Zendaya arriving to the 93rd Academy Awards in Valentino Couture

Oscars 2021: the best dressed stars on the red carpet from Zendaya to Carey Mulligan

The 93rd Academy Awards played host to a starry line-up of dreamy dresses including Andra Day’s custom Vera Wang mini that was made of real metal.

And just like that we bid adieu to swaddling sweats and beckoned in a return to glamour courtesy of the 93rd Academy Awards’ red carpet.

Held at LA’s Union Station last night, a change from its usual location of the Dolby Theatre, the high fashion affair attracted all manner of stars to pull out the sartorial stops. 

But there was one trend that the quartet of best dressed stars all embraced: midriff flashing, a red carpet upgrade from the high street’s current frisson with midriff flossingEuphoria star Zendaya, Andra Day and Carey Mulligan were among the many who chose to embrace the trend with their dreamy cut-out dresses.

Zendaya in Valentino Couture at the 93rd Academy Awards
Zendaya in Valentino Couture at the 93rd Academy Awards

The former, by far a style standout of the evening, smouldered in a zingy lemon Valentino Couture gown which she paired with a statement Bulgari choker, while Day (who was nominated for her role in The United States vs. Billie Holliday) dazzled in a custom Vera Wang dress that was made of real metal, and over £2 million worth of Tiffany & Co. jewels.

Andra Day in custom Vera Wang
Andra Day in custom Vera Wang at the 93rd Academy Awards

Mulligan’s sequin-adorned floor-sweeping two-piece, meanwhile, came by way of Valentino’s spring/summer 2021 couture collection, with the Promising Young Woman star choosing to dial up the glamour with Cartier earrings and a ring that took 350 hours to make.

Carey Mulligan in Valentino Couture at 93rd Academy Awards
Carey Mulligan in Valentino Couture at the 93rd Academy Awards

However, there were also those who opted not to embrace the cut-out trend. Regina King quite literally dazzled in a powder blue Louis Vuitton dress which took 140 hours to make and comprised 62,000 sequins and 3,900 crystals, while Laura Dern injected some old Hollywood glamour with her monochrome Oscar de la Renta feathered frock. 

Regina King in Louis Vuitton
Regina King in Louis Vuitton at the 93rd Academy Awards

Elsewhere in the relatively pared-back but no less sensational camp was Emerald Fennell, who took home the gong for Best Original Screenplay for her revenge thriller Promising Young Woman. The director dazzled in a billowing retro green and pink-toned floral Gucci dress, while Chloé Zhao is emerging as the style icon of award season thanks to her less-is-more approach to dressing. The Nomadland director, who was awarded the coveted Oscar for Best Picture and is the first woman of colour to win the gong, sported box-fresh white sneakers on the red carpet with her hair in their trademark braids.