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From Brie Larson to Taika Waititi, the winning looks at the 2020 Oscars

By Emma Fraser
Taika Waititi

It was a history-making night at the 92nd Academy Awards! South Korean genre-bending thriller Parasite became the first film not in the English language to take home the top prize, beating out 1917, Joker, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In the adapted screenplay category, Taika Waititi became the first Māori person to win an Oscar for historical fantasy Jojo Rabbit. In his speech, Waititi didn't let the significance pass him by: "I dedicate this to all the Indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories. We are the original storytellers and we can make it here, as well."

Some of the more overt genre movies weren't nominated but in keeping with the alternate-timeline theme, Brad Pitt won for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Joaquin Phoenix also completed his awards collection for his performance as Arthur Fleck, which makes him the second actor to win for playing the Joker (Heath Ledger won posthumously in 2008 for The Dark Knight). 

The purest fantasy moments came courtesy of the red carpet, which was stacked with superheroes, villains, and IRL sartorial goddess moments. Capes galore, hand-beaded gowns boasting thousands of Swarovski crystals, and sustainable fashion moments were all on-trend.

Here are the best looks of the night from some SYFY FANGRRLS favorites.

Brie Larson

The Captain Marvel uniform doesn’t have a cape, but if it did then it probably wouldn’t look like this Celine number — the practicality factor is low. However, this is the perfect superhero attire for the Oscars and this sparkly look was a showstopper (seriously, the gasp we let out when Larson arrived). If a dress could save a life, it would probably be this hand-beaded custom stunner. 

Janelle Monae

For the Princess-Leia-meets-Grace-Jones vibe you didn’t know you needed, multi-hyphen Janelle Monáe has you covered. The artist has already released an out-of-this-world album and now she's coming for the intergalactic fashion crown in a custom Ralph Lauren draped hooded dress, which featured 168,000 Swarovski crystals (that took a whopping 600 hours of hand embroidery). This is unquestionably the perfect garment for a space knight who has been sent from the future to save the world. 

Janelle Monae and Billy Porter

Later this year, Monáe is starring in the highly anticipated horror flick Antebellum and scary movies actually got acknowledged in the opening number as performed by Monáe and the equally fantastic Billy Porter.

Janelle Monae

This performance was excellent, but it is disappointing that Us and Midsommar were considered worthy of reference as part of the entertainment but weren’t good enough to warrant any nominations. Try harder next year, Academy.   

Natalie Portman

At the recent Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring 2020 runway show, artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri presented a mythology-infused collection under a banner that asked: "What if women ruled the world?" At the Oscars, actress Natalie Portman wore a custom Dior Haute Couture ensemble which leaned into this theme. Looking like a high priestess, her cape pointed to the female directors that could have been nominated this year.

The names of the talented and snubbed women were embroidered on the garment — Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har'el (Honey Boy), and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire). This design was both a call to arms and an unanticipated extension of the recent runway show.

Natalie Portman, Taika Waititi, Timothee Chalamet

She also served up dramatic face with her Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi (also wearing Dior) after his big win. This gave no indication of what we can expect from the superhero sequel which sees Portman returning to the MCU fold, but this indicated they would be fabulous starring in a remake of The Birds (or even The Crows Have Eyes). 

Regina King

"Sister Night from Watchmen, but make it Oscars" could’ve been the brief Atelier Versace received for this Regina King stunner. 2019 was a great year for the star, which saw her win Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk and become an iconic superhero in the excellent HBO adaptation of the Alan Moore comic. The big dramatic skirt looked great in motion and the sparkly Harry Winston jewels (worth half a million dollars!) offered the level of glitz this ensemble and King deserve. 

Zazie Beetz and Margot Robbie

Speaking of jewels, Joker and Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz went big with her double Bulgari statement emerald and diamond necklaces, worth a staggering $1.3 million. If this was the plot of a Batman heist episode from the '60s, Beetz would likely be the target. Her custom Thom Browne tea-length skirt and bodice mixed up the usual gown requirement, delivering a fresh interpretation of Oscar-style. 

Meanwhile, Birds of Prey's Margot Robbie leaned into the sustainable theme, giving us witchy realness in vintage Chanel from the Spring '94 Haute Couture collection. When is her coven meeting and can we join?    

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara

Speaking of eco-conscious fashion, Joaquin Phoenix has worn the same Stella McCartney tuxedo for the duration of award season. This doesn’t sound that outlandish considering a lot of men stick to a classic tux, but this is an unusual move.

His partner, actress Rooney Mara, went all-in on the delicate Gothic vibe she often favors in custom Alexander McQueen. After the festivities, the actress did have a “stars, they’re just like us” moment when she switched out her heels for Converse as they munched on vegan burgers.


It was a huge night for the Parasite team, who ruled the red carpet as well as the ceremony. Appearing alongside director Bong Joon-ho, cast members Choi Woo-shik, Kang-Ho Song, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Jang Hye-jin, and Park Myung-hoon all looked stunning. Park So-dam stood out in a hot pink tiered frock and Lee Jeong-eun was hitting all the cape high notes. No horrors are lurking in the basement here.   

Florence Pugh and Kelly Marie Tran

Go big or go home doesn’t necessarily mean a gown made of flowers as Florence Pugh proved in teal Louis Vuitton. Leaning hard into the mid-00s of it all, Pugh’s custom frock was balanced by a necklace that wouldn’t look out of place on Game of Thrones. Pugh's hot streak is about to continue with the release of Black Widow next month. 

Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran looked at ease in the voluminous Schiaparelli Spring 2020 Haute Couture, which was quite the sartorial statement and one of the biggest frocks of the night.  

Rebel Wilson and Scarlett Johansson

To cleanse the palate after reliving the visual nightmare that was Cats, Rebel Wilson’s custom Jason Wu full Old Hollywood glam styling was almost enough to make you forget what followed during the broadcast. 

It wouldn’t be the Oscars without a range of metallic delights and Wilson’s Jojo Rabbit co-star Scarlett Johansson didn’t disappoint in Oscar de la Renta. The double nominee's beaded bodice looked like Spider-Man discovered how to spin silver, which isn’t a bad side-hustle idea for the superhero.  

America Ferrera and Sigourney Wever

Celebrating the final How to Train Your Dragon hurrah, America Ferrara gave great dramatic puffed shoulders in a custom Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition. “I bring my own warrior ancestors with me, the Indigenous Lenca tribe of Honduras,” she explained on Instagram. The headband was one of the best accessories of the evening.

The goddess aesthetic was strong with icon Sigourney Weaver in a striking emerald green Christian Dior Haute Couture gown.  

John Cho and Oscar Isaac

John Cho is still sporting his Cowboy Bebop hair, much to our delight — plus he was mixing it up in a brown Zegna suit, which is not the easiest color to pull off but one he managed with aplomb. His wife, actress Kerri Higuchi, looked stunning in a floral silver number.

Delivering straight-up silver fox was the best Oscar at the Oscars. Keeping it classic in a traditional Tom Ford tux to complement the curls, Isaac was joined by his wife, director Elvira Lind. She added a pop of color in canary Pamella Roland for the fancy date night. 

Keanu Reeves

Stylist Jeanne Yang gave us Jason Momoa in pink at the 2019 ceremony, and this year she gifted us John Cho in brown, Taika Waititi’s classic look and a dream of mother/son sartorial pairing. Keanu Reeves ticked several boxes last night, including growing his beard back and the always heartwarming "bring your mom to the Oscars" choice. Tailored to perfection, they were both looking sleek in Dolce & Gabbana. 

Julia Butters, Archie Yates, Roman Griffin Davis

The kids were more than alright on the red carpet as Jojo Rabbit co-stars Roman Griffin Davis and scene-stealing Archie Yates had a blast at the ceremony. The flash of orange on Davis’ collar was a very fun touch, as were the bunny ears.

Meanwhile, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Julia Butters was serving up Villanelle from Killing Eve in custom bubblegum pink Christian Siriano. The 10-year-old sent over a sketch of her dream outfit to the designer and he conjured up this delight. She also had a turkey sandwich smuggled in her purse, which is honestly Oscar snack goals.  

Sandy Powell

Having created the stunning fairy tale garments of Cinderalla and the magical Mary Poppins Returns costumes, Sandy Powell knows how to deliver a whimsical statement. In a fun twist on menswear inspiration, she wore a one-of-a-kind ensemble bearing the signatures of nominees and winners (she also wore it to the BAFTAs last week). It was another sustainable garment, but with a twist, as Powell is going to auction off the suit in a bid to preserve the home of the late Derek Jarman. Powell’s mentor and close friend was a film-maker, artist and LGBTQ+ activist.