Los Angeles Times
A sense of rebirth marks a new path
Ethereal tones and a champagne carpet signal a sense of promise as glamour blooms, spring-like
JU D G I N G F R O M the arrivals at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, the days of playing it safe on the red carpet are history — and so too is the redness of the carpet. Stars embraced the maximalist themes that have been coursing through high-fashion houses, bringing vivid color, rich embellishment and a touch of fantasy to a pathway now carpeted in a faint beige called “champagne.”
Many of the gowns matched the pale color of the new “champagne” carpet, including Ana de Armas’ scoop-neck mermaid gown by Louis Vuitton with a skirt of embellished scalloped petals and Zoe Saldana’s delicate Fendi couture pale pink satin ’90sinspired slip dress. Jessica Chastain channeled Old Hollywood in a custom Gucci silver crystal-encrusted gown.
White also made a big comeback. Michelle Yeoh looked heavenly with a Moussaieff diamond “halo” hair ornament and feather-fringed white Dior haute couture silk gown with a floor sweeping train. Michelle Williams paired her signature pixie cut and red lipstick with a Chanel couture strapless silver and white column gown overlaid with a sheer chiffon wrap. Halle Berry also opted for white with giant bronze beaded floral trim at the neck and hip. Emily Blunt wore the evening’s simplest gown, a white strapless column with gauntlet sleeves by Valentino.
Stars also embraced vivid color. Sandra Oh, from “Turning Red” turned the color wheel toward orange with her marigoldhued Giambattista Valli haute couture silk chiffon gown. Janelle Monae went full solar flare in a Vera Wang haute couture vivid orange skirt with a black bustier. Stephanie Hsu’s hot pink strapless Valentino haute couture gown featured an enormous, full skirt.
Full-volume was another key trend, with oversize appliques, bows, skirts and trains, many paired with big gems for balance. There was a punk feel to Florence Pugh’s extra poufy, strapless gown with shorts by Valentino couture and a Tiffany and Co. choker. Fan Bingbing’s Tony Ward couture ensemble paired a sleek silver halter dress with an enormous emerald floor-sweeping wrap. Looking regal, Angela Bassett wore an off-shoulder royal purple gown with exaggerated bow neckline by Jeremy Scott for Moschino.
Corsets and boning also were trending. Jamie Lee Curtis showed how to be elegant and a little avant-garde with her crystalencrusted Dolce & Gabbana gown in the on-theme blush tone. The gown’s exterior boning created an inside-out corset. Fresh from the recent Versace runway show in West Hollywood, Lady Gaga’s black Versace gown did it best, though. The sheer bodice had corset-like boning and a ’50s inspired bullet bra top anchoring the voluminous skirt.
With an historic number of Asian nominees, several paid homage to their roots. Hong Chau worked with Prada to develop the pale pink sleeveless dress with a Mandarin collar that she asked the house to add. The train of black feather-like paillettes elevated the look to luxe. The carpet looked regal as well as global.