The 2016 BAFTA Fashion Rundown

by Natalie Campbell

Before we get into the swing of things and I start ruthlessly taking down A listers’ fashion choices like Voldemort having an abusive “wand hand” moment, I’m going to just quickly tell you that there is a reason that I’m here and a valid reason why I can and will comment in the way that I do on the sartorial selection on display at this years BAFTAs.

I’m fashion mad… no really its like a bizarre affliction, not only that, I used to be in the fashion industry, for over 15 years.

When you read me verbally lambasting people that turn up for the British equivalent of the Oscars in what can only be described as the emperors new clothes and you shriek, “now who in the hell does this woman think she is… does she have a degree in design from the London College of Fashion dammit?” you can rest safe in the knowledge that well…. I do. So as Caesar himself would say… Let the games commence!

First up Cate Blanchett the Red Carpet Risk Taker in Alexander McQueen. Full points for wearing a British designer. Of the dress, well it was beautifully and intricately made, did I like it? No. did she look good in it? Of course! She is five foot nine and a dress size 8 with alabaster skin, cool grey/blonde hair and a nordic poise that would look good in anything. She carries herself with such grace and elegance and has such a keen eye for an unusual shape, a stunning piece of jewellery and a well concocted hairdo that it really wouldn’t matter what she wore, she would always get it right. Remember all of these big stars work with stylists, however this one clearly always has input and it shows to great advantage. Top marks for her wrinkles, they add to her beauty and prove that one doesn’t have to have botox in order to look elegant. Which brings me nicely on to…

Kate Winslet. Did she have a sherbet lemon in her mouth? Has she had ‘something done’? Its a good job that she was pulling such an awkward face in all of her press pictures because it detracted nicely from her utterly safe (read: boring) choice of attire for the evening. It looked like Ben de Lisi, a designer whom she wears a lot. Kate has a formula, she sticks to it, it’s droll. Sorry. The asymmetric, one shoulder, rose adorned fitted floor length victory that she had at the Oscars in Ben de Lisi back in 2002 does not have to be replicated at every awards ceremony just because it worked then. In 2002 all I would wear were black horn rimmed glasses and black polo necks because I had just graduated and I thought I was a beatnik. I would look like a dunce If I were still wearing the same thing now. Which takes me nicely on to…

Rooney Mara, no I don’t think that she is a dunce but it’s getting stupid to keep wearing nude coloured dresses on the red carpet. In my eyes she can usually do no wrong, she is unusual and quirky, she doesn’t conform to that hideously boring hollywood hairstyle – long demi-wave, puffed out with extensions – (yes I’m looking at you Kate Winslet) but this “gown” looked less like a gown and more like some sort of bizarre textile woven by geometry crazed bumble bees with a porn obsession. Time to inject some colour. Somewhere. You look naked Rooney, which takes me nicely on to…

Dakota Johnson, woman of the moment, 27 years old and who wouldn’t like to see her naked (I haven’t seen Fifty Shades of Grey). She did something VERY clever for this awards ceremony, she “KISS”-ed… (keep it simple stupid), red, sexy, silk, 90’s slip dress, BANG on trend. What can I say…? I am not remotely surprised that this woman has hollywood tripping over her, her mother before her imbued sex in the early 80’s and Dakota has stepped seamlessly into her shoes. The dress fitted beautifully and was accessorised with the wanton smile that has her booked for movies from now until 2018, tawny blusher, bangs, hardly any jewellery apart from some very cool stacked rings and no bra… *keels over* which takes me nicely on to…

Julianne Moore, wow she is something else eh…? Looking stunning in a cream and black number by (I assume) Tom Ford who is practically British he’s been living here so long. Accessorised with emerald jewellery, and a killer cream manicure, her half backless, half halter, half racer-back dress  was just delightful and would have been impossible to find a decent brassiere for. Completely timeless. Completely elegant. Miles away from boring. I always get excited to see what she will wear at the next awards ceremony, she really makes me wish that I was ginger because she just does it so very well which takes me nicely on to…

The original redhead, Dame Maggie Smith. Resplendent in a burgundy silk two piece. Smiling, hair expertly coiffed and bobbed, chic black accessories and some rather beautiful diamond link hoop earrings. I give her extra props for even turning up, I mean, how on earth does one dress for a red carpet ceremony and own it when one is 81 years of age? The woman is legendary for good reason. Mind you she’s from East London and everyone knows that East Londoners are utterly cool.

Wrapping it up we give mention to the sweet but uninspiring Saoirse Ronan, who looked sadly dull in some kind of overly beaded floral black boob tube Burberry dress and silver shiny platform sandals, if she sounds like she looked daft, well I’m afraid she sort of did. If I were Christopher Bailey I would start checking the designers’ work a bit more closely before someone comes along and takes back his MBE. Julie Walters, living legend and all round good sport looked incredibly well shod in a charming twinkly blue number, but I would have loved to have seen her without the black coat-type accompaniment and similarly with matching blue shoes or better still; black, as per the lovely Dame Maggie… One can simply never go wrong with black accessories for an evening event. Alicia Vikander left me cold in a leather patchwork floor length shift adorned with what can only be described as silver Christmas tinsel and it literally (god forgive me) looked as ugly as it sounds.

As for the men, well they all looked as utterly handsome as they normally do save for one rather important oversight at the very least on the part of Michael Fassbender and Leonardo Di Caprio –   shaving, moreover lack of it. I don’t know if Gillette pulled their sponsorship from one of Leo’s eco initiatives or if Green Street was just too busy for them to get there for a hot turkish shave this afternoon, but seriously, my grandad Fred would not even leave the house without having a swipe of his Phillips 3000. I don’t know where this trend for being unshaven and wearing a tux comes from but they need to take a leaf out of the books of the ravishing John Boyega and Bryan Cranston who both looked seriously impressive in gorgeous velvet tuxedo suits in the rather brave choices of dark inky brown chocolate and deep vibrant jewelled green respectively.

Sartorial winner of the night: Its a joint first between Cranston and Boyega, beautifully clean shaven, beaming from ear to ear each, and both obviously really excited to be there. They both looked so good I wish I could have gotten closer to see how they smelt, now THAT is what I call red carpet allure.

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