Awards shows and red carpet events often display the hottest trends, but they also sometimes display great examples of how not to wear the latest trends. Now, there’s a certain puffy, white, vintage quality to many of the red carpet looks we’re seeing these days, and when worn correctly (usually this means with just a touch of the trend in the look), it’s a great 2017 update to a classic outfit. When worn incorrectly, however, as demonstrated by Diane Kruger, Gabby Hoffman and Gabrielle Union this week, the wearer ends up looking like a hot vintage mess.
We break down the recent celeb looks that went wrong between concept and execution. Even TV fashion judges Stacy London and Nina Garcia couldn’t get it right.
Why is grandma fashion dominating the red carpet?
Amanda PeetAmanda Peet looked a bit like a bird during mating season at the Emmy’s this year. With bright yellow and silver scales and a mid-boob cut out, this dress should not be boring. Somehow it manages to, with T-shirt sleeves and a by-the-numbers plain A-line skirt. Getty Images
Ariel WinterHere we have Ariel Winter pretending to be a Kardashian. Unfortunately, because she isn’t besties with Balmain, the effect is less expensive voluptuous chandelier and more figure skater. The proportions of the dress also make her head look really small. Getty Images
Sarah Jessica ParkerSJP still seems to be pulling from the Sex in the City wardrobe. Lucky. Or is it? There’s a lot of satin in this long-sleeve shirt and tablecloth combo. The colour contrast is too harsh and it looks awfully tough to move around in. Getty Images
Diane KrugerThe normally stylish Diane Kruger took it too far this week with this billowy sleeved mini dress. The sleeves look like they’ve been cinched by ribbons—it kind of reminds us of the scarecrow’s outfit in the Wizard of Oz. That’s not good. Getty Images
Gabrielle UnionWhat. Is. Going. On. Gabrielle looks like her friends made her into a toilet paper mummy. The bottom half could be fine (yes, despite the TP’d look), but the cheesy rosettes and the off kilter neckline ruin it.Getty Images
Gaby HoffmanGaby Hoffman marches to the beat of her own drum, and we love her for it, but that doesn’t mean we’re letting her get away with wearing her Grandma’s nighty to one of the biggest award shows of the year. Also confusing are the chunky velvet heels. Sorry, Gaby, we just don’t get this one.Getty Images
Gwyndoline ChristieGwyndoline Christie looks like that one goth girl at prom. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. The fringe at the bottom is exciting, but the bunching at the top and back lets this dress down. With something a little more creative going on in the top half of this dress, we could get behind it.Getty Images
Jill SolowayWe love Jill’s spirited look. Although it injects fun into the usually somber suit, it’s just too much. The pattern gives it a pyjama-like quality and the high top sneakers are out of place on a red carpet. We don’t know where to look with this one.Getty Images
Juliette LewisAlmost everything here is great—the minimal accessorizing draws attention to the silhouette, as does the dark shade—but the horizontal bars oddly spaced between the florals throw it off. Can we see the dress without the bars? No? Ok, then just take it off, please.Getty Images
Kathryn HahnOkay, we get it, velvet is back. But does anyone remember why we stopped wearing it in the first place? Probably because when it goes wrong it makes you look like that dingy chair your great aunt refuses to get rid of. The little lace trim on Kathryn’s dress doesn’t help dispel the comparison.Getty Images
Keisha Castle-HughesWe get that loads of 90s trends are totally in now, and that’s great, but did she have to wear them all at once? A choker is fine. Satin? Fine. Velvet? Just dandy. But the point of a throwback is that it’s a modernized version of a past trend. This look is all 90s, all the way. This would’ve fit right in two decades ago. Just pick one, Keisha.Getty Images
Kelly PrestonHere’s another look that’s stuck in the past, and not in a cool way. This dress brings absolutely nothing new or interesting to the table and the borderline bouffant hair is just bad. Come on, Kelly, this is The Emmy’s, not your niece’s cotillion.Getty Images
Laura CarmichaelUsually we would much rather someone take a fashion risk than play it safe, but in this case we might have to rethink things. The bow is weird. The colour combination is weird. The contrast between fabrics is weird. The daisy appliques are weird. Altogether, it’s weird cubed.Getty Images
Nina GarciaAs one of the tougher judges on Project Runway, Nina should know better than to walk the red carpet in this over embroidered nightmare. The embroidery already ages the dress, and the cut and panels only make it look even older. Getty Images
Shannon WoodwardIf you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if one of Alice in Wonderland’s outfits got stuck halfway between “Eat me” and “Drink me,” wonder no more. The proportions of this look are so wacky, a Tim Burton reboot is the only place this look would fit, not HBO’s Emmy reception.Getty Images
Sigourney WeaverThrow your hands in the air if you’re not sure why Sigourney Weaver is dressed like a witch from Oz. Um, Ms. Weaver, why are your hands up? This floor-length, long-sleeve gown belongs in a museum. ‘Nuff said. Getty Images
Stacy LondonThis episode of What Not To Wear features an outfit by host Stacy London. The dress is creative, yes, but it also kind of just looks like a bolt of fabric wrapped around with mesh in the gaps. The styling is another issue. The braid is reminiscent of every high school girl’s style two years ago, and the choker just makes her neck look short when paired with the dress’s high silhouette.Getty Images