Watching the Oscars red carpet on Sunday night, there was a palpable air of disappointment hanging over the room. Compared to previous years of glamour, the fashion fell far short. Still, there were some redeeming outfits, with many stars choosing to re-wear ensembles from previous years in a show of support for sustainable fashion, a welcome break from the constant one-wear-dazzlers. Here are some of the best (and worst) from the night from Lizzie Wright.
JANE FONDA: Presenting the biggest award of the night, Best Picture, Jane Fonda dazzled in a form-fitting nude illusion Elie Saab dress, which was covered in intricate beading. Having recently promised to never buy another item of clothing again, she had indeed reworn this gown after first choosing it for the 2014 Cannes festival. Making a further statement, she paired it with a matching coat, thrown effortlessly over her shoulder. That same coat was the last piece of clothing Fonda will ever buy. Despite emerging new trends and the pressure to always look current, Fonda looked hardly out of place, with her choice of gown being elegant and timeless.
FLORENCE PUGH: She is one of our generation’s brightest stars, and she wore a dress to reflect that. A bright teal Louis Vuitton ballgown with a bell shaped, ruffled skirt, this is a dress that only someone with Pugh’s youthful glow could pull off. With its simple but elegant top half, it manages to do a lot without crossing the line into being too much, a key trend in the age of the Giambattista Valli tulle, and difficult to nail. With the addition of little details- the thin, circular-buckled belt, the Joan of Arc inspired necklace, the rebellious ballerina slightly messed updo – this was the best new look on the red carpet that night.
REGINA KING: When King stepped onto the carpet, I audibly gasped. Her Versace dress, a light pink with silver embellishments, flattered her skin tone perfectly, and the singular strap highlighted her toned arms while still looking feminine. Originally more of a bodycon dress, a removable train was added to give a ballgown effect, whilst also enabling King to remain comfortable all through the night. Pairing the dress with simple, slicked back hair and neutral makeup, the look would be perfect were it not for the concentration of jewellery round her wrists and hands, but it certainly comes close.
LAURA DERN: After sweeping Best Supporting Actress at almost every award show this season, the Oscar was Dern’s to win. Unfortunately, Best Red Carpet Fashion wasn’t. Her Armani dress, a powder pink ensemble with black detail along the chest and neckline, didn’t stand out amongst the other stars as it should have for a likely award winner. The shape of the gown did little to flatter Dern’s figure, and the black seemed too harsh against the softer colours of her complexion and hair (both of which were made up in a way that failed to complement the outfit).
…AND THE GENTLEMEN
Literally every man, well, maybe not every man, but certainly a majority of them chose to wear a standard black suit to this year’s ceremony. How long will it take until men feel they can be more adventurous with their fashion outside of the Met Gala? Notable men who managed to stand out from the crowd were Timothee Chalamet in a Prada tracksuit-esque ensemble that somehow managed to be both casual and smart enough for the red carpet, Spike Lee in a moving purple and yellow suit in tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, and of course, Billy Porter. Credit must go to Joaquin Phoenix, who has worn the same Stella McCartney suit to every award show this season (although why more men apparently don’t do this, we may never know).
SPIKE LEE AND TONYA LEWIS LEE