Maybe it was the bow ties, many of which were twisted. Or maybe it was the dresses with their split hems, revealing an aggressive amount of leg that felt forced. Or the look-at-me revenge dresses with too much cutouts and way too much sequins or ruffles, details that were supposed to be fun but looked a little miserable.

Whatever the detail, Sunday night’s Oscars weren’t a home run in the fashion department. After all the anticipation for a return to glamor and the art of dress, the evening lived up to its tendency to over-promise and under-deliver. This time, however, with tension in the air of the award ceremony’s diminishing relevance as well as the general uncertainty of a world trying to get back on its feet.

Put that down to the unease of an awards show which, despite being pushed back due to the pandemic, still carried the risk of catching Covid (more than a few BAFTA attendees have come down with the virus after having attended the show in the UK and stars like Lin Manuel Miranda were absent tonight). Add to that a general unease with war around the world, inflation at home, and a general late-winter unease, and it’s no wonder the night had a stuffy feeling (which eventually ended up ended in the Will Smith-Chris Rock fiasco, the ultimate spectacle of awkward exchanges and conflicting messages gone horribly wrong).

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On the red carpet, there were many attempts to have fun and let loose. Chunky ruffles in both light and carefree colors and serious black abounded, but too often they seemed to swallow wearers whole. Peplums have made a questionable comeback. The aforementioned leg slits looked kinky as the wearers forced their legs out in a desperate attempt to replicate Angelina Jolie’s memorable but impossible to replicate 2012 red carpet moment. Overall, the screening served as a reminder that everyone, including Hollywood, is still trying to figure out how to get dressed. Red carpets provide the opportunity to reinvent yourself, but only if it’s done right.


Tiffany Haddish in bespoke Dolce & Gabbana.

CREDIT: Gilbert Flores

The winners were those who stuck to the classics, in simple jewel tones like red and green and sleek, simple tuxedos that leaned black on monochrome black. Kirsten Dunst looked both fresh and nostalgic in a vintage red Christian Lacroix dress with layers of delicate chiffon. Tiffany Haddish shone like an emerald coming to life in bespoke Dolce & Gabbana. Even Zendaya, the forever fashion chameleon, played relatively safe in a long silver maxi skirt and cropped white shirt, two-piece custom Valentino, with a series of Bulgari diamond cuffs wrapping her wrists for a hint of flair. playfulness.


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Kirsten Dunst in vintage Christian Lacroix.

CREDIT: Gilbert Flores


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Zendaya in Valentino customized with Bulgari jewelry.

CREDIT: Gilbert Flores

In a moment of collective awkwardness, perhaps the real winners of the evening were those who didn’t take themselves too seriously. Matching Louboutin heels. Rita Morena, also in Carolina Herrera, seems to have the most fun on the red carpet, and had the feathered wig and headpiece to show it.

Perhaps they had a feeling that the evening was in desperate need of some comic relief.


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Rita Moreno in Carolina Herrera.

CREDIT: Gilbert Flores


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Tracee Ellis Ross in Carolina Herrera, Christian Louboutin Niwaka pearl and diamond necklace and satin pumps.

CREDIT: Gilbert Flores

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