I think I enjoy Leslie Mann more than most people because I enjoyed Funny People more than most people. She’s actually quite an active red carpet dresser because she and Judd Apatow work on so many different projects, and I’ve seen her take risks I really like.

To see her in this awful dress pains me and it is completely unnecessary. Leslie is someone who could easily wear incredibly interesting clothes. Her shape is suited to busy dresses and tops and skirts (kind of like SJP). Prints and shapes and pops of color really work for her (when she goes for orange, magenta, hot pink, even red, it’s usually quite nice).

This dress is terrible. And I feel awful for saying it but there’s no getting away from it. Let’s start with the obvious: the color. For me, it showed as a bile yellow, not quite green. It’s not a bright yellow and it’s not chartreuse. The silhouette is messy, starting from the bow around the bust to the extra fabric around her waist to the apron of fabric down the middle to the bustle around the skirt. What is this material, is it taffeta?

The fact that they piled so much on top of her tiny frame tells me that they wanted volume. I think volume can be a very stylish, cool thing on the red carpet but this isn’t volume, it’s a mess of ideas and bows and ill-advised draping wrapped up in too much bad fabric – there’s no order to it, there’s no discernable silhouette and there’s no shape. It’s like a parody of a bridesmaids’ dress.

Out of all the times she has pulled Oscar dresses, this was likely the year she had the most choice. She and John Cho (who were great presenters!) co-hosted the Sci-Tech Awards this year (her dress that night was light and interesting  – and it was also Zac Posen).  

How did she end up in this? Just too trusting of Zac Posen? I don’t think she was going for straight-up princess – the color choice is too unusual. If she wanted to fade into the crowd in a jewel tone or black strapless sweetheart would have done the trick. She was trying to say something, but what? Because all I heard was, “I need a new stylist.”

I love being a fashion contrarian because it’s a haughty, satisfying thing to love things other people “don’t get”. But today this will be on worst dressed lists and I can’t defend it.