Arts and Entertainment

Red Carpet Ready?

The 2022 Oscars red carpet was interesting, to say the least, with some highs, many lows, and outfits that just didn’t fit.

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By Julia Shen

Film’s greatest night rocked America’s world. Though the 2022 Oscars would surely have been a show to remember, what would the ceremony be without the attendees arriving on a red carpet, dressed in a variety of brands and adorned in gemstones galore? Forget the awards; the fashion is what viewers yearn for every year, in addition to the so-called fashion police criticizing every single article of clothing that graced the presence of the carpet. From the interviewers to the nominees, there was a full display of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it came down to this year’s Oscars fashion.

The key to a great Oscars red carpet outfit, or a red carpet outfit in general, is catering to the event. The Oscars have a drastically different vibe to the VMAs, and the fashion should match that atmosphere. Unfortunately, it felt as though some artists dressed for the wrong event, and thus their looks made the wrong statement. Take Kristen Stewart, for example, who was nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Princess Diana in “Spencer” (2021). She arrived on the red carpet in a tuxedo jacket, a loose-fitting white button-down, black pumps, a pearl necklace, and… shorts. Though the look was definitely edgy and bold, the shorts made the look seem unfitting for such a formal event. Additionally, young heartthrob Timothée Chalamet showed up with little more than a black tuxedo, leaving his shirt at home, making his look too casual for the night. At the end of the day, dressing for the occasion is one of the cardinal virtues of fashion that cannot be avoided, no matter how famous you are.

Even when formal attire is required, it can come in many different forms. A variety of fabrics, prints, patterns, and layers can create a masterful work of art that stands out from the crowd. There was a lot of diversity on this year’s red carpet in the dresses, but not so much in the suits. We saw many wearing simple, black suits from different luxury brands with a watch or chain to set them apart (i.e. Rami Malek in Prada and Cartier and Jacob Elordi in Burberry and Tag Heuer). Some dared to be different, like Kevin Jonas in his Brunello Cucinelli navy ensemble. But only a select few really stood out with their bright colors and interesting suit silhouettes. For example, Simu Liu was stunning in a bright red Versace and Omega combination in what was one of the more successful carpet-matching looks of the night. Andrew Garfield showed up in a dark-burgundy velvet suit by Saint Laurent, with jewelry and a watch to match. David Oyelowo and Kodi Smit-McPhee stood out in their respective bumblebee and teal suits.

In the dress category, several beautiful, and questionable, choices were made. Starting with the best-dressed, Megan Thee Stallion stunned in a gray-blue, crystal-studded Gaurav Gupta gown, which was structured enough to be unique while creating an illusion of fluidity that was refreshing to see. On the flip side, we had Lily James in Atelier Versace. Her light-pink floral number was very detailed and complemented her complexion well. Though there was a lot more business attire across the board, Zendaya was an example of how to execute this style in a way that isn’t strictly business formal. Her Valentino Haute Couture look was effortless, with a cropped button-down that was almost ethereal when paired with her silver skirt. Finally, Sofia Carson in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture blew the carpet away. Her dress’s tulle layering was elegant, with its one-shouldered bodice tying the look altogether.

Now, onto the worst-dressed, a rather lengthy list. Firstly, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s boxy, paper doll-esque Schiaparelli gown didn’t do anything for her silhouette except widen her shoulders and make her look too stiff. Jada Pinkett-Smith is the talk of the town, but not because of her dress, a green Jean-Paul Gautier Couture gown. The dress’s upper ruching resembles a sports jacket, while its skirt and train are too textured, creating a broccoli-like illusion. Finally, Amy Schumer’s blue and black bow ensemble from Oscar de la Renta was too plain and simple for attending, much less hosting, the Oscars.

Overall, in a world that has had so many different fashion waves, it is great to see at least some variety within red carpet fashion. The 2022 Oscars red carpet was undoubtedly a melting pot of different styles, but seeing more people step out of their comfort zones on the carpet is refreshing, even if the looks didn’t necessarily appeal to everyone’s tastes. At the end of the day, fashion is subjective, and what one person enjoys on themselves or on other people could be the complete opposite of what the person next to them prefers. Wear what makes you happy, as trends are constantly changing. That being said, the Oscars is a high-profile event, and if you are invited, come dressed in your best shoes and shiniest diamonds. As long as you are original, glamorous, and confident, your look will shine. Here’s to next year’s red carpet.