Back to basics: stars take uniform path to red carpet in classic tones
In the words of the great television characters Kath and Kim, “it’s noice, it’s different, it’s unusual”.
But, when it came to this year’s Oscars red carpet, it was hard to apply the quip to all but a few gowns, with most celebrities taking the austere (read: safe) path in black and white, proving once again why, for all its hyperbole, the Academy Awards aren’t the greatest style show in town (that honour usually goes to the Grammys).
Back to black … (from left) Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth Olsen, Julia Garner.Credit:AP/Getty
How many ways can you skin a black dress? There was slinky (Elizabeth Olsen in Givenchy), feathered (Marlee Matlin in Dolce & Gabanna), ruffled (Harvey Guillén in Christian Siriano), bandaged (Ashley Graham in Alberta Ferretti) and corsaged (Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive).
And, with Paris Fashion Week only wrapping last week, the pared-back aesthetic from the runways continued courtesy of Julia Garner in Off_White and Jennifer Connolly in Louis Vuitton.
But the “freshest off the runway” honour went to Lady Gaga, in a Versace frock that was so hot from the brand’s show in Los Angeles on Thursday it likely still had Gigi Hadid’s antiperspirant lingering in the mesh bodice.
Lady Gaga in Versace.Credit:AP Photo/Ashley Landis
Still, if there was one colour that dominated the “champagne” carpet, it was white. For her first Oscar win, 64-year-old Jaime Lee Curtis wore an elegant column dress by D&G, adding to the evidence that the brand’s exile from Hollywood over allegations of racism against its namesake designers is truly over. The swan brief was also strong for Best Actress nominees Michelle Yeoh, in Dior, and Michelle Williams, who enlisted Chanel to create a cape so sheer that it looked as though a light sprinkling of silver rain was dusting her shoulders.
And although sequins at the Oscars are like prawns at a hotel buffet (Eva Longoria in Zuhair Murad, Ana de Armas in Louis Vuitton and Jessica Chastain in Gucci), the surprise packet was activist Malala Yousafzai in custom Ralph Lauren.
The bold and the beautiful (from left) Cara Delevingne, Florence Pugh, Stephanie Hsu.Credit:AP
Mercifully, it wasn’t a strictly monochromatic affair. As is often the case with models invited to the Oscars, Cara Delevingne used her genetic advantage to full effect in a leg-revealing red gown by Elie Saab, while model Winnie Harlow wore an acid yellow gown by Armani from 2005 that also gave a giant nod to another red carpet movement towards more conscious fashion.
This year, attendees were sent a sustainable-style guide that covered topics including preferencing natural fibres, and what to do with your gown after the red rug has been rolled up for another year.
Winning white (from left) Mindy Kaling, Ariana DeBose and Sofia Carson.Credit:Getty
Definitely not needing a crib sheet was Cate Blanchett, whose teal and black Louis Vuitton look was partly drawn from the archives and used sustainable silk, according to reports. Other vintage looks included Vanessa Hudgens, in Chanel, and Odeya Rush in vintage 1973 Loris Azzaro.
After seeing more men break the mould for the Golden Globes and Grammys, there was a return to tradition, with most opting for a take on a traditional black tux. Adding some flourish was Elvis′ Austin Butler, who added Cuban heels, fellow Best Actor nominee Paul Mescal in a white dinner suit by Gucci, and Harry Shum Jr., who wore a robe-style jacket from Japanese-American brand Adeam.
Although there were plenty of Australians up for awards, there were also a few local connections on the red carpet. Sydney-based stylist Donny Galella worked with actress Helen Thomson, who played Elvis Presley’s mother, Gladys, in the Baz Luhrmann film. And Halle Berry wore Tamara Ralph, who has been making a bit of a red-carpet comeback following the collapse of the business she used to run with her ex-husband, Ralph & Russo.
With Damien Woolnough
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