Oscars 2022: KING RICHARD Star Will Smith in Dolce & Gabbana and Jada Pinkett Smith in Jean Paul Gaultier Couture

Posted on March 28, 2022

Will Smith made history at the 2022 Oscars. We wish (if only for our own selfish sake) he’d “merely” made it by being only the 4th Black man to win a Best Actor Oscar, but let’s face it: when people talk about the history of the Oscars vis a vis Will Smith, there’s only going to be one story recounted, over and over again, until the day he dies. But first: fashion!

 


We’ve been singing their praises all through awards season and dubbed them the King and Queen of Hollywood. For well over a decade now, Will’s had a pretty stale DadStyle that was cute enough, but not all that exciting. But for the past several months, he’s been absolutely crushing it on the red carpet in classic menswear looks with an elevated sense of formality to them. He’s really made the double-breasted vest a go-to item for him.

She, of course, looks drop-dead stunning. That gown is equal parts Gilded Age and Dune; pure “outer space queen” drama and we’re living for it. The color looks stunning on her and we love how the bodice almost comes off like a jacket, which gives it that vaguely regal/military feel to it. The earrings are gorgeous. The only quibble we have is the slight mismatch of the shoe to the dress.

Now the thing that has to be discussed. In a moment destined to outstrip pretty much all others in Oscar history for being the most shocking and most referenced (outdoing everything from the La La Land mixup to the streaker), Will got up out of his seat, walked onstage and slapped presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada’s baldness, yelling at him to “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth” to the shock of everyone in the theater (and millions of people at home). We don’t really feel like contextualizing this or moralizing over it, but it’s impossible to talk about this year’s Oscars without at least acknowledging it. Our overriding feeling is one of sadness. Will and Jada have been campaigning for his Oscar for literally decades and this night was the culmination of a lot of hard work, focus and ambition. There’s no way in hell either of them wanted this moment to happen and we imagine that they’d do anything to take it back. The image of Denzel Washington, the elder statesman of Black actors and a personal mentor to Will for over twenty years, taking him aside and talking the tearful actor down was poignant but also terrible to watch unfold. This isn’t how it should have happened.

We’re not going to sit here and wag our finger at a man for defending his wife from cruelty. One of the first things we learned when writing about celebrities and how they look was not to make jokes about things that may not have been deliberate or may evidence a health condition, such as weight changes or hair loss. One of the most important lessons ever taught to us by our readers came in the earliest days of our red carpet blogging when some very patient Black women contacted us and said “Look, just don’t come for Black women’s hair. There’s a history there.” Chris Rock should’ve known better, but he has a habit of standing on that stage and ridiculing Jada, so there’s clearly some history between them all. There’s a discussion to be had about toxic masculinity and whether men should be encouraged to show their love through violent acts, but frankly, that’s WAY above our pay grade. For now, we’re just sad about the whole thing. It cast a pall over Smith’s win and it’s an action that will follow him forever. There will be a line in his obituary referencing it some day and he’s not likely to ever win an Oscar again because of it. The Academy doesn’t forget.

In a much broader sense, we’re a little sad as to what this might mean for the Oscars going forward. The ceremony was already something of a disaster, but we fear a moment like this may kill it completely. At the very least, we won’t be seeing any comedians coming out to take potshots at the stars Ricky Gervais-style any time soon. The whole thing’s a sad  mess.

 

 

Style Credits:
Will Smith: Dolce & Gabbana Ensemble

Jada Pinkett Smith: Jean Paul Gaultier Dress from the Spring 2022 Couture Collection | G By Glenn Spiro Jewelry | Jimmy Choo Shoes
Styled by Georgia Medley

 

[Photo Credit: [ABC, Michael Baker/A.M.P.A.S., Michael Baker/A.M.P.A.S., Arnaud Lajeunie/Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier]

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