West Side Story star Ariana DeBose’s ride on the awards track just sped up, putting her way out in front of the pack. She had herself a hell of a weekend, picking up both a BAFTA and a Critics Choice Award. To mark both occasions, she wore two classic designs from two iconic Houses founded by Latin American designers, both of which show the kind of prestige actress style the Academy likes to see. She also did one thing we absolutely love to see a star do on the red carpet and one thing we’re going to begrudgingly allow, even though we tend not to like when stars do it on the red carpet. First, the thing we love to see:
In Oscar de la Renta at the BAFTA Awards
A star showing up looking every inch a winner. If that’s not a “I’m here to pick up my trophy” gown, then none exist. She looks utterly spectacular here, even with a fabric flower on her hip that’s matched to her shoes, which is a thing we would not normally support. She started off hitting the red carpets in a sexier, more flamboyant style that sometimes bordered on tacky, but she and her team have found a way to play to her strengths and preferences while subtly streamlining the style. We’re curious why she doesn’t play up her legs more; not just because she’s got a fantastic pair, but because a dress like this reminds you that she’s a world-class dancer. It also reminds you – quite deliberately – of her soon-to-be-iconic yellow dress and red crinolines from the “America” number.
While we must once again stand on our increasingly rickety soapbox and state that we don’t love when acting stars dress like their characters on red carpets, there’s no denying that in this instance, it was rather brilliantly executed. Every article or post about this dress will link to a video or picture of the dress from the film, just like we did. Since West Side Story suffered from poor box office during the Omicron surge, we have to begrudgingly admit that this little bit of cosplay not only works, but shows some real savvy about how to promote yourself leading up to Oscar night.
For the Critics Choice Awards, she went for a more subtle reminder, if you can call a marigold gown subtle:
In Carolina Herrera at the Critics Choice Awards (London Outpost)
The color looks great on her, but we all knew that already. Looking at the design itself, we can’t say we love how fussy the bodice is, but everything below the waist is classic in shape and style, which helps balance things out a bit. With the simple, short haircut and those gorgeous danglies hanging off her ears, the focus is effectively pulled away from all that foofaraw happening at the bust. Not our favorite of her looks, but it’s styled well.
First Look: Oscar de la Renta Dress | Bulgari Jewelry | Stuart Weitzman Shoes
Second Look: Carolina Herrera Dress
Styled by Zadrian and Sarah | Hair by Takisha Sturdivant-Drew | Makeup by Andréa Tiller
[Photo Credit: INSTARimages.com, Doug Peters/EMPICS/PA Images/INSTARimages.com, Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association]
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