The Oscars: a night of cinematic fanfare and a whirlwind of show-stopping, statement-making fashion. While the glamorous style of acclaimed actors and actresses rarely disappoints (or at least never fails to shock), this year’s fashions have pushed the boundaries and painted a picture of the changing trends of Hollywood.
Pink, whether it be pale or neon, seems to have been the go-to colour. Gemma Chan, Maya Rudolph, and Kacey Musgraves opted for flouncy, voluminous dresses that stood out even in the milieu of pink, while Marie Kondo (yes, the Marie Kondo of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo) and Helen Mirren both wore delicate pink gowns with subtle V-necks. This typically ultra-feminine shade has been reconfigured to match the edgier, more typically-masculine styles. Even Jason Momoa has jumped in on this trend, wearing a dusty-pink velvet suit. So, despite the monotone trend, these celebrities clearly all had their own take on it.
In contrast to the bright, intricate pink looks, some stars chose to emulate the refined, understated style of classic cinematic figures. Amandla Stenberg dressed in a 1920s inspired beaded gown, matched with finger-waves made of cornrows. She’s perfectly merged quiet sophistication with a little rebellious tinge, a hallmark of her overall presence in Hollywood as an activist and beloved sweetheart. Lady Gaga, queen of avant-garde style and star of the film A Star Is Born, has also channelled the past in her Oscars look. She wore a classic, old-Hollywood-esque gown, devoid of any flashy or edgy details that have become her signature over the years. But could this toned-down look just be another stage of Gaga’s outlandish fashion sense? Regardless, Lady Gaga created a timeless look that can be added to her long list of unbelievable fashions.
The once rigid lines of gendered fashion have been blurred even more so than ever before at this year’s awards. At only 15-years-old, Elsie Fisher of “Eighth Grade” amazed in a full-three-piece suit ornamented with a sleekly pinned back hairstyle. Awkwafina (actress in two huge films of 2018, Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8) dipped into the gender-fluid fashion in her pale purple pantsuit, employing both a masculine silhouette and feminine accessories and colours. And yet, perhaps the most stand-out style of the night, however, came from Billy Porter who ostentatiously merged a hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine look. His suit, designed by Christian Siriano, was completed by a voluminous ballgown skirt. These looks, among many more, represent the changing tides of Hollywood: more and more celebrities are breaking the gender binary, hopefully giving rise to more inclusivity in non-celebrity circles.
In another show of resistance and self-expression, Constance Wu who starred in Crazy Rich Asians wore a bright yellow gown. While, at first glance, this might seem like merely a cheery colour, for Constance, wearing yellow signified her defiance of the degrading history of Asian representation. In collaboration with Jon Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians, she attempted to reclaim the colour and word yellow. This is yet another inspiring story of using the immense publicity of the Oscars as a platform for social action.
Image: Elspeth Reilly