After a year of Hollywood’s finest being left to showcase their awards season looks via Instagram, anticipation was high this week as the real-life red carpet was rolled out for the first time in 2021 ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards.
Oscar nominees were invited to attend one of four locations set up around the world for the Zoom-free ceremony, with US stars descending on LA’s Dolby Theatre and Union Station, while attendees in the United Kingdom made their way to London’s British Film Institute.
So, as the industry’s biggest players returned to the red carpet, who took the unofficial award for Best Dressed – and who didn’t quite hit the mark?
Here’s DDW’s rundown of the best and worst looks at the 93rd Oscars ceremony.
Having showcased a series of stylish, yet fairly subdued looks during 2021’s awards season so far, Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan surprised everyone as she arrived at the ceremony’s Union Station venue on Sunday.
Stepping out with musician husband Marcus Mumford, the Promising Young Woman star commanded attention in a metallic Valentino gown, complete with cascading high-waisted skirt and bandeau top. One of a few stars who decided to go for gold when putting together their Oscars look this year, it was certainly nice to see a change from her more classic, neutral selections over the last few months.
While there’s something to be said for the timeless quality of both clashing fabrics and monochrome, we can’t say that either was used to great effect when it came to Laura Dern’s Oscar De La Renta gown.
The tight, high-necked black top was a little too plain for the occasion – so much so that even an exuberant white feather skirt couldn’t elevate the look, instead leading to the whole gown feeling rather disjointed.
As she took to the stage to deliver the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment, Angela Bassett was the picture of elegance.
Angela’s red Alberta Ferretti gown hits the perfect balance between sophistication and extravagance, its understated base silhouette complemented brilliantly by statement sleeves and a tulle bow and train. Carefully selected accessories complete the look perfectly – we love it.
As an eight-time Academy Award nominee and all-round Hollywood treasure, we want to love Glenn Close’s look for this year – we really do.
However, the salwar kameez-inspired look by Armani just doesn’t quite do it for us. From its awkward length to the look being finished off with all-black trousers and kitten heels and (for some reason) navy blue gloves, it’s all a little strange.
Luckily, Glenn still managed to deliver one of the highlights of the evening, as she danced to 1988 funk hit Da Butt alongside presenter Lil Rel Howery.
It’s absolutely no secret that Zendaya very rarely gets it wrong when it comes to putting together a winning outfit.
The 24-year-old actress (and former DDW cover star) may not have been in attendance as a nominee, but that didn’t stop her turning heads in this bright yellow Valentino number. Complete with her brunette locks in loose, beachy waves and adding the finishing touches with some very elegant accessories, this is a great look.
Sacha Baron Cohen & Isla Fisher
While it’s certainly lovely to see a male attendee on the red carpet in anything other than the run-of-the-mill black suit and bow tie look, something isn’t quite right here. Sacha’s brown blazer and beige trousers give us The Great Gatsby, while the loafers and no-socks say ‘I’m that one friend-of-a-friend that turns up uninvited to your barbecue and talks over everyone’. We know that the Borat star has a penchant for breaking the rules, but this may be a step too far.
As for Isla’s black Dior gown, it is, albeit, a stunning piece – and one which certainly suits her. It’s just a little underwhelming considering the occasion.
Perhaps the most daring look of the evening, Andra Day had all eyes on her as she stepped out in this barely-there cutout gown by Vera Wang.
The star of The United States Vs. Billie Holiday paired
the gold early-00s-inspired piece with matching accessories
and a cool updo to pull together a look that was just the
right amount of fun and sexy without being a
little informal. Quite simply, we love it.
Leslie Odam Jr.
With so many attendees opting for an all-gold look, it was only a matter of time until someone didn’t quite make it work.
We can see where One Night In Miami star Leslie Odam Jr. was going with this metallic Versace look, but we wish he had pulled it back just a little. The fabric used in creating the suit appears a little stiff, leaving Leslie himself looking somewhat uncomfortable – perhaps a contrasting shirt could have improved the look overall.
Attention, all: this is how you wear all-black on the red carpet. The Affair star Nicolette Robinson hit all the right notes in this cascading satin gown by Zuhair Murad.
Complete with thigh-high split and statement bow detail, the silhouette of the dress flatters the actress’ figure perfectly. Do we think it could have done with some accessories? Perhaps. Does it ruin the look overall? Absolutely not. It’s an enthusiastic thumbs-up from us.
Vanessa Kirby is undeniably beautiful. This Gucci gown is undeniably beautiful. However, we’re not sure that they work together too well as a pairing.
The pale pink colour of the dress leaves The Crown star Vanessa looking a little washed out, as does the dark, sultry make-up look that contrasts completely with the rest of the look. Each element on its own is perfectly nice – it’s all just a little too mismatched for us to get behind it.
Reese Witherspoon always looks sensational in red,
so opting for a Dior gown that features a gradient of
several fiery shades should have made her a shoe-in
for Best Dressed lists across the internet, right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work for us. The asymmetric, loose-fitting bodice leaves Reese looking frumpy and the skinny black belt that was clearly added
to pull it all in a little feels completely out of
place. We’re just not into it.
He may have lost out on the award for Best Supporting Actor, but if there was an accolade being given out for Best Dressed Actor, he’d have little competition.
Judas And The Black Messiah star LaKeith Stanfield’s bold custom-made Saint Laurent jumpsuit was a perfectly-executed throwback to the era of disco. ‘Cool’ feels like an understatement, but this look is just that – completely and inarguably cool.
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