For a black-tie affair, it was the colour white that dominated the red carpet fashion at the Academy Awards on Sunday night with a range of stars from Gwyneth Paltrow to Jennifer Lopez choosing the soft look.
But it wasn’t the only choice of the A-list actresses. Some chose bold colours of red and gold. Fashion trendsetter Angelina Jolie looked every bit the movie star in black, and jewelry choices were minimal with one or two major pieces.
“Icy tones in white, silver, ivory – they ruled the red carpet,” designer Marc Bouwer said. “Almost everybody who looked stunning on the red carpet this year wore white.”
That included Paltrow in a Tom Ford column gown with a cape, Lopez’s stripped sheer Zuhair Murad, Octavia Spencer in sparkling Tadashi Shoji, Milla Jovovich in sleek Elie Saab couture, Shailene Woodley in a long sleeved couture vintage Valentino, and most surprisingly, Rooney Mara – who spent most of awards season wearing black – in a snow white Givenchy gown.
Even Sandra Bullock was part of the trend in a colour block dress with white on top and black on the bottom.
“White is a celebrity favorite this season,” style expert Sam Saboura said. “It’s very striking and looks great on camera.”
Ironically, Jolie – who started the white trend at the Golden Globes last month when she wore a pale satin Atelier Versace with a slash of red – did a 180-degree turn and showed up at the Oscars in a black Atelier Versace gown.
“Angelina Jolie is a trend-setter and the queen of the red carpet,” said Bouwer. “It’s no surprise everyone else followed her lead. It’s also no surprise she decided to do the opposite and go back to the color she wore to the Oscars several years back.”
Jolie aside, many of the gowns showed off sparkles and embellishments like sequins, beading and embroidery as seen on Spencer, Lopez, Bullock, Berenice Bejo and Penelope Ann Miller.
Gold also ruled over the carpet, and was the color of preference with Jessica Chastain’s black and gold embroidered Alexander McQueen gown, as well as Meryl Streep’s Lanvin, Cameron Diaz’ cream and gold Gucci, Stacy Keibler’s Marchesa gown and Judy Greer’s color block black and gold Monique Lhuillier dress.
While past seasons saw many severe structured, one-shoulder dresses, this year’s Oscars showcased a much softer one-shoulder looks as seen on Jovovich, Missy Pyle and Kate Mara that gave the appearance of casually falling off the body.
With spring in the air, color also made an appearance. Viola Davis wore a green Vera Wang gown, Virginia Madsen was in purple Badgley Mischka, Emma Stone chose a fuchsia Giambattista Valli and Natalie Portman wore a red vintage 1955 Haute Couture Christian Dior gown.
Michelle Williams, who shunned color this past season, stunned in a strapless coral Louis Vuitton with a silver brooch.
“Michelle Williams has been getting flack this season for her red carpet wardrobe,” Saboura said. “People haven’t been relating to her dresses. They’ve been a little odd and quirky. I think this Vuitton pleases the fashionistas and the everyday viewers. She looks sweet and cool at the same time.”
Accessories were very minimal, with one or two statement pieces. Paltrow for example wore a cuff and ring, as did others. However, one actress chose no jewelry at all.
“Rooney Mara had nothing but those red lips and severe bangs,” said Bouwer.