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NEW YORK –
Fan Bingbing made a regal entrance in sparkling silver and emerald green on the champagne-coloured carpet Sunday at the 95th Academy Awards. Hong Chau wore a high-neck pink Prada column gown with a feathery black train and Malala Yousafzai worked the hood of her silver sparkler from Ralph Lauren like a pro.
Bingbing, the “X-Men” star, wore Tony Ward Couture with her hair sculpted into an Old Hollywood bob, as some of the men among the early walkers brought the sparkle. We’re looking at you Lorenzo Zurzolo. Others, like Brendan Fraser, went for traditional black tuxedos.
While Bingbing looked like a queen, Sofia Carson was a princess in white custom Giambattista Valli haute couture, a stunning statement diamond and emerald necklace accenting her ball gown with its off-shoulder, form-fitting bodice, a delicate diamond-shaped cutout at the centre. Her jewels were by Chopard, including 122.49 carats of emeralds and 92.57 carats of diamonds.
Also looking royal was Angela Bassett in Moschino. The dress by Jeremy Scott included draping that looked like a huge bow up top as the fabric swirled around her body. She was perfectly accented with a serpent Bulgari necklace.
“It’s light, it’s royal purple, our colour for royalty,” she told E!. “Just bringing that to the carpet. And, also spring.”
Yousafzai, 25, was a producer on “Stranger at the Gate.” She said her dress represented “peace, love, harmony.”
“I feel so much myself in it,” she told The Associated Press.
Rihanna helped close down the carpet in custom Alaia, a leather band dress she wore over a jersey bodysuit as she showed off her baby bump. Lady Gaga snagged a black Versace look off the runway from the fashion house’s show last week in Los Angeles. It featured boning under a sheer top with sheer sleeves and a ballgown skirt with a drop waist. Around her neck was a Tiffany & Co. diamond choker.
Cate Blanchett donned a never-before-seen blue draped velvet top from the Louis Vuitton archives. She wore it with a black skirt made of fully sustainable silk.
Monica Barbaro practiced her carpet walk in a two-tone Elie Saab ballgown of deep plumb and delicate blue chiffon with a long full train.
“They were the first couture house to loan to me when nobody knew who I was,” she told E!
Cara Delevingne repped young Hollywood well in a gorgeous red silk taffeta ballgown with a thigh-high slit and one shoulder with a billowing bow. She paired the look with a Bulgari serpent choker in white gold with emeralds for the eyes of the snake.
“Cara’s smoky pink eyeshadow is so fresh and modern. She looks so fresh faced yet simultaneously glamorous,” said Danielle James, beauty director for Elle.com.
Florence Pugh went in a different direction with a super-mini look in black under a voluminous strapless top that fell into billowy sleeves and yards of long fabric in a greyish white. It was Valentino Haute Couture. She had a Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace around her neck with matching pink tourmaline earrings.
Halle Bailey did the young proud as well in an ethereal strapless soft blue gown by Dolce & Gabbana, with sheer panels at the skirt and boning on top. So did Janelle Monáe in a Vera Wang look that fell from a strapless black crop top to an orange skirt. She wore a black fabric choker around her neck.
Jamie Lee Curtis went for a long-sleeve sparkler by Dolce & Gabbana that was the precise colour of the Oscars’ new off-white carpet.
Harvey Guillen and Harry Shum Jr. made statements of their own, the former in a Christian Siriano coat with a silver brocade design and a full ruffled coat and the latter in a white evening jacket with a wide sash and black trim.
“Puss in Boots” star Guillen said his outfit is the first time Siriano has designed for a plus-size man.
The dramatic, embellished long coat flared out at the waist. It evoked Guillen’s vampire mockumentary show “What We Do in the Shadows,” on which he plays fan favourite Guillermo.
Shum made sure to grab supporting actress nominee Chau to compliment her bubblegum pink frock while chatting with friends.
“You look amazing,” he said.
“The Whale” actor replied he did too.
“I try to change it up,” Shum said.
Lilly Singh donned Siriano, who managed to salvage his Oscar looks last week after a pipe burst in his studio. Singh’s magenta trouser look was topped with a long matching coat.
Sandra Oh’s orange look popped against the lighter carpet. Like Chau, Allison Williams went for soft pink, with lots of sparkle, while Mindy Kaling stunned in bright white, a bustier look by Vera Wang with detached overlong sleeves and open boning. Also in white: Ariana DeBose in a standout Versace moment with jeweled embellishment made to evoke armor.
Williams’ Giambattista Valli look came with chunky embellishment, a feather-trimmed hem and a pink taffeta tulle cape.
The beauty games were strong as well. Oh’s updo was perfect for her flowy look, also from Giambattista Valli.
“I love the messy updo with a bang. It juxtaposes with the orange dress so nicely. Her light and airy look matches the vibe,” said James, the Elle beauty expert.
James Hong was 3 months old when the first Oscars were handed out in 1929. At 94, he’s finally made the show.
Wearing a bow tie with googly eyes, the “Everything Everywhere All At Once” actor arrived in his typically playful mood for the Oscars, pulling faces and camping it up for the cameras.
Eva Longoria also wore white, a heavily beaded look by Zuhair Murad that featured an open neckline to the waist.
There was a healthy showing of black as well, led by Danai Gurira in classic Jason Wu, her hair worn high to, as she told reporters, honour the women who carry things with grace and beauty on the tops of their heads. Phoebe Waller-Bridge also went for black. The strapless look came with a Bulgari serpent choker set in pink gold with diamonds and another set of emeralds for eyes.
Stylist and men’s fashion blogger Peter Nguyen had some standouts, including Riz Ahmed.
“His edgy, wide collar open shirt continues the theme of Young Hollywood making more statements by going against the grain of tradition,” Nguyen said.
His fav, though, was Questlove in a tone-on-tone black suit, shirt and tie with a minimal topcoat he called both “elegant and flattering.” On Questlove’s feet were rubbery comfy shoes.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sported a satin double-breasted dinner jacket in ballet pink.
Fashion expert Melissa Rivers, daughter of the late “Fashion Police” host Joan Rivers, loved all the tidy hair, white and statement jewelry.
“Some of the women that we really look to are showing us glimpses of what we’re going to see next. We’re getting away from the big ballgowns and going with the column,” she said.
She includes Jessica Chastain in custom silver crystal Gucci among them. Chastain paired her strapless column gown and black train with a gold Lionhead Gucci necklace featuring 80 carats of green tsavorites and diamonds.
Erika Harwood, senior style editor for Byrdie, noted a strong showing in “truly vintage looks and pieces” pulled from designers’ archives.
Also among them: Winnie Harlow in an archival Y2K look from Armoni Prive, Vanessa Hudgins in vintage Chanel, Rooney Mara in 2008 Alexander McQueen and Zoe Saldana in vintage Cartier jewels.
Tiffany Reid, senior vice president of fashion for Bustle, cited white as a huge trend.
“White was the colour of the evening, giving angelic on the champagne carpet,” she said. “Emily Blunt in Valentino, Michelle Yeoh in Dior, Tems in Lever Couture, Mindy Kaling in Vera Wang, Halle Berry, Rooney Mara in McQueen, Michelle Williams in Chanel.”
But her two best dressed were Bassett (in purple) and Chau (in pink). Her glam queen was Gurira, with her hair tribute to “beauty inspired by African women.” Shum made Reid’s best-dressed list for the men, along with Lukas Dhont, Michael B. Jordan, Paul Mescal and Austin Butler.
Cassie Anderson, fashion director for Cosmopolitan, noted a wealth of rosettes, including those on the looks of Nicole Kidman and Berry. And she, too, saw white as a strong trend, along with metallics like those of Yousafzai and Williams.
“Studies suggest that gold is the luckiest colour to wear to the Oscars,” Anderson said, “but white was THE colour.”