A new era of Oscars red carpet icons

By Gabriela Ramos Caldato

Hollywood has always served as a form of escapism to grimmest of times, and even though it was indeed a casualty of the pandemic, the 2022 mask-less Academy Awards were a reset for better times. Well, at least for better fashion.

We saw two forms of re-starts. The first is the mighty, glimmery, fairy and everlasting chic fashion which is back in full throttle. Best Actress winner Jessica Chastain, appeared in a rose gold and lavender tweety Gucci gown and she definitely looked like a Disney princess. Nicole Kidman, a fellow nominee, wore a costume made Armani, grey/blue blush, with an opulent peplum and streamlined cut. Lupita Nyong’o sparkled in an encrusted gold Prada. Becky G looked sublime in a blush Etro with a demure peplum, Jada Pinkett Smith was just fabulous with a Glenn Martens for Jean Paul Gaultier Couture and Maggie Gyllenhaal was statuesquely fabulous in Schiaparelli. The high-end fashion is back, the overworked yet effortless glamour is here and the true ode to elegance is flourishing as magnolia blossoms in the spring.

The other re-start came in the hands of the new Hollywood, the representation of the new generation whose leaders are easily identifiable in Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. Chamalet arrived shirtless, wearing a lace jacket from Louis Vuitton spring 2022 women’s wear collection with two Cartier emerald and diamond necklaces and a galore of rings. The genderless fashion seemed irreverent and to some extent not elegant to some, but it truly is the restart of a new world order, of a new conceptual elegance, the break of barriers when it comes to gender definition. Wesley Snipes wore a burgundy Givenchy Tuxedo shorts and leggings, a combination that looked smashing, Kodi Smit-McPhee was in a baby blue Bottega Veneta and Sebastian Yatra in a petal pink Moschino. A whole new wave of detailed and tailored men’s fashion was in representation and most of the times looked exquisite rather than costumey. 

Zendaya, who could be easily considered the Audrey Hepburn of our time was, as always, risky, effortless and fashionable, wore a white satin button-up shirt cropped on the front and on the sides with a silver sequin slither skirt from Valentino. Some say that it had a reference to Sharon Stone 1998 Gap shirt and Vera Wang skirt, an irreverent look at the time, and there is some truth to this, but also it goes beyond the irreverence notion, as this is part of the wave of the new fashion order. Kristen Stewart  wore a Chanel bespoke tux jacket, shorts and white shirt with jewellery from the line, looking chic and elegant in her own skin and stylish without the need to please social standards that are not in sync with who she is.

Some actors were caught in the middle, between the old fashion and the new wave. Zoey Kravitz looked classic and understated in a pale pink YSL but with an edgy vibe in her hair-do and style. Billie Elish was a bit gothic in a black Gucci layered moiré.

Ultimately fashion is telling a story of the times to come. There was some acknowledgment, in the clothes we are talking about, referencing Ukraine. Jason Momoa’s blue and yellow pocket hankie, Benedict Cumberbatch’s lapel pin and some ribbons here and there. Still escapism worked as a way to dream, to hope and to thrive for better times. It was the perfect salsa between the old and the new without tromping each other but complementing and coexisting. It was true glamour whether you see it from the old form or the new order which matters as elegance and beauty ought to always last beyond trends.