The 2017 Oscars red carpet wasn’t exactly the most dramatic affair in Academy Awards history, but it did offer up a more subdued take on glamour that felt in line with the current political climate. A vast majority of actresses this year got the subtlety memo, choosing neutral colors or demure silhouettes in lieu of the vibrant, fishtailed frocks you might come to expect—but, hey, don’t call this year’s carpet boring. The newfound, understated ease of the Oscars is something worth celebrating because it means that we’re entering a new age of unfussy style—and that’s good news for everyone involved. Here, the seven trends that ruled the red carpet.
Emma Stone, Jessica Biel, and Charlize Theron opted to channel the Oscars statue itself with gowns in all shades of gold this evening. Stone’s custom Givenchy Haute Couture number was a lesson in red-carpet dynamism, with feet of beaded fringe, while Biel’s was a trompe l’oeil work by KaufmanFranco that had mock tears throughout. As for Oscar winner Theron, she knows the value of a simple, plunging gold dress by Dior.
The Evening Sleeve
Who said sex appeal was all about revealing cuts? Dakota Johnson’s Gucci number serves up Old Hollywood vamp appeal, and the same could be said of Jessica Biel’s golden dress or Chrissy Teigen’s beaded Zuhair Murad stunner. Nominees Isabelle Huppert, in Armani Privé, and Ruth Negga, in Valentino, also went the demure route in long-sleeved dresses with a stately elegance.
This year’s Oscars were so white—in red-carpet dresses, that is. Naomie Harris made the arrival of the evening in a tea-length Calvin Klein dress, while Karlie Kloss, in Stella McCartney, and Priyanka Chopra, in Ralph & Russo, chose architectural outfits with a similarly arty edge.
Vixens, take note: This is how you do drama in dark times. Taraji P. Hensonturned heads this evening in a velvety Alberta Ferretti dress with a curvaceous cut. Similarly, Kirsten Dunst, in Dior Haute Couture, Brie Larson, in Oscar de la Renta, and Alicia Vikander, in Louis Vuitton, chose sculptural, sexy pieces in jet black to make a vampy statement on the carpet.
Sometimes, you just need to make a statement. Janelle Monáe knows the value of this, which is why she chose a ball-skirted Elie Saab dress complete with feathers and embroidery for the evening. Ava DuVernay also went for a dramatic shape in silvery Ashi Studio, as did Leslie Mann in a daisy-colored Zac Posen ensemble.
Some bold women matched their looks to the Oscars red carpet. Academy Award winner Viola Davis chose a resplendent Armani dress for the evening, while Ruth Negga stunned in a bright Valentino-red gown by the house.
Sheer, Shimmery, and Champagne-Colored
Felicity Jones’s pale Dior Haute Couture dress set the mood for the Oscars’ simple sparkle this evening, with Chrissy Teigen, Isabelle Huppert, and Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo also choosing gowns with an iridescent shine.
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