The red carpet gets all the buzz and literally hours of airtime, but the Oscars after-party outfits are where it's at. A little more fun, a little more loose, a little ready to drink every liquid in sight — where the red carpet is the main event, the after-party is where the edge comes out. People of the night, etc., and off camera (Kimmel's always watching), the tone is "go forth with your glam self into trouble." And while we might not ever know what goes down behind the Vanity Fair velvet rope, going in, things are turnt.
Where the carpet was full of more mainstream stunners, things got interesting at the after-party, with heavy-metal hardware a huge trend. Reaching from Janelle Monae's Grecian headpiece, to Rosie Huntington-Whitely's liquid silver, to Thandie Newton's vibrant '80s power shoulder-meets-military epaulets silhouette, ornate shine got an update with space-age fluidity and technical work. Divergent from that, classic daring stood out — Gabrielle Union could buck every trend and still look phenomenal, while Emma Stone's fresh, polka dot blazer swam against tide for the better. All in all, there were 13 2017 Oscars after-party dresses you have to see — although turn out was so strong, duds were few and far between.
1. Janelle Monae
Hot damn. Monae kept up her space royalty streak from the red carpet with this Grecian goddess of the night look, a simultaneously uptown-downtown gown that draws on the best of both.
2. Jessica Biel
Keeping up the molten gold theme from her red carpet statuette look, Biel's architectural white and gold is a jaw-dropper. Is it a cape? Is it a dress? How much tape is involved, or is it a feat of physics and engineering? It asks more questions than it answers. Nothing like a good mystery.
3. Rashida Jones
This midnight blue stunner elevates a basic silhouette with ornate beadwork, and it's the platonic ideal of the woman wearing the outfit. The simple, stunning lines lets Jones shine.
4. Ruth Negga
Her red carpet headband might be getting all the attention, but this future twist on Joseph's Coat of Many Colors is both elegant and interesting.
5. Dakota Johnson
Johnson's pale gold gown DIVIDED Twitter, but this was an excellent, playful note to end on.
6. Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union can do not a single wrong. Like, my god. Half stately, half bikini, entirely pulling it off, she doesn't care.
7. Jessica Alba
I like this solely because it reminds me of a fancy, glamorous bathrobe. Classic Hollywood.
8. Rosie Huntington-Whitely
That's a future-queen look.
9. Thandie Newton
Emphasized, ornate shoulder epaulets are the other silhouette to look for. Newton's sparklers are a colorful twist on her platinum look, while the choker reinforces her strong, blocky lines.
10. Emma Stone
Hard "Sixteen Candles" vibes with this ensemble, and coming off the drama of Stone's night, probably the perfect quirky-casual note to end on (and a fresh break from the carpet's other heavy-hitters).
11. Hailee Steinfeld
Capes are the word, and this nude frock gives the silhouette a sexy, sophisticated twist.
12. Alan Cumming
Yessss. Who says women get all the fashion fun? Cumming's seamless jacket atop crumpled, unusual proportions keeps things interesting. Women in those shoes next.
13. Elizabeth Banks
A classically femme shape, Banks' gown has so many points of interest, I'm most impressed that it all meshes. Between the gorgeously intricate, fairytale beading, velvet belt and jeweled shoulders, it's a queen of the woods hit I'm here for.