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The best of the 2019 Oscars red carpet

By Emma Fraser
Black Panther

Black Panther was released just over a year ago, and since then the cast has dominated the Best Dressed list for numerous award shows. For their final hurrah at the 91st Academy Awards, they sartorially turned it out once again, this time including director Ryan Coogler. It didn’t win Best Picture, but Black Panther did take home three statues for Production Design, Original Score and Costume Design. It was also a big night for the team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which won Best Animated Feature.

Genre did dominate on the red carpet, with plenty of stunning looks from MCU and DCU stars as they hit a number of the big trends of the night — including a lot of takes on hot pink and velvet suits in all shades. Edna Mode may not be a fan, but we couldn’t disagree more on the “no capes” mandate, which is lucky as this was another repeated theme on this red carpet.

Gemma Chan
Gemma Chan is currently in the middle of the Captain Marvel press tour, and we must applaud her for choosing a dress that looks comfy as hell with the added bonus of pockets — for stashing cookies in. This look keeps a good thing going for Chan, as she wore Valentino Haute Couture to the Golden Globes earlier this year and chose this designer once again for the Academy Awards. It is also impossible to look at this voluminous gown and not think of Villanelle (Jodie Colmer) wearing tulle Molly Goddard on Killing Eve.   

Angela Bassett and Sarah Paulson
American Horror Story co-stars Angela Bassett and Sarah Paulson offered two more very different takes on the pink trend. Tying it all up in a giant bow — another big repeat trend this year — Bassett is delivering the drama in custom Reem Acra. Meanwhile, Paulson went all in on having pockets in Brandon Maxwell Fall 2019. This is one of those dresses that is hard to pull off, but Paulson and her Harry Winston jewels did just that.

Lisa Bonet and Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet delivered power couple moves in pink Fendi. The netting of Bonet’s dress is delivering some strong Aquaman vibes, but with a boho twist — so very on brand. A surprise accessory of the night came courtesy of Momoa’s scrunchie on his wrist. Carrie Bradshaw would not approve, but this hair accessory is currently having a moment and we can only imagine Momoa will elevate its image further. He is very much bang on the velvet suit trend, of which there were many more fabulous examples (scroll down to the end of the post for more).

Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler
Having no host worked out just fine, but choosing Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as the first presenters at this year's Oscars was definitely the smart move. Rudolph recently starred in The Lego Movie 2 and Jason Momoa was not the only one mixing two of the biggest trends of the night; Rudolph went for the pink caped combo in floral Giambattista Valli.

As the co-creator of Russian Doll, Amy Poehler seems to have taken some style advice from Nadia (Natasha Lyonne), adding a tailed flourish in Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition. If we were to get stuck in a time loop, then this outfit would be high up on the wish list.

Chadwick Boseman
Also opting for tails was Chadwick Boseman in custom Givenchy Haute Couture Fall 2018. This was the look for a king, and he never disappoints when it comes to these big red carpet moments, whether it is the Met Gala, Golden Globes or even the MTV Movie Awards.

Melissa McCarthy and Glenn Close
Capes are not just for superheroes, and even though both Melissa McCarthy and Glenn Close lost out in the Best Actress category, they are winning in the fashion stakes. 4 million beads made up Close’s custom Carolina Herrera cape — which weighed a whopping 42 pounds — and she probably had a much easier time of it in her Guardians of the Galaxy costume. In fact, this was a garment Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) would have definitely had her eye on.

McCarthy had several changes throughout the night; she switched her Bradon Maxwell ensemble for a stuffed rabbit-covered number as she presented Best Costume Design, followed by an Adidas tracksuit for the glitzy Vanity Fair shindig. 

Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira
Going for gold in Brock Collection was Danai Gurira, wearing a gown that was somehow both regal and relaxed: the dream combination. Letitia Wright complemented her Black Panther co-star in ethereal Christian Dior Fall 2018 Haute Couture.

Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina

We all know how good Michelle Yeoh looks in metallics, as demonstrated on Star Trek: Discovery. However, last night Yeoh swapped a gold plated bodice for floral glitz in a super glamorous Elie Saab Spring 2019 Haute Couture gown. And while we still don’t know who her Crazy Rich Asians co-star Awkwafina is playing in the Jumanji sequel, she shimmered in this very ‘70s Dsquared2 suit, setting new pussy-bow blouse goals.

Amandla Stenberg, Amy Adams, Brie Larson, Emilia Clarke
Different colors come and go as the hot red carpet trend, but metallics are always in fashion because they are versatile af. Amandla Stenberg’s beaded Miu Miu delivered a delicate ‘20s vibe; meanwhile, Amy Adams in Atelier Versace made for the prettiest of armor.

For that “chainmail but make it sexy sequins” aesthetic, look no further than Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson, in Celine. Will Daenerys be wearing metalware in the final season of Game of Thrones? It is still a mystery, but Emilia Clarke shed her Targaryen look in favor of shimmering lilac Balmain.  

Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Charlize Theron
Power shoulders can also mean a lot of different things, whether it was Emma Stone looking ready for a Greek mythology-set battle in Louis Vuitton or Rachel Weisz looking like she could be her own series of American Horror Story in latex Givenchy Haute Couture. 

One unexpected reference for us was Charlize Theron returning to her Aeon Flux darker bob look. Cornflower blue Christian Dior served up some strong ‘40s shoulders amid the sci-fi callback.

Regina King
HBO might be saying goodbye to Game of Thrones this year, but it's also welcoming Watchmen with Oscar-winning actress Regina King as one of the stars — the network debuted the first look at King in Watchmen yesterday, and she was dressed for her big moment last night in classic Oscar de la Renta. It's hard to wear formal white without it looking too bridal, but King did just that. She also had the help of a certain Captain America when she made her way up the steps after winning her Academy Award. Cue all the swooning, all while adding fuel to the on-going Best Chris debate.

Stephan James and Shamier Anderson
Wynonna Earp's Shamier Anderson was there to support younger brother Stephan James, and they both look incredibly dapper. James wore custom Etro, pairing this bold velvet suit with white Giuseppe Zanotti boots and a Swarovski pin. This suit already popped, but these details took it to the next sartorial level.

David Oyelowo, Chris Evans, Brian Tyree Henry
Velvet suits come in all shades, including Stephan James in red and Jason Momoa in pink. Etro was one of the menswear brands of the night and David Oyelowo looked fantastic in emerald-green. Cap may have sadly ditched the beard in Avengers: Endgame, but Chris Evans knows a good thing when he sees it and the same also applied to his Salvatore Ferragamo jacket. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan may be the reason why you might be singing “Blue Velvet” today thanks to Tom Ford (see the main image at the top of this article).

We recently spoke to costume designer Whitney Anne Adams about Happy Death Day 2U and during that conversation she discussed her work as Brian Tyree Henry’s stylist. For the Emmys, she found Victorian vintage cufflinks bearing his initials, while at the Oscars it was a spiderweb design as a nod to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Also on the hardware front, she delivered on the spider theme pin, which goes perfectly with his black velvet Giorgio Armani tux jacket.

Ruth E. Carter

Ruth E. Carter made history last night as the first black person to win Best Costume Design and she did so in incredible style. The Black Panther costumes deserve this level of attention and accolades and Carter made sure she looked like the Queen of Wakanda on this big night. Carter collaborated with designer B. Michael to make this stunning regal ensemble. Even her note cards matched the color of her dress; now, that's what we call impeccable attention to detail.

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