The best 'inspirational and aspirational' looks from the Oscars red carpet
Fashion is back!
The dress code for this year’s in-person Oscars ceremony — which marked a triumphant return to the glamour of a real red carpet after a year of sweatpantsy Zoom awards shows — called for “a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational.” Which sounds to us like “if the Met Gala were Oscars-themed.” Or something! Here are the stars who interpreted the style prompt most fabulously.
Leslie Odom Jr.
The nominated One Night in Miami star honored the night’s true guest of honor — the Oscar statuette itself — in a gleaming double-breasted Brioni suit, bookending the monochrome menswear with a black collar and black patent shoes.
Odom wasn’t the only one to hit the carpet in Oscar’s own hue. Mulligan, a nominee for her performance in Promising Young Woman, stunned in promising gold Valentino couture. Rendered in glimmering sequins, the matching bandeau crop top and high-waisted, high-volume skirt did the talking, as Mulligan kept her neck bare and her hair sleek.
How much more confirmation do we need that King is a style queen? The One Night in Miami director held court on the carpet in regal Louis Vuitton, styled by always-inspired duo Wayman and Micah. The beaded ice-blue gown, with sculpted high sleeves, was as original as it was arresting.
In one of the hottest shades of the moment (the dominance of which began at last year’s Oscars), the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star — also styled by Wayman and Micah — dazzled in a bold fuchsia three-piece suit from Atelier Versace, embroidered with Swarovski crystals.
With this Peter Dundas ensemble, dramatically draped in beaded lapis, Best Original Song nominee H.E.R. made a sparkling impact — and paid homage to Prince, who wore a similar hooded look when he won Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain in 1985. Inspirational and aspirational, indeed.
Nobody worry! Zendaya’s impeccable red-carpet record remains untarnished! The Euphoria star’s partnership with hot Hollywood stylist Law Roach has yielded some unforgettable looks, and this bright lemon custom Valentino gown, finished with loose hair and layered Bulgari necklaces, is unsurprisingly a winner. The ribcage cutout is not only on-trend, but also recalls the actress’ glamorous Malcolm & Marie costume.
Has an Oscar-goer ever looked cooler than Lakeith Stanfield in custom Saint Laurent? The answer is no. No, they have not. The nominated Judas and the Black Messiah star stole the show in this impeccably tailored ‘70s-inspired jumpsuit, perfect down to the details of its circle-buckled belt, buttoned breast pockets, and wide lapels.