The best Oscars gowns weren't even at the ceremony — they were at the after-parties

The best Oscars gowns weren't even at the ceremony — they were at the after-parties
(L-R): Ruth Negga, Janelle Monáe and Viola Davis at the Vanity Fair Oscar party Getty Images
(L-R): Ruth Negga, Janelle Monáe and Viola Davis at the Vanity Fair Oscar party Getty Images

At the 2017 Oscars, though the show might have had its fair share of fumbles with off-color jokes and a rather harrowing mix-up with the best picture winner, the fashion did not disappoint

Janelle Monáe arrived looking like a futuristic Cinderella. Emma Stone turned herself into a virtual Oscar statuette. Taraji P. Henson in dark blue vampy velvet made us reevaluate our entire lives. And, well, Ruth Negga continued her stint as one of the best-dressed women in Hollywood today, no question. 

There was no real "ugly" gown among the bunch, just sparkles and satin and velvet galore in flattering silhouettes. 

But after the show, many of the stars attended after-parties like Vanity Fair's and stunned us once more, but in a different way. The after-parties are known to be the places where nominees and winners quite literally let their hair down, swap their painful heels for slightly less uncomfortable heels and maybe put on pants rather than a dress. 

And my, did they look good. Perhaps even better on these red carpets than the official Oscars one itself. 

For example, here is Stone looking lovely on the Oscars red carpet in her gold Givenchy dress with a Planned Parenthood pin at the top.

Emma Stone arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Jordan Strauss/AP

But for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, she changed into a sparkly tuxedo jacket and short white skirt, and pinned on an ACLU ribbon too. 

Actor Emma Stone attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Here is Ruth Negga at the Oscars, looking radiant in red Valentino... 

Ruth Negga arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Jordan Strauss/AP

...and then here she is at the after-party, in a short, sweet and sparkly Dolce and Gabbana dress. 

Actor Ruth Negga attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Janelle Monáe may have looked otherworldly at the Oscars in Elie Saab.

Janelle Monáe arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Richard Shotwell/AP

But at the after-party, she looked otherworldly and even cooler in Alexandre Vauthier. 

Janelle Monáe arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Evan Agostini/AP

Viola Davis looked stunning in Armani Privé at the Oscars, before winning the award for best supporting actress. 

Actor Viola Davis attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 26, 2017, in Hollywood, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

But for the after-parties, she went for a favorite of Hillary Clinton: A white pantsuit — and even paired it with metallic flatforms. 

Actor Viola Davis attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Similarly to Davis and Stone, Cynthia Erivo dressed in a dramatic gown for the Oscars ceremony, draping herself in a highly-embroidered Paolo Sebastian gown. 

Cynthia Erivo arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Richard Shotwell/AP

But for the after-parties, she donned a black tuxedo jacket with a deep V and what appeared to be wide-leg pants. 

Actress Cynthia Erivo arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Evan Agostini/AP

And while Naomie Harris certainly made a statement in white Calvin Klein and yellow heels for the show... 

Naomie Harris arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Jordan Strauss/AP

...she did it once again at the after-parties, wearing an even more elegant white Grecian gown. 

Actor Naomie Harris attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Also, Felicity Jones may have looked like a princess for the Oscars ceremony in Dior... 

Felicity Jones arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Jordan Strauss/AP

...but at the after-parties, she looked even better in sparkly Erdem. 

Actor Felicity Jones attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Then there was Isabelle Huppert who slayed in Armani Privé for the actually ceremony... 

Isabelle Huppert arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Jordan Strauss/AP

...and then did it again at the after-parties, while also opting for Armani. 

Actor Isabelle Huppert attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Even Brie Larson, who looked amazing in black velvet Oscar de la Renta at the Oscars found a way to spice things up for the after-parties... 

Actor Brie Larson attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 26, 2017, in Hollywood, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

...wearing a slinky green Ralph & Russo gown. 

Alex Greenwald (L) and actor Brie Larson attend the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Even stars who didn't attend the Oscars found a way to make a statement at the after-parties. 

Like, look at Reese Witherspoon... 

Reese Witherspoon arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Evan Agostini/AP

...and Sarah Paulson. 

Sarah Paulson arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Evan Agostini/AP
Andreja Pejic and Caitlyn Jenner attend the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. Getty Images/Pascal Le Segretain

With such high expectations at the Oscars themselves, the stars may feel like it's best to play it safe. But for the after-parties, clearly, it's more about having fun — and getting a bit more comfortable.