Outlandish, Ostentatious – A Fashion Extravaganza
There are markers in the fashion calendar, and the annual Academy Awards is a great big one. The ultimate platform to showcase new takes on glamour, the fanfare really can’t be seen to be all about the dresses; yet, for a lot of us, let’s be honest, that’s exactly what we’re tuning in for. Of course we care (a little bit) who gets on Oscar, but with top designers showcasing their wares we are getting a catwalk of the best in International design.
Sure enough there was some wow factor on the red carpet, but believe it or not it was a couple of the male attendees that created the most memorable moments. In the lead up to the event it was clear from the start of awards season that the ball gown was back, and with a vengeance. But few of us would be expecting to see the biggest gown of them all on a man. Billy Porter (if you didn’t know him before, you will now) took the Oscars moment to challenge perceptions, and arrived in a dramatic black velvet Tuxedo gown, by Christian Siriano. Beautifully tailored, the message from him was wrapped around challenging the perceptions of gender and sexuality, as he commented: “you know, women in pants, it’s masculine, it’s powerful. Men in a dress…neeeeh.” On the flip side, equally statement making but simultaneously knee quaking, was Jason Momoa in a blush pink velvet suit (perfectly coordinated with his wife’s blush dress) and accessorized with a matching blush velvet scrunchie around his wrist. If you hadn’t got the memo that scrunchies and pink are IN, then this was bigger than a billboard. Both these guys set the Internet alight like no one else on the night.
So what about the ladies? Well, yes, there was extravagance, with tulle and satin galore – and while this may not appear to impact the majority of us (ball gown for quiz night anybody?), in actual fact the filter down is more than you would imagine. The nuances of these gowns will be seen diluted into everyday trends, whether it be the chiffon fabrication or the colours that become most prevalent in following seasons. On the night the fashion messages were clear – ruffles, high necks, shoulder detail. When it came to colour, there was one hue above all others, from fuchsia to bubble gum, it was pink, pink and yes - more pink. Metallic was strongly represented, in fact the moment Glenn Close appeared in an Oscars’ outfit as bright and golden as the face of the sun, you could almost feel the fingers of the watching fashionistas typing ‘gold gown’ into their search engines. Jennifer Lopez didn’t disappoint in a figure hugging tiled mirror ball effect dress, Brie Larson looked as though she had been dipped in chain mail, and Emma Stone took copper to new levels with a bronze sequin gown, complete with exaggerated shoulder piece.
Another seasoned awards pro who never gets it wrong is Charlize Theron; she was reliably elegant in a blue Dior gown. Simple and striking – the demure look was vamped up with a totally open back, and accessorized with a double wrapped necklace. I loved Regina King, who, in Oscar de la Renta, was all about structured drapery, the waist nipped in to flatter her figure – ‘perfection’ as they love to cry on the red carpet. The queens’ of pink were Helen Mirren, who showcased Schiaparelli in shades of layered chiffon, Kacey Musgraves in a mouthwatering pink Giambattista Valli tulle confection, and Gemma Chan in a Valentino gown that was voluminous as well as luminous.
It seems rude not to mention Lady Gaga, who looked elegant in Alexander McQueen, the simplicity offset by a hip detail and killer gloves. All in all the message of the night was whether you win or lose on the night is fast forgotten – what is memorable, however, is the fashion.