There is no greater stage than the Oscars when it comes to red carpet fashion. Informed by decades of Hollywood glamour, the event is an opportunity for actors to become movie stars, presenting themselves in high drama custom looks that highlight the best aspects of their public personas. Fittingly, 2022’s guests explored modern movie star glamour with outfits that nodded to the past while keeping in step with current concerns.
Today, even the most fun-loving star is expected to be politically aware, environmentally conscious, expert at social media, and sartorially adventurous. On paper, that checklist seems daunting, but success is far from impossible. Whether it was vintage enthusiast Kirsten Dunst making a chicly sustainable choice by dipping into Lily et Cie’s archives and pulling out a Christian Lacroix gown from Fall 2002, or Best Actor nominee Benedict Cumberbatch showing his support for the people of Ukraine wearing the nation’s flag on the lapel of his Giorgio Armani suit, they were able to shine a light on issues that matter in a way that seemed authentic.
Other celebrities used their choice of designer to send a message. As appealing as the usual luxury suspects are, nothing beats seeing a new addition to the Oscars lineup. When Liya Kebede stepped onto the carpet in a burgundy velvet gown from Pieter Mulier spring 2022 collection for Maison Alaïa, it was a thrilling moment of fantasy that introduced the millions of people watching to Mulier’s expressive talent.
Such risks kept with the evening’s adventurous spirit. Any event with Timothée Chalamet running around in Nicolas Ghesquière’s Vuitton womenswear and Kristen Stewart embracing authenticity by revisiting Chanel’s hotpants is one for the books, but the surprises didn’t stop there. One of the year’s most exciting developments were the new names who came to the fore on the carpet. Irreverent looks like Power of the Dog breakout Kodi Smit-McPhee’s powder blue Bottega Veneta tux or King Richard star Demi Singleton’s ethereal pastel Miu Miu column gown felt youthful, celebratory, and like a breath of fresh air.
Looking through the evening’s best and boldest outfits provides a concise overview of the red carpet’s current state. Elegant yet individualistic, the looks that won the night should inspire fashion lovers for years to come.