The Oscars lookbook: glitz, glam, and gorgeous gowns By Charlotte gurley '23

All images courtesy of Getty Images

Even though the Oscars were a lot different this year due to COVID-19, tons of celebrities still showed up in style. From glittering ball gowns to bright blues, these gorgeous outfits will leave you in awe. Not only that, but with the Oscars, we get a first-hand glimpse into upcoming fashion trends. To preface, I'm by no means a style guru, but I had a ton of fun critiquing these glam outfits.

(From top left to bottom right) Jena Friedman wearing Mugler, Stephen Webster Ring and Bracelet and Neil Lane Earrings, nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay (Borat 2, 2020); Andra Day in custom Vera Wang, Casadei shoes, and Tiffany & Co. jewelry, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (The United States vs. Billie Holiday, 2021); Vanessa Kirby in custom Gucci and Cartier jewelry, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Pieces of a Woman, 2020); Carey Mulligan in Valentino Haute Couture, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Promising Young Woman, 2020); Zendaya in Valentino Haute Couture and Bulgari jewelry, award presenter

Prominent themes on the red carpet this year were cutouts and side slit dresses. Cutouts and slits add a nice touch to plain dresses, especially when paired with flashy jewelry. The bright, shiny colors of the dresses are also uplifting, especially the gold trend lots of celebrities went for. Each dress is really unique, and compliments not only the actresses' figures, yet their personalities. I really like how Carey Mulligan stayed rather low on the jewelry; as her dress was already shimmering, it was a great move to keep the attention on her gown. In contrast, I loved how both Zendaya and Vanessa Kirby used jewelry as a way to boost their dresses.

(From top left to bottom right) Halle Berry in Dolce & Gabbana, award presenter; Tiara Thomas in Jovana Louis, winner of Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Judas and the Black Messiah, 2021); Maria Bakalova in Louis Vuitton and Moussaieff Jewelry, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Borat 2, 2020); Amanda Seyfried in Armani Privé and Forevermark Jewelry, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Mank, 2020)

Another big theme this year was plunging v-necks. Each v-neck dress was made with a same cascading fabric, which brings a unique, tranquil appearance to each dress. Tiara Thomas, on the other hand, sported a v-neck top, feather-trimmed jacket, and trendy, flared dress pants. I wish more of these actresses wore dangling necklaces as Tiara had; it would've added to their dresses, and would've brought out more glam. However, the statement lipstick both Amanda Seyfried and Maria Bakalova are wearing make up for the pop of flash bold jewelry would've brought.

(From top left to bottom right) Celeste in custom Gucci and Gucci High Jewelry., nominee for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (The Trial of Chicago 7, 2020); Marlee Matlin in Vivienne Westwood for RCGD in collaboration with Tencel, award presenter; Angela Bassett in custom Alberta Ferretti and Chopard jewelry, 'In Memoriam' presenter; Emerald Fennell in Gucci, winner of Best Original Screenplay (Promising Young Woman, 2020); Regina King in custom Louis Vuitton and Forevermark Jewelry, opening speech presenter

Lots of celebrities wore dresses with stunning sleeves. These quirky sleeves bring out each dress, and draw lots of attention. My favorite has to be Regina King's sleeves; the pattern of dazzling beads along them makes her sleeves look like butterfly wings. I also really like Emerald Fennell's spring-like dress; the playful pattern matched with the ruffles adds a whimsical look. The use of eccentric clutches is not only interesting, but really artistic. Personally, I like Celeste's purse more, as it stands out against her black gown.

(From top left to bottom right) Viola Davis Alexander McQueen with a Jimmy Choo clutch and Forevermark Jewelry, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 2020); Rita Moreno, award presenter; Mia Neal in CD Greene, winner of Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 2020); Reese Witherspoon in Christian Dior and Bulgari jewelry, award presenter; Margot Robbie in Chanel Haute Couture and Chanel Fine Jewelry, producer of Promising Young Woman, 2020

In contrast, there were also tons of glam spaghetti-strap and sleeveless dresses. Sadly, many of these dresses weren't pulled off as well, which is a shame. While I adore Viola Davis' bold white dress, the lace design is a little basic. Maybe if the lace had been a different color, or if the dress had lace-patterned sleeves, the dress would pull off better. I'm also not a big fan of Mia Neal's dress; the dramatic turtleneck reminds me of something straight out of a science fiction film. The neckline could've been lowered a bit more, or gotten rid of altogether, yet I applaud her for trying something unique. Lastly, Reese Witherspoon's dress has an almost out of place maroon stripe, and her gold belt clashes with her silver jewelry. Without the stripe or the golden belt, her dress of choice would appear stunning.

(From left to right) H.E.R. in custom Dundas, Chopard jewelry and Bonnie Clyde Sunglasses, winner of Best Original Song (Judas and the Black Messiah, 2021); Glenn Close in Christian Louboutin shoes and Kwiat and Fred Leighton jewelry, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Hillbilly Elegy, 2021)

Among the vibrant colors, my favorite was probably this bold shade of blue. Blue is usually associated with sadness, yet these shades offer a more cheerful look at the color. H.E.R.'s bejeweled two-piece stands out, and her purple shades pull the outfit together when paired with her matching lipstick. Glenn Close's outfit, on the other hand, was a bit too busy. The navy gloves and dress pants tone down the liveliness of the blue dress. On top of that, the dress' pattern is confusing, and hard to follow. If the dress wasn't decorated with the busy, beaded pattern, and Glenn had chose different colored accessories, the outfit would've looked much better.

(From left to right) Trish Summerville in Tony Ward with Ana Khouri jewelry, nominee for Best Achievement in Costume Design (Mank, 2020); Ashley Fox, nominee for Best Motion Picture of the Year (Promising Young Woman, 2020); Olivia Coleman in Dior Haute Couture, Chopard jewelry and Roger Vivier clutch, nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (The Father, 2020); Youn Yuh-jung in Marmar Halim, with Chopard Haute Joaillerie, Roger Vivier clutch and Bottega Veneta shoes, winner of Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Minari, 2020); Han Ye-ri, actress in Minari, 2020

To some, modest dresses appear boring or plain, yet these preppy dresses are each elegant in their own way. Trish Summerville's mockneck dress, despite being almost colorless, has a nice two-toned compliment of grid and black. I love Youn Yuh-jung's dress, too; the three-quarter sleeves and large pockets are tasteful. Lastly, Han Ye-ri's red gown styled with the gold buttons on the side add a nice pop.

(From left to right) Lee Isaac Chung, nominee for Best Original Screenplay (Minari, 2020); Brad Pitt in Brioni and David Yurman Jewelry, award presenter; Steven Yeun in custom Gucci, nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Minari, 2020); Daniel Kaluuya in Bottega Veneta and Cartier jewelry, winner of Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Judas and the Black Messiah, 2021)

Typically, menswear on the red carpet is usually as basic as a dress suit, yet are styled up with fun accessories and touches that enhance the look. Out of the bunch, Lee Issac Chung's suit with the trendy pocket watch chain and glossy Doc Martens adds spunk to his black suit. Same with Daniel Kaluuya's outfit; the pearl necklace is a charming accessory adds more to the basic suit. I wish more celebrities that sport suits would incorporate accessories with their outfits. Not only does it strengthen the look, yet it looks very refined and stylish.

(From left to right) Questove, DJ and trivia host; Martin Desmond Roe and Travon Free in Dolce & Gabbana, winners of Best Live Action Short Film (Two Distant Strangers, 2020); Colman Domingo, actor in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 2020

Despite the creativity put behind these suits, the outcome wasn't as alluring as I'm sure these men had hoped for. At first, I really liked Questlove's outfit. His mask and necklace pop out against his black suit, yet the golden Crocs take away the elegance (although they're quite cute Crocs). His glasses are very retro, though, so I think if he tried for a more preppy look, the outfit would've pulled together. Desmond Roe's and Travon Free's matching suits were, without sugarcoating, undoubtedly tacky. The gold accents and street sneakers bring down the suits pizazz. It's really hard to match street-casual with formal, so I commend them for giving it a shot nonetheless. Lastly, Colman Domingo's neon pink suit, sadly, lacks coordination. The silver beads (which took 150 hours to hand-sew) clash with the golden accents, and the black dress shoes are distracting. I think if the beads had been gold, and if Colman had worn different colored shoes, the outfit would've looked much better; that shade of pink really suits him.

Steal the style this summer by taking action into following these Hollywood fashion trends.

  • Purple, 60's-styled hipster glasses, just like H.E.R.'s ($6.99 on Amazon)
  • Cream, corset-styled top, adorned with perfectly puffy sleeves ($41.25 on Nordstrom)
  • Gorgeous v-neck gown, similar to Carey Mulligans' ($199 on PromGirl)
  • Glossy platform oxfords, the same pair as Lee Isaac Chung ($140 on Doc Martens)

(Images provided by respected compaines: Amazon, Nordstrom, PromGirl and Doc Martens)

Although the Oscars weren't as magical as they usually seem this year because of the pandemic, celebrities still styled up for the occasion, which made the awards ceremony much more enjoyable. With obvious style themes in these movie stars' outfits, it's only a matter of time to see which unique trends the fashion industry picks up on.