Why less was so much more on the Oscars red carpet

Posted by
Billie Bhatia
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Last night the Oscar’s red-carpet served up some of the most beautiful awards looks we have seen this year, and it wasn’t the dresses that caught our attention. 

The morning after the Oscars is probably my favourite morning of the year. After I have come to terms with the winners (I was rooting for you Timothée!) I sit in bed and scroll the red-carpet images like a breakfast feast, whooping for the ones that smashed it out of the park, clapping for ones that were close and bowing down to everyone else because they are major enough to be invited to the awards…and I am in bed. 

Like many of the red carpets we have seen this year, the Academy Awards was never going to pass without a statement being made. For the first time since I started my Oscars morning ritual, the red carpet wasn’t about the ten-foot trail, the Christmas-tree-like embellishment, the OTT hair and make-up or the news-worthy dress (I’m looking at you. Björk).

This year there was a serene simplicity to the red-carpet looks, letting the women behind the dresses step out and shine. The outfits were an accomplice to the wearer, there to empower and support, but not to detract from the star beneath. 

Instead of opting for the classic prom-like dresses (where you run the risk of drowning in tulle) the success stories from the night came from block colours, clean lines and simple accessories. This isn’t to say these outfits were boring – far from it, they were just as jaw-dropping as years before. However, this time the message was that this look is my choice, this is what I want to wear because it makes me feel good. In fact, it makes me feel f***ing fantastic. 

From Helen Mirren to Saoirse Ronan, Zendaya to Meryl Streep, these women showed us how to make a moment yours. 

Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein 

Danai Gurira in Gabriela Hearst 

Margot Robbie in Chanel 

Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace 

Jane Fonda in Balmain 

Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton

Helen Mirren in Reem Acra 

Zendaya in Giambattista Valli

Meryl Streep in Christian Dior 

Laurie Metcalf in Christian Siriano

Greta Gerwig in Rodarte 

Laura Dern in Calvin Klein

Images: Rex Features