Oscars 2020 Red Carpet: Not a Joke

Oscars 2020 Red Carpet: Not a Joke

Who are you wearing today? Why, my work of course… and other black, white and purple tags from the 92nd Academy Awards dress show 

What did the winner of the best costume design award wear to the Oscars? The question was not asked but the answer may be interesting. Jacqueline Durran who picked up the trophy for best costume design at the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on February 9, for Little Women wore a white top and black skirt dress. The skirt had large white X patterns on it. Durran, who has won seven Oscar nominations (this is her second win) had come dressed in a thoughtful yet attractive way to suit a career woman rewarded for her work.

This “look at my work before you look at my boobs or my tux” trend now rules the red carpet too. Across the Western world actually, but most noticeably at the annual Academy Awards. Post Harvey Weinstein. The storied red carpet has certainly redesigned its emphasis to make it clear that clothes come second. The cast and crew of the world’s most followed movie industry are now led by message and meaning. Political statements, family and friends, veganism, community acceptance and “issues” like climate change, immigration and Let’s Not Trump America concerns. The look book since the last couple of years is full of “I Am the Trend, not My Designer or Stylist” affirmations. The red carpet shindig remains enticing but the terms of engagement have changed.

This best and most list is in that spirit.

Thumbing Gowns


Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

Saoirse Ronan in Gucci: She came colour-blocked and bold, wearing herself, her peplum gown with a plummeting back and her ear jewels in measured hauteur. Miss her not.


Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/AFP

Penelope Cruz in Chanel: The Pain and Glory actor wore a black silk gown with a bow and white flower inspired from Chanel’s Spring Summer 1995 collection, according to information released by the brand. The string of pearls around her waist was the pearly highlight.


Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/AFP

Renée Zellweger in Armani Prive: Her stark white one-shoulder, sequinned gown wore her elegance well. No necklace, no earrings, just a dazzling ring on  her index finger, lovely hair loosely tied at the back and pointy white heels. Then, the best actor (female) Oscar! Whoa.


Outre is In

Billy Porter in Giles Deacon Couture: Of course! Holding up the gold and bold of old Hollywood, a printed draped skirt, blouse with gold leaf patterns, heels dizzyingly high and laced, spectacles a piece of jewellery too. “Kween” as someone wrote on Instagram.


Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/AFP

(L-R) Billy Porter and Billie Eilish.

Billie Eilish in Chanel: Anti-fit, anti-trend, non-conformist, logo showing, with bejeweled black talons, biker-striker gloves, grungy trinkets and neon green hair. Green signal that for challenging body hugging dresses and floor-skimming gowns.

Men in their Fifties


Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP

Brad Pitt in Brioni: Bit world weary in his eyes and mildly wrinkled around his grin but upbeat, sexy and blonde, Pitt took away the best supporting actor (male) for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He dedicated his trophy to his children. Really, who can beat a man who knows his fangs, flaws and films. And is in his fifties.


Photo: Mark RALSTON / AFP

Tom Hanks, Tuxedo-Who-Cares: Intense and charismatic, straight spoken and gifted, Hanks dropped down on the red carpet and did pushups with a US Army sergeant! Tuxedo and all. Then went on to the stage to present and talked about the “International Museum of Selfies”. Coming soon, we hope.

Arms and the Women


Photo: Valerie Macon/ AFP

Regina King in Atelier Versace: Soft pink gown, gaze so steady and focused, arms rigorously worked out to match her clarity, poise and sense of purpose. Get a pair for yourself.


Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/AFP

Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture: The French couture house’s tallest and most ravishing endorser came back in a sleek, black, one-shoulder gown, hair cropped short and smooth, her figure inspiring out-of-fashion staring at women. Bombshell, did someone say?

Rings, Earrings, Hair Jewels, Nails and Specs

Salma Hayek Pinault in Gucci: White silk-georgette custom Gucci gown, high heels, a Greek goddess-like hairpiece and Boucheron jewellery. Get the look? No, get the headpiece.


Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/AFP

(L-R) Salma Hayek Pinault and Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo in Atelier Versace: The British-Nigerian actor and singer has been blazing the awards season with her outlier fashion looks. Nominated for best actress (Harriet) and best original song, Erivo arrived on the red carpet in a scintillating white gown with a meticulously constructed crystal mesh bodice. It was her mismatched nails, blue and white, and her Piaget diamond rings and earrings in white gold that nailed her look.


Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP

Elton John’s bow tie: Multi-coloured gems as bow tie brooch, a pink shirt with a purple blazer and spectacles with razzle-dazzle. Easy to love, hard to copy. Follow the legendary singer to know why it is so hard to sing the right style tune for half a century.


Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP

In Memoriam: Noted filmmaker Spike Lee came dressed to pay homage to Kobe Bryant, the basketball player who passed away recently in a tragic accident. A purple suit with the numbers 24 on each side of the labels and a pair of deep lavender spectacles, Lee made more than a colourful point.

Team Work


Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Dude Duo: These senior hunks were caught in one frame on the red carpet, for a ‘he said, she said, we said’ moment, igniting nostalgia and fandom. A pair of legendary punches you would agree.


Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/AFP

Laura Dern, with mother and daughter: Winner of the best supporting actor (female), Dern arrived with well-known actor mother Diane Ladd and daughter Jaya Harper on the red carpet. A rare three-generation team, all women, all beaming, all beautiful.

Cape of Good Hope


Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP

Natalie Portman in Dior: It’s unfortunately true that women filmmakers rarely find themselves in nominations lists. Portman, who called out Golden Globes’ all-male nomination in 2018, made a more sartorially-inclined feminist statement this year. Her sparkling black-and-gold Dior gown was topped with a cape, embroidered with the last names of women directors – including Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) – who received critical acclaim for their movies in 2019 but failed to receive a nomination for best director.


Banner: (L-R) Saoirse Ronan, Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. Image Courtesy: Amy Sussman/AFP