Maggie Gyllenhaal in Lanvin at the 2014 BAFTA Awards

Posted on February 18, 2014

For once, we’re not gonna yell at Maggie for not putting the effort in on her style and showing up on a red carpet looking like a retired schoolteacher who just finished her gardening for the day. No, while there are definitely things here to critique…



Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 2014 BAFTA Awards in a Lanvin lace gown with embroidered details.

Lack of effort is not one of them. And that ain’t no gardening dress.

But it is kind of an awkward dress. The color looks amazing on her – really sets off her face beautifully – but that vest-like, WAY over-embellished bodice does nothing for her figure. And the sleeves make it look like she’s showing off her tats. Nothing wrong with showing them off, but this would not be the type of dress for doing so, to our way of thinking. Besides, those’d be some weird-looking tats. The skirt is our favorite part of the look, but there’s pretty much nothing we like about the bodice. Put some real sleeves on that thing and we’d like it more, but we’d still think it was heavy and shapeless.




[Photo Credit: Si/PacificCoastNews, Landmark/]

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  • Guest

    Cut the sleeves and the embellishments on the shoulders, and I think it might work.

    • Shawn EH

      Right, so much sexier without the sleeves! Then the bodice almost makes sense.

    • E. D.


  • princessricky

    the color is nice, the whatzitz/doodiddies are cray, and girlfriend, lets be real. That hair is not doing you any favors.

    • CupcakeTrudy

      I LOVE her hair like this. She started cutting it like this about 10 years ago and I loved it then too. In fact, every time she’s grown it out since then, I think of how much cuter she looks with the super short do’s. The cut shows off her pretty face and blue eyes.
      In my opinion, some ladies look best with the short, pixie cuts that compliment their quirky, independent personalities, petite frames, and face shape. I’m definitely in that category. I feel that hair longer than a short bob makes me look stumpy, generically blah, and doesn’t highlight my face unless its done up (which takes far too much work for daily wear). I def. get way more compliments on my appearance when its short!
      But yes, color is nice and whatzitz/doodiddies are at the level of cray.

      • princessricky

        girlfriend, i dont have anything against short hair! i love it! pixie cut is fab on the right face, just like yours! – i think anne hath, halle, emma watson should always wear their hair short. maybe its maggies cheekbones, but i think her short hair doesn’t balance well with her face, and it ages her tremendously; that, with her usual choice of grandma clothes arent the most flattering way to accentuate her pretty, young self!

  • Glam Dixie

    It’s all Michael Jackson up top and serious dress down bottom with ugly sleeves added just for shits and giggles. She does look lovely in dark blue and her hair looks cute.

  • Karen Belgrad

    Epaulets? I love that the designer, at some point, said “You know what this dress needs…”

    • Karen Belgrad

      PS If that word does not mean what I think it means, please be my Inigo Montoya

      • Glam Dixie

        Inconceivable! (but I think you are right about the word meaning)

    • sherrietee

      Exactly. Although for a brief moment I had the thought that this is what the love child of Michael Jackson and Liberace would be in dress form.

      • demidaemon

        Exactly. Also: nightmares.

  • Imasewsure

    Yes the bodice is awful… like the sleeves and the skirt if there were a plainer in-between. Very shapeless too but for Maggie still a worthy try

    • Shawn EH

      A bit shapeless, but also form-fitting, which means it flatters her figure more than most of her looks. If ever anyone was built for the Downton dropped waist and a clever hat … but that would look too period if she tried it on TRC I suppose. I’m giving her an attagirl for effort!

  • @Biting Panda

    It just looks soooooo heavy. Like she made noise every time she walked, and was likely exhausted by the end of the night, from carrying all that shit around. Lovely lady, fugly dress.

  • MilaXX

    That top is so over designed. Still it looked really pretty on tv. I would have prefer it to either be sleeveless or not have the flower details on the sleeves. perhaps a solid sheer 3/4 length. Never the less Maggie deserves a big ole “atta girl” for stepping up her game considerably.

    • Nancer

      Totally with you on this one!

  • Kate4queen

    Where’s her neck gone? It’s just too much dress for her.

    • 3boysful

      She’s too petite and lacks sufficient hair to make this work–if anyone can.

  • Daisy Walker

    Atrocious! Scully’s dress is better than this hot mess.

  • Beardslee

    Oh, I don’t know. That bodice is too much of a muchness but I like the sleeves, it’s seasonal, and it’s not a standard issue gown. A for effort.

  • Rand Ortega

    That’s the whole lotta look. The epaulets on the shoulders made me think she was carrying a bedazzled backpack. That dress has major ADHD.

  • Nancer

    You know what? I’m going to give this one to her. It isn’t flattering, and it’s a bit awkward, but it’s still the best she’s done in a long time! And with some editing, that dress could be fabulous! Sure, it needs LOTS of editing, but it’s still a big step in the right direction, away from bag lady couture.

  • VicD

    She looks like she was her children’s rainy day art project – a little glue, some ribbon, some “jewels”… “you look pretty, Mama!”

  • Sarah

    Yow. When my granny died, my sister and I got to paw through her costume jewelry and take what we liked. I took all the pins, broaches, and pearls. That memory, combined with said granny’s erstwhile hard-candy dish, is serving me the bodice here. Which makes me think she might smell like Ben Gay. Oh well, the blue IS nice.

    • demidaemon

      Well, I guess she won’t be sore after hauling this around all night.

  • RussellH88

    It’s Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves all rolled up into one dress.

  • Madam Von Sassypants

    Grandma got drunk, fell into the jewel aisle at the craft store, and had a fabulous DIY bedazzled vest night.

  • I can’t with the hair.

  • mmebam

    I just want to rip half that shit off her chest!

  • hughman

    It needs a mantilla and a fan.

    • WoodnSalt

      lol – I was going to say feathered headpiece and a banjo!

  • Anna

    This possibly looks MORE uncomfortable than Gillian’s dress, especially once you have to sit down. Hope it isn’t all bejeweled in the back too.

  • fringebenefit

    Close, but no cigar. For me, all is good but for one thing: it’s just too long. Okay make that two things. The hair. I hesitate to criticize such a defiantly individualistic “f-u paparazzi!” gesture as that hair, but the only entity getting screwed by that style is Maggie–it’s so unflattering to the shape of her face. All that said, she looks captivating overall.

  • She is trying, so I’ll be nice and say she’s found her color.

  • MissusBee

    Sadly, I think this is a models-only dress. But think how kicky the bodice would look with some slim black pants and heels.

  • B_C_J

    I like the ornamented top. I am getting some imperial Russia/faberge realness from it. However the skirt is a bulky, shapeless mess.

  • Janet B

    Her head looks fabulous.

  • marlie

    Maggie’s hair and makeup look really, really pretty. And I think I’d really like the dress for her if it didn’t have all of the pearly embellishments. But it’s a great color, and an interesting design – it suits her.

  • Candigirl1968

    If you could rip off the sleeves, kill the embellishment (or at least everywhere but the waist), this could be a winner. Instead, it looks like a craft project made by two designers who refused to cooperate with one another and a grandma with a glue gun.

    On the plus side, the color is absolutely perfect for Maggie.

  • Suzanne Moore

    The first thing I thought: OMG, tattoos! The second thing: craft project. Put down the glue gun and step away.

  • Carla_Charlton

    Cute hair, but the dress completely overwhelms her.

  • A Shiny O’Connor

    she looks like a ‘shamen who lunches’

  • Gatto Nero

    The bodice is way overembellished, but I expect some quirk from Maggie, and I prefer this to the more downmarket quirk she usually delivers.
    She looks lovely.

  • Scott Cooper

    I think the bodice would be spectacular as a jacket. Give it actual sleeves, pair it with pair of silver satin pants and cami and a pair of pearl earrings. She needs a deeper red for her lips and a bit more definition of the brows.

  • Megan Kennedy

    I actually really like the dress, but it’s wearing her. Send it to Florence.

    • Imasewsure

      I really don’t like the dress but I think you are right… on Flo it might just work

  • SewingSiren

    The dress is silly, and so is she. So I rather think it’s perfect for her. They compliment each other.

  • jw_ny

    I’ll give Maggie a thumbs up for this one! I like the over-embellished vest and the skirt, but I’m not liking the epaulettes nor the pattern on the sleeves. Makeup could be better too.

  • samo_samo

    It’s a pretty eccentric.And who better to wear it than our lovely retired school teacher. She finished her gardening and picked up her glue gun and voila! An eccentric look for an eccentric lady. The more I look at these pics, the more I like the overall look. Love her hair.

  • OhSheila

    Better bra is necessary. Her chest looks sad.

  • It’s an ode to the Pearly Queens! Which I would like so much more if I couldn’t see the stitches on the half pearls.

  • crash1212

    I’m thinking her hair person hates her. HATES her. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

  • Alyssa

    I had to look to see if she actually was showing off any tattoos…at least then the sleeves would have a purpose.

  • DaringMiss

    I think a big problem is the skirt. It looks like cheap metallic lace I can buy at Joann’s. If it were a duchess satin with a high, fitted waist so that there was contrast to the vest, I think it might have been an extraordinary look for her.

  • KT

    I think she should remove the sleeves entirely, and keep either the harness OR the shoulder treatment, which would take a lot of weight off of this look. Part of me likes the idea of the embellishments existing only around the waist and at the shoulders, but then again, I like to think that maybe the harness is a witty callback to the s&m movie Secretary, which was her first starring role and helped launch her career.

    Orrrr maybe I need to stop over-analyzing everything and get back to work. Yes, I believe that’s it.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    I like this but, only because she’s wearing it.

  • Sophie

    I don’t even care about the problems, the blue looks fantastic on her and she’s wearing a bejewelled dress. (That great Alexander McQueen dress she WERQed also had metallic embellishments on the top, remember? Perhaps this is a step in that direction?)

  • J. Preposterice

    the bodice would be more loveable if she could STAND UP STRAIGHT YOUNG LADY

  • Patrick Cleary

    That top, if it were a jacket (with real sleeves) and a sharp pair of jeans would be killer.

  • tallgirl1204

    She has such a sweet Betty Boop face and hair. I wish she would embrace the simple looks (even with the embellished fabrics) of the 1920s. Maybe Ms. Maggie could come to our weekly local Downton Abbey viewing and we can oooh-and-aah her into one of Lady Edith’s recent evening frocks?

  • Qitkat

    Maggie Gyllenhaal and Emma Thompson are most definitely on my Fantasy Party with Fun Lady Celebrities List. Along with Maggie Smith, and Helen Mirren. I know I’m blanking on several more fabulous dames. Who would you invite, fellow Kittens?

    • demidaemon

      Cate Blanchett. Tilda Swinton. Maybe Katy Perry is she gets a little drunk and leaves John Mayer at home first.

      • Isn’t John Mayer off canoodling with Shia LeBeouf at the moment? Katy has time.

        • demidaemon

          REALLY? Scandal! Also, not very hot in my imagination. What happens when two douchebags mate?

          • Well, Mayer is defending the beef on twitter, so they are practically engaged. I’m expecting some sort of black hole to appear and suck all of Hollywood into another dimension.

          • demidaemon

            Well, I feel bad for the other dimension.

    • Anna

      Fun! Helen Mirren and Emma Thompson would be on my list, along with Rebel Wilson, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter and of course, Lupita.

  • nannypoo

    This is her version of fierce. I’m not going to say anything bad.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I like her hair and makeup, but that is a lot of dress. Aside from the color, I don’t think this dress really works for Maggie.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    I’d accept that jacket with fabric sleeves and paired with tuxedo pants, or that skirt with a soft, drapey top. Together, they don’t work.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I love this. I don’t think it would work on anybody else, but on her quirky self it looks… Russian?

  • Trickytrisha

    No, Maggie… tugging on your hair won’t make it longer, although that lovely face would benefit from some longer locks to frame it. As for the dress, those pearls and jewels look like amateur night at the seamstress club. Strip off the over the top bling and it might be a suitable dress for her, minus the vest.

  • You know what, I love the whole thing. Love it. Love the vest, the embellishments, the sleeves, the pixie cut and the skirt. And the colour. Love it.

  • boweryboy

    Gah. What is wrong with her? Why does she get it wrong everytime?

  • fursa_saida

    I just re-watched Hysteria and now I’m confused by the sight of her in anything other than a fitted button-down shirt and a full skirt, or doing anything other than riding a bicycle/yelling about women’s rights.

    But my movie-induced bias aside, I really don’t think there’s anything about this look I like, which is sad. The earrings are cool, but in the context of that dress they aren’t big enough–they completely disappear. I also hate where the neck of the dress hits. It looks like it’s halfway to choking her.

  • kimmeister

    She needs to fill in her brows more to go with that hair color.

  • Judy_S

    I think that this is a stellar effort for her. Maybe it takes a vest with that much weight to make her stand up relatively straight, but she looks pretty and even happy.

  • bertkeeter

    Like her new hair n makeup! Dress is a tad too “Aladdin’s and the Flying Carpet” …not working!

  • Alexis Peñafuerte Wenceslao

    Love it. Remnds me of Christian Lacroix

  • ShaoLinKitten

    This looks like a belly dancer’s costume.

    • kittentoes

      This comment hurts my feelings. My costumes were always better than this.

      • My costumes still are.


  • formerlyAnon

    I am so behind today, shall NEVER catch up. But I had to click on Ms. Gyllenhaal because I don’t think I’ve ever seen her looking prettier on a red carpet.
    So: WAY TO GO Miss Maggie!
    The dress is too much and too heavy, but her hair and makeup photograph beautifully, and really, when did I *ever* love something she was wearing on the red carpet? It must have happened just to confound the fates, but I cannot recall.

  • Jacob Bowen

    It may not be a gardening dress but the top DOES look like a 80’s/90’s overly embellished, ridiculously gaudy, and dreaded TEACHER SWEATER that I made my mom retire when my inner gay awoke. That’s not to say I made her throw them away, no. I have them in bags for future drag use.

  • ashtangajunkie

    Lanvin needs to simmer down a bit. Whoa.

  • This look would look great on Florence. Maggie needs something a little less… batshit.

  • John11581

    She must’ve given up gardening for bejeweling instead.

  • judybrowni

    That’s a whole lot of Bedazzled fug.

  • Milos Mom

    Gosh… Sorry but does MR. Blackwell still breakdown a worse dressed list annually? She made it way to easy for him by stepping out the house in this one. Hor.Rid.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    She was born in the wagon of a travelin’ show…

  • LaSylphide

    It might be marginally better without the gewgaws on the shoulders and the sleeves just solid fabric like the sides of the bodice. Maybe. Well, ok, maybe not. And I’m sorry, but I can’t stand her hair. I like short hair, but with her round face, round head, and that particular short style, she looks like a soccer ball.

  • Paula Pertile

    Cost Plus

  • Phoebe

    I’m getting a bit of a Pope John Paul vibe… something about the way the hair sits and the beading on the bodice. Or is that just me?

  • Snailstsichr

    Well, she’s found a great color for her. That works for me.

  • SierraDelta

    It’s not her fault, but every time I look at her, I see the nun who terrified me in grade school. No matter what she wears, I see a black habit and a rosary bead belt.

    Now I’m imagining tats under the sleeves of the habit. Thanks, TLo.

  • quiltrx

    I haven’t even been watching the Olympics, but for some reason I’m seeing….hack the skirt up to her cooch, and it’s a bad couples skating outfit.

  • SportifLateBoomer

    That dress is a whole lot of ungapatchka.

  • MaggieMae

    My, she has eccentric taste in clothes.

  • Veronica1022

    Why is she dressed for a Lifetime Achievement Award. She always dresses too old.

  • Zombiepeep

    I appreciate her dedication to short hair. Pixie cuts 4-ever!

  • Jessica Freeman

    The sleeves are just a bit too much with all the muchiness going on here. I’m still in shock she looks so…put together….

  • Diego!

    Maria Von Trapp, nun version. WTF is that? Why can’t she wear a dress like the one she wore in “The Dark Knight Rises” which looked AMAZING on her? She should hire a stylist. Soon.

  • This is right for her. It’s Maggie’s Boho, I-don’t-care, fuck-fashion attitude all dressed up and pretty. She could turn weird Boho embellishment into her RC signature.

  • Michelle Gennari

    She looks like she’s going to read palms…or join the cast of Aladdin.

  • Akemi

    That is a GREAT color on her.

  • Clash D

    Minor tweaks but I really like this dress on her. The color really brings out her eyes. I’m not crazy abt the hem though, it just kinda stops. Just there.