Oscars Fashion: Best and Worst dressed

We may look back on this monumental Oscars event as a pivotal moment in history for reasons other than fashion and film; however, our contributors have shared some of their favourite and least favourite outfits from one of the most talked-about events of the year.

Words by Francesca Ionescu

Dune star, Timothée Chalamet looked great, stepping out in Loui Vuitton womenswear, edging between feminine and masculine, and yet it feels as though, surely, we’ve seen this look before? While the execution was good, sticking with the pattern of ‘slim fitting suit’, but with glitter means Chalamet’s outfits sometimes melt into one, and become less spectacular on their one night out. The Dune actor wore a sequined blazer, and the chest-baring outfit became a standout moment. There is a hate-love relationship with Chalamet’s Oscars outfit, as men’s red-carpet outfits tend to be too plain, so he can definitely be credited for stepping out of conformity and sticking to what works. 

The Best Actress winner, Jessica Chastain, showed up in a Gucci ombre gown that became my favourite look of the night. The gown rocked a deep sequined neckline, the bronze colour melting into an iridescent lilac, the A-line floor-length skirt finishing in purple floral ruffles. The vertical lining of the sequins creates a rain-like pattern, adding fluidity to the outfit. Chastain’s stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, always compliments the actress’ complexion well, opting for green and purples, soft colours that make her hair and make-up as integral to the look as the gown. For this occasion, the look was soft and dreamy, as opposed to that of Tammy Faye which Chastain portrayed for her nomination.

This is controversial: I loved Wesley Snipes’ red-carpet outfit, shorts and all! The actor, there to present alongside White Men Can’t Jump co-stars Woody Harrelson and Rosie Perez, created a bit of a stir in his custom BOGARD by Mike B. suit. The shiny burgundy suit included a pretty normal suit jacket and a pretty normal shirt and tie, but the resistance pieces were the Bermuda shorts, paired with not only a silk loincloth, as well as matching leggings. While this was a brave choice, I loved it as a fun outfit, something that you will not find on every red carpet, and that perfectly matches the actor’s high energy. Except for the shoes, did not like the shoes.

Best Adapted Screenplay nominee Maggie Gyllenhall stepped out wearing an off-the-shoulder Schiaparelli gown, which while interesting and unique, was not one of my favourites. The main shape of the dress is flattering, the deep black material contrasting with the single-file golden ornaments. The sleeves, however, a rectangular and angular shape, seemed too sharp and dark, clashing with the deep lipstick and dark hair. One of the sleeve ornaments resembled clothes’ hooks, and while an interesting concept, it seemed overly busy, and not the best look Gyllenhall has showcased on the red carpet.

Words by Ananya Ranjit

Award show red carpets have always been my preferred kind of fashion show. While part of it stems from the fact that I get to see my favourite celebrities showcase yet another facet of their ‘personality’ through their sartorial choices, the majority of my excitement is a result of indulging my daydreams, imagining myself in their shoes (or Louboutins) of those on my television screen, strutting down the velvet-lined walkway to the Dolby Theatre, gilding it with my own touch of glamour.

This year, the red carpet seemed to have witnessed a loosening of expectations when it came to its attendees’ fashion choices, as several sought to ditch the glitter, the drama and the flowing trains in favour of something more laid-back, while many others managed to effectively balance the two, resulting in an ensemble that is brilliantly simplistic. Here, of course, I’m referring to Zendaya, whose cropped white, satin blouse and silver Valentino skirt was a nod to Sharon Stone, who nailed the high-low, lazy-but-also-elegant dressing style to perfection at the 1998 Oscars, where she paired her husband’s white oxford Gap shirt with a long, lavender satin skirt from Vera Wang. Zendaya’s look perfectly captured the essence of the original outfit, while also injecting a jolt of youth into the silhouette. 

Kristen Stewart’s outfit followed a similar vein.  Like Zendaya, the actress of ‘Spencer’ also built her outfit over a wardrobe staple i.e a white shirt. The night of the Academy Awards saw her make Oscar dressing history as she donned a custom Chanel tuxedo with high waisted short shorts, over the shirt, that was unbuttoned down to the navel, which added a dishevelled element to an otherwise streamlined look, while also nonchalantly stretching the limits of what ‘red carpet dressing’ even means. 

While the novelty of these bold new fashion statements definitely caught my eye, I haven’t forgotten my allegiance towards classic, timeless floor-length gowns that, to me, will forever be the epitome of ‘Hollywood glamour’. Lily James’ pink lace Versace gown, with the chiffon train, was thus, one of my favourite outfits in the Oscars 2022 lookbook. Not only does its baby pink hue scream spring, but adds an undertone of frailty to an otherwise sultry outfit, with its form-fitting bodice and ultra-high slit. However, I think Emilia Jones’ crystal embroidered Dolce and Gabbana halter neck gown takes the cake for me. A classic floor-length gown with the gold ombre gave it the perfect old Hollywood gleam that played out rather harmoniously with its daring waist cut-out; it was the best of both worlds on the star-studded carpet. 

In terms of my own red-carpet outfit, I  believe that a room with as much diversity as the Dolby Theatre on Oscars night provides a safe space for one to express their identity, which is why I would want my attire to somehow reflect my Indian heritage. For this reason, I believe it would be a bold move to pair a floor-length skirt embellished with local Indian handiwork (also called a ‘lehenga’) with a cropped satin shirt akin to the one donned by Zendaya, to create the perfect Indo-Western fusion. I’d complete the look with a melange of white gold bracelets and earrings along with a simple half updo for a clean, finished look.