More important than the films nominated at the Oscars are the gowns worn. The history of the Oscars is as much a history of fashion as a history of film, and while glamorous actresses have in past years dismissed those red carpet interviewers who ask, “Who are you wearing?” — that’s pretty much all I want to know.
Full disclosure: I haven’t seen any of the films nominated for this year’s Academy Awards, I probably won’t, and honestly, I don’t care. What I do care about are how Hollywood’s A-list actors and actresses doll themselves up for the event. And let’s be honest, all I really care about are the actresses; the men are basically penguin-style arm candy.
It’s a bummer celeb red carpet presenters got shamed out of asking actors who they’re wearing. The Oscars red carpet used to be a chance for designers to step out, too. It was an opportunity for lesser-known fashion designers to capture the imagination of the fashion-forward public.
At a certain point, it was considered sexist to ask women who they were wearing, while not also asking men, so announcers stopped asking. Everyone forgot that the reason the men weren’t asked is because they weren’t wearing gorgeous gowns.
On the red carpet for the Academy Awards, the gowns are still the story. Here are my top 10:
Scarlett Johansson in silver strapless.
— Paolo is quarantining (@Ic3lad) February 10, 2020
Billie Eilish looked super comfy in boxy Chanel.
— Pop Crave (@PopCraveMusic) February 9, 2020
Penélope Cruz’s black ballgown had pockets! It made me wish she had been announced by one of the ladies so we could have seen them swoon over pockets on a ballgown.
— TooFab (@TooFab) February 10, 2020
Margot Robbie was strikingly elegant.
— best of margot (@bestofmargot) February 10, 2020
Renée Zellweger’s simple glam look was show-stopping.
— seb saw bop (@sitheternaI) February 10, 2020
Cynthia Erivo’s gown was visually interesting, and she looked breathtaking in it.
— Variety (@Variety) February 10, 2020
Zazie Beetz rocked some classic Hollywood glam.
Kaitlyn Dever from “Booksmart” sported a spectacular red dress.
— Daniel (@sillyolddaniel) February 9, 2020
Rebel Wilson willingly revealed she was wearing Jason Wu.
— QueenAmberprice (@QueenAmberprice) February 9, 2020
Janelle Monáe looked like Cinderella in a silver-sparkle gown. “Listen to black women,” she said. “[W]hen we have your support, we can do the impossible.”
“I think the important takeaway is to listen to black women,” Janelle Monáe said on the Oscars red carpet. “When we are in positions of leadership, when we have your support, we can do the unthinkable. We can do the impossible.” Read our live coverage: https://t.co/gTn4PmvwQQ pic.twitter.com/eWBG5WnDhW
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 10, 2020
She opened up the show with a classic Hollywood-style musical number in a floral cape. She said she was glad to stand there as a “black queer artist telling stories.”
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 10, 2020
There were some looks we all would have been better off without:
Billy Porter wore some ill-matched separates and platform boots.
Maya Rudolph wore a sequined kaftan, while Kristen Wiig dressed as lasagna.
— Connor Malbeuf (@ConnorMMalbeuf) February 10, 2020
Saoirse Ronan’s dress had a front peplum. Not really a necessary look.
Natalie Portman’s Dior cape displayed in gold the names of female directors who weren’t nominated for an award this year. Now that’s activism, y’all.
Identity is the loser's game: a way of feeling selected by way of being rejected. But there's always more categories excluded than included; overlooked than recognized; marginalized than advantaged. Always. pic.twitter.com/rEz2sryOAc
— Trunalimunumaprzurized James (@BenjaminABoyce) February 10, 2020