Kate is right; she needs a stronger brow, and for god’s sake, anything but green eyeshadow.

  20. Siouxi

    So, we’re generally in agreement: nice to have color but the dress isn’t quite right. It actually feels like the top and bottom came from different dresses. And the girls! That seemed uncomfortable. But we love you, Viola.

  21. Heather Bray

    More reasons to love you girls- awesome Seinfeld reference. :) I loved it to the knees, then it went all bad. This is how I felt overall about most of the dresses last night, it was not a good year for bottoms (of dresses, of course, JLo and CammyD showed that it is indeed a good year for actual bottoms).

    • Jessica

      Heh, good catch. [THROWS DRESS OUT WINDOW]

      • Minutiae

        I also love a well-placed Costanza quote. Well played, ladies!

        Honestly, I hate the color of her hair. I just don’t think it flatters her skin tone at all (too red, maybe?). The style is great, though. And yes, the color of the dress is great, but the bottom looks like it got caught in a giant shredder, and they tried to glue it back together.

      • Minutiae

        Except that quote was Elaine, directed at George, and now I feel lame.

      • na

        Not a Costanza quote, an Elaine quote.

  22. Ariel

    While the color is gorgeous, this dress is just not…classy. The color + the jewel beading + the boobs + the weird hemline = something I would expect a professional dancer with stars to wear on the read carpet.

  23. Susan

    Actually, I am not offended by this dress or fit at all. I love the color and i think the top is very pretty.

    It’s a Fab for me.

  24. Carrie

    Love the color, the fit’s a bit tight. Like the natural hair but not the color–I like her darker hair. She needs lipstick and eyebrows in a big way…I felt like with the hair color and the poor makeup her face just disappeared.

  25. stacy

    With the dress color and the bottom – she looks like a transforming Ariel – mermaid-to-woman but only about 1/2 way through the process….

  26. gryt

    You can’t tell from this side shot, but it was bagel boobs all over again.

  27. Micaela Torregrosa-Mahoney

    these people (in Hollywood, at this level) can afford proper foundation undergarments, and the designers working with them should know how to fit their breasts. Shame on Vera Wang’s people for not fitting Viola in that dress so that it didn’t look like her girls were painfully smushed and ready to jump out. And if Viola had a stylist, that person needs to go back to school. Viola’s hair was gorgeous, her arms & shoulders were HOT, the color worked on her, but the fit of the gown was unforgivable.

  28. shortstop

    boobs + fins on the bottom = LITTLE MERMAID DRESS

    the color matches!

    • Anne B

      And don’t forget the hair. From where I’m sitting, it’s Ariel all the way.

      You GO, Viola. <3

  29. na

    This is one of those moments where I wonder whether starlets own mirrors. Like, wouldn’t any of us look at our boobs in that thing and say ‘hmm, I think they look a little squished and on display and not in an attractive way…’ I just can’t understand how people with so much money and access to so many beautiful gowns can’t properly appraise themselves.

  30. Liz

    Her sweater puppies just look uncomfortable. It saddens me, since she did so well the rest of awards season (except for that crazy boob pancake orange dress).

  31. Bella

    I didn’t recognize her at first. I’m not sure about the hair color; darker looks better on her. I think the shade of green is fighting her skin tones.

  32. Wendy

    Like the color and the hair, but that’s it. I thought she could use some color on her lips. Oh well, she’s pretty great and I seriously doubt this will be the last time we see her nominated for an Oscar. (I’m glad Meryl won, though, if only because she’s lost so many times to far less deserving actresses.)

  33. Liz

    I actually have to disagree here. I love the dress details and the color on her, and I like that she’s not wearing a wig and rocking her real hair, but I don’t like the color of her hair. It’s a little too similar to her skin color. I think she looks better with darker hair, though the super short is great on her!

  34. juanita

    Firstly, I do NOT like the colour and it does her no favours what so ever and looks particularly bad with her skin tone. Emerald green is a very, very tricky colour to wear and requires a distinct colouring to even half way get it right. The dress is way TOO tight around the top but overall it is really too hideous with that fussy detailing on the skirt and the horrid sunray pleats. It’s like some kind of sampler for ‘things we can do with green fabric’. Who are the people styling these girls? Sometimes I think they should ALL be fired!

  35. mepe

    In this day and age I think “skipping the Vera Wang” is very sage advice. You don’t want to go out looking like a Kardashian!

  36. Nina

    I definitely agree that the dress looks different in pictures vs the red carpet. Last night, it was a hunter/forest green, now it looks like a bright grassy green. Not quite bright enough to be called emerald, IMO. Whatever color it is, it’s not flattering on her. And it looks too snug around her middle.
    I actually like the grecian-flowy skirt, but it looks like it was lifted from a completely different dress.
    Love her natural hair. Sexy, and real. Hope she wears it more often. But I cannot sign off on the dress. Still love you, Viola!

  37. vandalfan

    I love every bit of this, the unusual skirt, the slightly blue-ish tinge of the green, her terrific hair. I just want more fabric over the bagels.

    I’ll bet Gwennie tackled her to steal that divine cuff. Or maybe she lifted it off the sink in the ladies’ room when Viola was washing her hands.

  38. Sandra

    Why is the bodice all shiny? Do not like. She herself is amazingly gorgeous.

  39. Davia Downey

    You guys are crazy. She nailed it. Color, cut and design to boot.

  40. Kat

    I came here with a beef about that colour and her skin tones, but others have said it already. I’m really glad she didn’t ask me if she should wear that colour (she got my answerphone but I was really busy so I had to let it slide) because I would have said YES and I would have been WRONG.

  41. mara

    I do not love the color of her hair, it was too close to skin toned. I would have loved it if it were a darker brown. The dress I hate. Her breasts need better structure than that. And surprisingly I love green but I don’t love this color against her skin. A shade darker would have mad me happier there too.

  42. essex

    I haven’t seen one photo where this dress looked good. The sheen of the fabric just doesn’t look quality and I agree with several who don’t think this color works with Viola’s coloring. But I don’t think I’d like this particular green on anyone, actually. The dress also looks likes three different dresses cobbled into one. It’s a mess.

    I do like her natural hair, but not the color, whether that’s natural or not. And she does need more of a brow and maybe a lip.

    I’m thinking it’s a good idea to “avoid the Vera,” she just doesn’t seem to turn out the magic she used to. Viola, on the other hand, still has a bright future ahead, and I hope when she gets her Oscar, she’s owning the red carpet like she usually does. (She was my prediction for being the best dressed in her category).

    • mel

      I too like the natural hair but I agree: the darker hair color looks better on her. Honestly I think this hair color ages her.
      The green dress might have played better off the darker hair but with this color it just clashed with her skin tone. More of an olive-y green might have worked better. Or a gold. Or orange. Maybe a pattern. Or something. Maybe something a little more comfortable in the chest region, while we’re at it.
      Oh, Viola, good thing I did not lay money on best-dressed this year, because I too voted for you.

  43. Megan

    Her dress looks like it has a giant rip in it.

  44. Anne B

    I love that she brought the color.

    I love what she did with her hair.

    She’s a gorgeous woman.

    May we see you in many more things, Viola. May they be sexy things, Viola. May you do daring things, on the red carpet and elsewhere, all your life, Viola.

    The days of playing it safe are over, Viola. This is YOUR TIME.

    And also, FAB. <3 <3

  45. littleflick

    I’m conflicted. I love the skirt, hate the top half. I love the hair but hate the colour of it. I love the green.
    Overall more loves than hates. But I still don’t like it.

  46. Veronica

    I actually find the hem of the dress rather interesting, but I do think if you’re going to go with that sort of detail, the upper part of the dress needs to have smoother seams. I think I’d have also cut off the extra section dipping into the pleated portion of the skirt, leaving the hem to separate in the middle. Otherwise, it’s a really great color.

    I think I prefer the darker hair on her, but I love the cut. Also, I like that she kept the makeup simple – her natural beauty really shines through.

  47. Tessie Bee

    I like crazy on a dress but I think you really need to keep it to one type of crazy. This has about 4 competing crazies and suffers for it.

  48. oohsparkley!

    Fail. Tortured boobies, orange hair and eyebrows, bad makeup – too much eyeliner and not enough color in the lipstick. She still looks good in spite of it all. She got a killer figure.

  49. Rosemarie

    So that’s what’s underneath all those awful wigs? I would have liked to have seen more of that styling all season – wish she’d left them at home a lot sooner.

    Come back next year Viola – with designers who know what to do with your rockin’ bod (and maybe just a touch less cleavage.)

  50. Din

    Why does no one talk about the fact that neither of her dresses fit on top? They were clearly made for a less busty woman and it’s distracting.

  51. Cat

    I love the color of this dress, but… that’s about all I love about this dress. It fits terribly on top and I hate the bottom with the weird slash/ruffles. I’m sorry!! This is such a miss for me, mostly because her breasts looked so uncomfortable. I honestly couldn’t believe that the Fashion Police (well, Joan) named her Best Dressed considering how badly fitted the bodice was.

    Other than that, I do love that she wore her natural hair! And those earrings are fab.