Awards season red carpet fashion recap

Some of the best, worst and downright absurd ensembles to hit awards shows this season

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The celebrities honored at these events put in almost as much work choosing their outfits as in portraying the characters that got them nominated. 

Emma Klein | Cavalier Daily

As the 2018-2019 awards season drew to a close with the 91st annual Academy Awards, it seems only fitting to acknowledge one of the most overlooked aspects of the whole experience — the red carpet. The celebrities honored at these events put in almost as much work choosing their outfits as in portraying the characters that got them nominated. Thus, some of their efforts are lauded in a similar fashion below.

Best Interpretation of an Animated Character

The only image that came to mind as Cardi B walked the Grammys Red Carpet in vintage Mugler from 1995 was “reverse Ursula.” Although she should be commended for the unpredictability of her taste and the endurance she must have had to wear the piece all night, this dress sends one very specific message — “Ariel, give me your voice.” Perhaps the absence of the pearl headpiece, lavender gloves, waist corsage and belly button accent could have saved this look — but this assumption is still dubious at best.

Laura Harrier receives an honorable mention in this category for her outfit at the Academy Awards, a powder blue Louis Vuitton gown with embroidery that speaks to the fashion sense of Elsa from “Frozen” in the best possible way. Also of note, Spike Lee's tribute to Prince at the Oscars in a purple Ozwald Boateng suit was more reminiscent of Waluigi’s ultra-stylish look in the “Super Mario” franchise.

Most Tasteful Use of Sequins

“If Beale Street Could Talk” actress Regina King triumphed in an Alberta Ferretti gown in which she accepted the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture. A structural masterpiece, this dress seamlessly incorporates rose sequins that mimic scales with rigid side paneling, accentuating King’s figure beautifully. If the detailing wasn’t enough, the concave neckline of the dress finishes the look with a statuesque flourish. Quite honestly, King should have saved this piece for the Oscars, where she wore a white Oscar de la Renta gown that was gorgeous, if a little boring.

Best Decades Day Outfit

Saoirse Ronan stunned at the Golden Globes in a silver Gucci dress that screamed of two of the best trends in the history of fashion: chainmail and fringe. The delicate placement of the silver strands — complemented by the harsher lines created by the jewels — exudes luxury. Still, the deep V-neckline and the peaks of skin that emerge between the gaps of the dress promote a refined sex appeal that fits in perfectly with the Globes. This look was Prohibition-perfection and Iron Age-chic all in one.

The Only Mention of the SAG Awards

While the Screen Actors Guild Awards tend to get neglected during the hubbub of the Golden Globes and the Grammys, Yara Shahidi's Fendi Couture ensemble deserves serious attention. The shimmer of the millennial pink catsuit paired with an ivory tulle overlay decked out with hundreds of Cartier crystals creates an ethereal effect. Additionally, the sharp shoe and play on a peter-pan collar with embellishments fosters a level of sophistication that raises Shahidi to A-list status. 

Most Not-Naked Look

“Crazy Rich Asians” has been hailed as an important moment of film history this year for being the first major studio film since “The Joy Luck Club” with a predominantly Asian cast. In accordance with the significance of the film, Constance Wu has also brought her A-game with her slew of outfits this season. While nude was on trend at the Golden Globes this year, no one managed to pull off the style quite like Wu in a custom Vera Wang gown consisting of a structured bodice and full tulle skirt, both in a champagne color. Yet, the highlight of this look wasn’t the dress itself so much as the accessories. The burnt orange bow secured around the waist of the gown elevates the color palette of the ensemble, and the Messika choker brings together the princess quality of the look. 

The Most Stuff

To round out these awards, Billy Porter’s fashion game on the red carpet this season must be addressed. The “Pose” actor first dazzled at the Golden Globes in a custom grey suit with a hot pink cape designed by Randi Rahm. The embellishment on the jacket, if not to everyone’s taste, established a color scheme that paired perfectly with the outerwear attached to the garment. Meanwhile, the transparency of the dress shirt and the metallic glimmer of its collar leave no part of this outfit unadorned. It’s no wonder the piece took six months to make, according to an interview Rahm gave with The Hollywood Reporter.

Of course, the breakout look for men’s fashion this season was the Christian Siriano tuxedo dress Porter debuted at the Academy Awards. The black velvet skirt already adds enough of a wow factor, but subtle details — an exaggerated bow tie and ruffled white sleeves — completed the ensemble, giving it the appearance of a period-piece costume. 

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