it was a great year for fashion at the oscars
Out with nude column dresses, and in with shocking pink, latex, and Birkenstocks!
Left to right: RachelWeisz by Steve Granitz/WireImage, Yalitza Aparicio by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Chadwick Boseman by Rick Rowell via Getty Images.
One of the best things about this year’s Oscars red carpet was that the nude column gown seemed to finally have been conquered — banished back to the closet where hopefully, it will stay for the rest of eternity. In its place, we had a riot of color and risk taking, with latex, chiffon, capes, and and a trend for dressing in metallics like an actual Oscar (thank you Glenn Close, Emma Stone, and Jennifer Lopez). Actors turned to experimental haute couture from Givenchy and Valentino, sweet creations from Rodarte, and elegant drama from Prada. And if you were Barbra Streisand, an unexpected beret to introduce BlacKkKlansman and your new best friend Spike Lee. It's easy to eulogize times past, when stars bought their own dresses, or had one made from fabric they bought (and indeed, that sounds incredible), but evidently creativity is making a comeback on the carpet of doom. Here’s our thoughts on some of the most fashionably dressed.
Rachel Weisz in Givenchy Haute Couture and Cartier
As Lady Marlborough in The Favorite, Weisz thoroughly dominated both the screen and her friend/lover/rival Queen Anne. This latex Givenchy look by Clare Waight-Keller is subversive in material (speaking of dominating) and regal in color, like a very modern version of the film’s insane costumes. The searing red, the latex, and the complex hand-work on the skirt put Weisz in another league altogether, marrying conceptual design with red-carpet appeal. It’s great to see fashion risk-taking that pays off. Also, she’s wearing a vintage Cartier tiara. The red queen indeed.
Yalitza Aparicio Martínez in custom Rodarte
It brought a tear to see Aparicio Martínez wear this splendid Rodarte number in mint green and silver. “Making her dress was magical from the first sketch; the stars aligned on every detail,” the Mulleavy sisters told Vogue Australia. On the red carpet, Aparicio Martínez said that she hoped she was representing her community with “dignity.” Obviously, the actress exudes dignity in whatever she’s wearing, but this pared back number did her great justice. ¡Viva México!
Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet in Fendi
The couple wore pink creations by Karl Lagerfeld, with Bonet softly noting that they were some of Karl’s last creations. Karl was a titan of red carpet dressing, with both an eye for talent and eye for the iconic. Obviously, Momoa and Bonet are unearthly creatures — they served as fitting tribute to a man who’s outsize genius will be sorely missed. Also, more men should wear pink, and have a matching velvet scrunchie made — I couldn't stop looking at the wrist/hair accessory. Momoa is my new unlikely style icon.
Chadwick Boseman in Givenchy Haute Couture
I mean, what can I say apart from WAKANDA FOREVER! Once again, risk-taking paying off with this beaded jacket paired with a bow at the neck. Tuxedos are, of course, a classic, but it’s lovely to see a guy go all out without looking ridiculous. Boseman looks like the most sophisticated lounge singer in the world, or just especially princely — regality is turning out to be a real theme this year. Wait Keller’s emerging as a design winner at the 91st Oscars with her modern takes on haute couture for both women and men.
Olivia Colman in Prada
Colman’s win was so deserved for her insane, brilliant role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, at turns ranting and sobbing as Queen Anne. Colman turned to the thinking woman’s brand, Prada, for her Oscars look, the high-necked emerald shrouded in beautiful gray tulle covered in tiny crystals, and fastened with a bow in the back. There was also a train, which Frances McDormand helped her with as she ascended the stage (props to McDormand for wearing Valentino Haute Couture with Birkenstocks). Colman’s stylist wrote on Instagram that they chose emerald not only for its elegance, but because it represents hope and change. A fitting gown indeed.
Gemma Chan in Valentino Haute Couture
Pierpaolo Piccioli’s drama imbued creation is perfect for the stately Chan — on someone this dignified, the wild fuschia dress looks positively goddess-like. And obviously, Crazy Rich. Piccioli’s proving that couture can be a totally modern affair in the right hands, playing with volume and unexpected materials to great effect. This was also a great year for shocking pink, the nemesis of nude and beige, and worn to great effect by Chan, Sarah Paulson, and of course the aforementioned Momoa-Bonets.
Bette Midler in Marc Jacobs
I couldn’t sing whatever Midler sung to you under pain of death (Gaga obviously commanded all of my brain cells with her performance of that song), but Midler did Marc proud in this spring 2016 floral gown. Lest we forget, Jacob’s spring 16 collection was an homage to the movies and Americana, shown at The Ziegfield theatre — fitting then, for one of America’s greatest televised evenings. In an evening replete with so much talent, a lot of it new to the Academy Awards, Midler gave a reminder that with experience comes great fabulosity.
Sarah Paulson in Brandon Maxwell
Paulson looked thoroughly nuts in this pink, pouffy creation — like a film star’s boudoir come to life, or a cushion you’d set a priceless necklace upon. Needless to say, I am into any outfit that conjures this mood board. Also of note, was that she brought her divine girlfriend, Taylor Holland, putting the pair at the forefront of the race for best couple. Paulson’s a noted fashion fan on the red carpet, most often appearing in conceptual, hyper-color Prada numbers. This is a continuation of that great form.