Oscars Fashion: 17 of Our Favourite Looks, From Angela Bassett to Sandra Oh and Cate Blanchett
Angela Bassett attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
The switch to a champagne carpet at the Oscars was a puzzling one. For the first time in 62 years, the powers that be swapped out the red carpet. But you can’t have one without the other: the concepts are intertwined, like the little gold man statuette they give out. Why mess with tradition for the sake of it? The red gave such great contrast. Now it all looks sort of … washed out. Men’s white shirts? They look dingy against the champagne. It all looks like a bad hotel.
But enough complaining — let’s get to the fashion. So much about the Oscars is political: everything from this year’s Asian nominee breakthrough to the lack of female directors are all critical parts of the conversation for the awards moving forward. What people wear is the last place to offer fantasy.
I’m thrilled the eras of worst-dressed lists and mani-cams and creatives being interviewed about their outfits are over. Today the information about who is wearing what is disseminated via the internet contemporaneously. Men are having more fun with fashion in general, but it was interesting to note that there was a return to old-fashioned tuxedoed elegance for Hollywood’s biggest night after a lot of playful experimentation throughout the rest of awards season.
A lot of gowns were white or silver or cream or pink or gold, often with glittering embroidery. A few bold pops of colour — Angela Bassett in purple, Salma Hayek in a golden threaded red, Ruth Carter in canary yellow, Sandra Oh in pale orange — looked better, frankly, against the pallid carpet.
All in all, elegance and understatement reigned. Perhaps after the startling “slap” kerfuffle of last year, everyone is on their best — and most elegant — behaviour.
The hands down winner of the Oscars carpet was Angela Bassett, 64, in a purple Moschino gown that cinched her waist and rose up into a bow to frame her face and a fishtail for a sculptural effect. The Best Supporting Actress nominee, for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, served up show-stopping fashion.
Costume designer Carter, 62, is a four time Oscar nominee — winning in 2018 for Best Costume Design for Black Panther — and returned for another win this year for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She chose a canary yellow Valentino strapless gown with detached sleeves. The cylindrical burgundy clutch she carried provided a subtle contrast of colour.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Earlier today, Curtis, 64, who is a proud “nepo baby” in Hollywood (daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh), paid tribute to the design team of Dolce & Gabbana who helped create and fit and style her glittering pink column dress. Tonight was an honour Curtis has observed she never dreamed of, and she has made the most of this awards season celebrating her co-stars and enjoying the moment. Her winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once proved the icing on the cake.
The Top Gun: Maverick star, 52, wore sleek slicked back hair to emphasize the bejewelled halter neck of her Louis Vuitton black column gown. Styled by Canadian Leslie Fremar, Connelly brought her elegant A-game to the event.
Weaver, 73, looked timelessly elegant in a glittering gold Givenchy fitted gown while walking the carpet tonight. Representing the Oscar nominated Avatar: The Way of Water, Weaver brought poise and gravitas to the event.
The ageless Kravitz (who is 58, but who’s counting?) walked the carpet in a black jumpsuit with a deep plunging neckline to display a tangle of chains and a giant cross. The singer will present the In Memoriam section of the program.
Kidman, 55, is a fashion thoroughbred. Everything looks perfect on her and she never makes a misstep. Tonight was no different as she arrived to fulfill her presenter duties: her Armani Privee black gown was slit high up the thigh with a giant rosette at the shoulder. Perfection and simplicity paired with perfectly simple straight and centre-parted hair. Confidently unfussy.
Best Actress nominee for the lead role in Tár, Blanchett, 53, pulled off an effortless look that hearkened back to the 1930s. The Louis Vuitton gown was a deep blue silk on top, bloused from sharp shoulder pads, over a bias-cut black silk skirt with a train. And even better — the outfit was, in part, repurposed from the Louis Vuitton archives, continuing the actress’ commitment to sustainable fashion during award season. In fact, she’s just days removed from presenting at the inaugural Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Hollywood.
Torontonian multihyphenate Polley, 44, wore a ruffle-shirted Saint Laurent tuxedo with Louboutin flats for a polished and playful look. The actor/director/producer/writer is up for Best Adapted Screenplay and her movie, which she produced and directed, Women Talking, is up for Best Picture.
Canadian actress Oh, 51, chose the most difficult of colours to wear and pulled it off magnificently: her orange Giambattista Valli gown, with plunging neckline and Grecian draping was a daring and successful choice.
Austin Butler and Ana de Armas
These two young actors brought to life two of the biggest boomer icons of the 20th century. Ana de Armas, star of Blonde and a Best Actress nominee, wore a silver fishtailed Louis Vuitton that brought to mind the incredible Gaultier mermaid dress worn by actress Marion Cotillard when she won her Oscar in 2008. For his part, Butler, who has become a phenomenon for his portrayal of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Elvis as well as his commitment to method acting (and staying in his Elvis voice), appeared in a sleek black velvet Saint Laurent suit with contrasting shiny shoes.
Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin
Director Baz Luhrmann, 60, and his costume designer wife Catherine Martin, 58, are dynamic film and fashion collaborators. Luhrmann’s lush cinematic vision is amplified by Martin’s incredible wardrobes and production designs. The co-nominees (for Best Picture) with another nod for Martin’s Elvis costumes, arrived on the champagne carpet in tip-top style. Luhrmann wore a $263,000 (US) jade pendant around his neck. Martin wore a navy sequined dress with a gold border around the neck echoed around the train.
Salma Hayek and her daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault
From the heaviest-hitting of film meets fashion families, we got a multigenerational co-ordinating Oscar’s outfit serve from movie star Salma Hayek, 56, a presenter tonight, and her date, daughter Valentina Pinault, 15. Hayek’s husband and Pinault’s father is Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of European design fashion empire Kering. Hayek chose a Kering brand of course, a glittering red Gucci halter gown seemingly shot-through with golden thread. Pinault wore a sweet strapless red gown by Isaac Mizrahi, first worn by her mother on a red carpet in 1997 — 10 years before she was born.
Another incredible Gucci look arrived courtesy Jessica Chastain, 45, a perennial best-dressed queen of the silver screen. Last year’s Best Actress winner wore a V-notch strapless silver sequinned Gucci gown with black trim and one of the best jewel displays of the night, a teardrop emerald pendant necklace.
Old Hollywood: Looking Back at Classic Oscars Fashion
2023 Oscars Nominations Spotlight Stories About Aging, Reinvention and Career Comebacks