The Oscars red carpet has gotten very samey-same and safe in recent years, but there were at least a handful of ladies who broke slightly outside the box. Sometimes it was the shape, sometimes it was the style, and sometimes it was simply the sense of boldness, but none of the following opted for simple elegance or princess fantasies. These ladies really went for it.
Billie Eilish in Chanel
We’ll harrumph about the nails, with the understanding that she’s 17 and we’re … very far away from that, so we’re all just playing the roles we’re supposed to play in life. We still love her for getting the biggest and sometimes oldest houses in fashion to ditch the very DNA of their brands just for the chance to dress her. As always, we don’t love this, but we respect it.
Black Chyna in Dona Matoshi
To the inevitable question “Wait, why is Blac Chyna at the Oscars?” comes Blac Chyna’s answer in dress form: “Who cares, bitches? I’m here and you all can’t take your eyes off this.”
Julia Butters in Christian Siriano
We love this because it’s very clearly and deliberately a formal red carpet style that could only be worn by a ten-year-old. There’s no attempt to make her more sophisticated or elegant and Christian very wisely stayed away from doing a strict princess fantasy. It mostly doesn’t matter what we think here because she is clearly loving the hell out of how she looks and if any ten-year-olds have to walk the Oscars red carpet, then that’s exactly how they should feel.
Maya Rudolph in Valentino
We think we love this more in pictures than onstage and onscreen. The color is gorgeous and we love the shape of it. We’re not crazy about the sandals, but we love the hair, makeup and earrings. A total off-the-beaten-path choice that nonetheless reeks of glamour.
Salma Hayek in Gucci
She married the man who owns most of fashion so what does a billionaire movie goddess do when she gets the chance to pull out all the stops? She comes in goddess cosplay and dares you to tell her she can’t. She should’ve trained an owl to sit on her shoulder or hired a baby to follow her around with wings and a bow and arrow. She’s a billionaire. Stuff like that should be easy for her.
Sandra Oh in Elie Saab Couture
The shape is utterly ridiculous, super-draggy, and impractical as hell – and for that, we are very appreciative. The dingy color does nothing for the design, though. Imagine this in any bold, rich or bright color and it goes from a little silly to a lot of fun.
Zazie Beetz in Thom Browne
We love that she eschewed the gown template and went for something stylish, as formal as it needs to be, and really well-suited to her. It’s high-fashion and Oscars-appropriate, helped along by that stunning necklace and given some drama by her gorgeous hair. The only wah-wah note is the shoe choice. They’re chic, but a weensy bit underwhelming.
[Photo Credit: ABC/RICK ROWELL, AdMedia/ Media Punch/INSTARimages.com, Hahn Lionel/ABACA USA/INSTARimages.com, David Gabber / PRPhotos.com]
Our book “Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life” comes out on March 3rd and was named one of the Best New Books of 2020 by Cosmopolitan!