You will not catch me complaining that the surprise trend colour of the night was hot pink. There were furrowed-brow debates on the pre-shows as experts discussed which would be the surprise colour of the night, earnestly wondering whether navy’s time had come or if it might be a silver-grey year.  

There are of course great dresses to be had in all those colours but it’s nigh-on impossible to play it safe in a hot pink dress, and I commend everyone who took the chance. But even then, there are gradations of how far you can go with these pinks, as far from ‘pretty’ as you can get and still be in the same shade. That’s on purpose, obviously – they call it shocking because it’s not meant to make you feel ‘nice’. Our object lesson here is the Patron Saint of Fashion Risks, Her Lady Sarah Paulson. 

First of all, this is not Valentino or Dior or even, say, vintage Balenciaga or something else you might expect to see on the red carpet – it’s Brandon Maxwell, I assume the only one on the carpet, it’s voluminous and belly-baring, in a way that surely irritated my mother and yours … and yet it’s not obvious at all. Not only is she chilling in pockets and a dress relaxed enough that she could manage pajama pants under there, she’s also… I can’t believe I’m saying this…but she’s in partnership with the dress, so that she can show off details like the laces that hold it together, without looking strained: 



When’s the last time anyone who was presenting at the Oscars looked as unconcerned as if they were waiting for a bus that wasn’t late yet? And, while I’m on the subject, when’s the last time that two people as attractive as Paulson and Paul Rudd had such drastically differently-sized heads? 

Honorable mention in the Hot Pink Race of ’19 goes to Linda Cardellini – I was so, so in on this dress and early on I thought it might be my best dressed. Yes, okay, it’s not a ‘subtle’ dress, or a ‘pretty’ dress, but if you’re gonna do a fluffy, frothy dress, go ALL IN: look how happy she looks in this cacophony of dance-class chiffon. 


If you can seriously call this ‘worst dressed’, then -- you have no imagination, okay? You don’t have to wear it to see your accountant, for God’s sake, it’s Schiaparelli, an extra dress on the most extra of nights. But you don’t have to take my word for it, look who else thought Linda, and her dress, were worthy of that smile? 


I Rest. My. Case.