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Fashion

Why Is The Red Carpet At The Oscars So Dull This Year?

After the all-black dress code at the Golden Globes, and subsequently at various music awards show and at the BAFTAs (aka the English Oscars), it was back to regular programming at the Oscars. If one has to make a decision purely on aesthetics (leaving aside the politics), I would say overall, the attendees at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs were far more well-dressed and stylish compared to the Oscars this year.

Dramatic as it may seem, I shudder to think if the likes of Nicole Kidman were absent this year – yes, it was that unremarkable. Why are there no true stand-outs such as Marion Cotillard’s mermaid-ish Jean Paul Gaultier from 2008 or Cate Blanchett’s icy Armani Prive from 2007?

Nevertheless, here are the best of this year’s Oscars:

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Nicole Kidman
Wearing: Armani Prive gown, Harry Winston jewellery, Christian Louboutin pumps Nicole Kidman was at the Oscars as a presenter, but honestly I couldn’t care what she was there for, not when she’s back in top form like this. While I don’t typically favour satin (it looks like satin), this structure Armani Prive number is brilliant in both colour, silhouette and its oversized bow – which makes one think back to Kidman’s other iconic moment in an oversized bow: her crimson Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere gown which she wore to the 2007 Oscars. It’s really moments like this where you recognise Kidman as a major major major fashion player – she has the height, presence and the fashion sense to pull off a look like this, which honestly, I can hardly see anyone else in. This ranks right up there with some of her best Oscars looks, including that utterly memorable chartreuse Dior by John Galliano couture dress she wore to the 1997 Oscars. I mean, call me old fashioned, but this is how an Oscar winner looks, and when Kidman is in top form, no one else comes close. Unfortunately, I really can’t say the same for last year’s Oscar winner Emma Stone. Listen, I’m all for unconventional looks and suits on the red carpet, but you’ve pulled off much better looks on the red carpet before, Ms.Stone. Truly regrettable. Saoirse Ronan
Wearing: Calvin Klein By Appointment Lady Bird lead actress Saoirse Ronan, at 23, was up for her third Oscar nomination as Best Actress (which she unfortunately lost to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri‘s Frances McDormand), and she was clad in a pretty, petal pink Calvin Klein by Appointment gown. While it’s not as assertive as her Atelier Versace at the Golden Globes, I personally find that it’s a sweet nod to her character in Lady Bird. Another reason could be that actresses typically play it much safer at the Oscars (I don’t know why I keep getting my hopes up every year) than at the smaller awards shows, but nevertheless, the giant bow at the back kept things interesting and not so predictable. Margot Robbie
Wearing: Chanel couture and accessories As the newest ambassador of Chanel, the I, Tonya actress was naturally sheathed in a custom Chanel creation. Like Saoirse Ronan, Robbie debuted a shorter ‘do and kept her makeup neutral – and the end result was that she looked angelic (if a tad bridal) in this off-the-shoulder Chanel couture gown. But if her gown was can’t-go-wrong classic, Robbie’s accessories – a plastic miniaudiere (seemingly from the Spring 2018 RTW collection), was completely fun and contemporary. Lupita Nyong'o
Wearing: Atelier Versace Black Panther actress Lupita Nyong’o is always one of my favourites to watch on the red carpet for her versatility and sheer confidence and here she demonstrates again why she’s consistently one of the best on the red carpet. The gold chainmail Atelier Versace gown, while glamorous, had a hint of the ethnic with the asymmetric sash, which could potentially be Nyong’o’s nod to her native roots. Of course, it’s all conjecturing on my part but there’s no doubt that the actress looked good – her looks are always well-tailored (you’d be shocked at how ill-fitted some people’s outfits are, even at such major occasions) and her hair and makeup are always, always playful and forward-thinking. Timothee Chalamet
Wearing: Custom Berluti Call Me By Your Name star Timothee Chalamet is pretty much the boy wonder of the year – at 22, he’s the youngest of the male nominees under the Best Actor category and he’s also showing off a rather shrewd sense of style all throughout awards season. Here, he stands out subtly in an all-white tuxedo designed by Berluti’s new creative director, Haider Ackermann – Chalamet is a fan of the designer’s so it’s no wonder he turned to Berluti for the Oscars. While his black boots may seem jarring initially with the white tuxedo, I think it adds a bit of a Mod-ish appeal to his look, which he certainly pulls off with ease, thanks to that lanky frame and dandy-ish curls. Greta Gerwig
Wearing: Custom Rodarte Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig turned up in a delightful marigold dress by independent American label Rodarte, which is known for its offbeat romantic undertones. I adore the colour and it’s perfectly suited for the excellent coming-of-age film that was Lady Bird – even if some may have reservations that it was too casual for the Oscars. Marigold by the way, has often been a strikingly memorable colour at the Oscars – just look at Michelle Williams’ lovely Vera Wang gown back at the 2006 Oscars.   Jennifer Lawrence
Wearing: Dior Pre-Fall 2018 Red Sparrow star Jennifer Lawrence has been on a hot streak on the red carpet lately, and her permed waves, made a reappearance here with this lovely Dior pre-fall’18 gown that had an unusual curved pattern. While her permed ‘do reminds me of Taylor Swift’s country days (remember those?), it actually does work in Lawrence’s favour, making her look age-appropriate (she’s only 27 after all), instead of the matronly up-dos she used to favour. St. Vincent
Wearing: Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2018 This will not be to everyone’s taste obviously but I love that musician St.Vincent didn’t seem to give two hoots about traditional Oscar red carpet rules and went by her own beat in this Saint Laurent S/S’18 mini-dress. After a really dull red carpet (brightened only by a few luminaries such as Nicole Kidman), this rebellious look is really what we needed and perfectly suited for a musician. Like this? Check out why the Japanese Film Festival is back after a hiatus in 2017, the Fall 2018 trends we loved (and didn’t) from New York Fashion Week, and design lovers will love the works from the Loewe Craft Prize 2018.