So here’s the thing. When awards season rolls around each year and the red-carpet arrivals take place, I’m rarely truly knocked out by the fashion anymore. I’m not sure if it’s romanticised memory, but, in aggressive alliteration, I recall so many more fun, fabulous, frivolous and frocktastic looks from years ago. Will we ever see another felt swan dress at the Oscars again? I. Just. Don’t. Know. Over the last few years an overwhelming number of looks have rendered me underwhelmed. Everything just seems…so…safe.
And I know it’s not all about the fashion, they’re actors and actresses nominated for their craft, not their clothes, however, I’m also aware that a huge number of them hire a super-schmick stylist so they can rock a frock on the night to make them feel and look like the superstar they are.
In a parallel fashion world lies Paris Couture Week. A creative, artistic explosion derived from high fashion’s wildest dreams. Collections mostly immune to seasons, sales and practicality they instead champion expression and absolute fabulousness. Having just wrapped last week, this year’s collections included elegant volume by Giambattista Valli, shouty tulle from Viktor & Rolf and sexy ballroom-ishness from Zuhair Murad. All as intoxicating as ever.
In other words, the marrying of these two visual feasts would make perfect sense. Some A-listers have already hopped on the couture train, but I’d bet many more would if they saw the looks on offer. With designs as creative as the films they’re nominated for, what a sensation a red carpet full of latest couture would be. Would you ever opt for a column dress again, if you could wear feathers, ruffles and giant tulle?
So, as the designers pack up their collections, let’s hot tail some of the key masterpieces to Hollywood and set the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees on fire with the outfit-of-dreams they so deserve. And while I quickly patent a #FashionFantasyLeague app (it’ll be like Barbie dress-ups but for grown-ups!), here’s my couture wish-list. A selection of looks that I think are a match made in fashion heaven for this year’s chosen ones. Will some be less of a wish and more of premonition? We’ll find out come Monday 25 February.
BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES
Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born
Okay, this was the toughest to decide on, because the whole damn Couture Week could be Gaga’s walk-in-wardrobe. However, combining her pop stage persona and her newfound award-nominated-actress persona, how could we go past the wild and wonderful Viktor & Rolf? The millions of layers of tulle, the quirky messages, the fact that she’ll absolutely have the biggest dress in the room/world? Might suggest changing the slogan to ‘More is More’ or ‘Want More Bradley’, but other than that, it’s perfect.
Yalitza Aparicio for Roma
The 25-year-old ingenue is truly living a fairytale. Taking part in a mystery casting call in her home town of Oaxaca in Mexico, the teaching graduate was cast when the director, Alfonso Cuarón, saw her and immediately knew she was the one for the role (after screening 3000 others no less). The self-confessed camera-shy Aparicio overcame her nerves to create a performance that has landed her with a nod for Best Actress. So, quite frankly, I love the princess/angel look for her. This spectacular lace number by Givenchy would be a perfect follow-up to her Globes cuteness.
Glenn Close for The Wife
What does one sartorially suggest for a Hollywood legend? Close, who was filming iconic films such as Fatal Attraction and The Big Chill while many of us were still in nappies has always been a sharp dresser. Cool cuts, great collars and a perfect cropped haircut has meant her look remains timeless. One of Ralph & Russo’s crafty suits would be just the ticket for the woman most likely to take home the gold. The skirt-trousers combo will get Julia Roberts’ seal of approval too.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 06: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Glenn Close from “The Wife” accepts the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama award onstage during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 06, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Olivia Colman for The Favourite
I’m such a fan of Olivia Colman. Have you watched Broadchurch? And Peep Show? So hilarious. So amazing. But anyway, fashion. Her portrayal of eccentric Queen Anne in The Favourite earned her the Globe win (in the comedy/musical category) and she is a hot favourite for the Oscar too. Would love to see her in this Alexandre Vauthier tuxedo, the ruffled neckline a subtle sartorial nod to her Victorian character. Chic as chips.
Melissa McCarthy for Can you ever forgive me?
I absolutely love when comedy actors show up the naysayers by jumping into a drama roll, smashing it and nabbing an Oscar nom like it’s no big deal. McCarthy is such an all-star. In this film she does not get to dress up, so she deserves a killer dress for her night of nights. This Ralph & Russo piece is major movie star. I’d cut out a titch of train, for ease of dancing (because we know she’s loves to dance!), but otherwise this silver ruffled gown is perfect for the silver screen goddess.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES
Amy Adams for vice
Let’s be honest, some actresses are so accomplished they’ve had more red carpet appearances than we’ve had hot dinners. Their days are spent rushing around talking to directors, learning lines, doing media, wrangling children and coordinating a household like the rest of us. Their look for the next awards night is probably at the end of a very long to-do list and one they could honestly care less about. I reckon Adams has ten gazillion better things to do than go dress-hunting, so I’ll put my hand up and suggest a total divergence from her norm with this Valentino hot pink number. Imagine it with a slick hairdo, as per Pierpaolo Piccioli’s vision? FUN. Would take the hem up a tad though, Ms. Adams, don’t worry.
Marina de Tavira for roma
The Mexican actress who stars alongside the aforementioned Yalitza Aparicio in Roma joined an elite group of just 18 Oscar nominees in history when she was this year nominated by the Academy without being nominated for a Globe, Critics Choice or SAG in the lead up. So for that, she’s somewhat of a wildcard. And wildcards should dress like the surprise package they are. Imagine she showed up in this sensationally pretty Giambattista Valli number? OF COURSE WITHOUT THE VEIL. Pared with gold earrings and a pulled-back hairdo…please Marina! Please!!!
Regina King for if beale street could talk
With the acclaim she is reigning in for this film, King is set to be a queen at this year’s Oscars. She is 900 percent glam so her look needs to suitably reflect it. This liquid-blue Zuhair Murah magic is pure perfection. Equal parts elegant and party-ready, whether King wins the Globe or not she’d win the style stakes. I’m yet to see this film but I DID just realise she played Marcee in Jerry Macguire!!!
Emma Stone for the favourite
Emma is one of my contenders for always looking lovely but playing it pretty safe. She wears a lot of column dresses and block colour and while she did a cigarette-pants-and-jacket thing at last year’s Oscars, the last time I really loved her look was when she wore the embellished green Elie Saab in 2015 and the incredible red Giambattista Valli halter neck in 2012. So we know she does love a bit of fun couture! Call me crazy but I’d love to see her go wild this year and surprise everyone in Jean-Paul Gaultier. This multi-layered halter would cause a stir but wouldn’t it just be kewl to see one of our all-time favourites let loose with the tulle?
Rachel Weisz for the favourite
Rachel is enigmatic and elusive. Which makes me love her even more. It’s as though she wants to live a normal life with her James Bond husband Daniel Craig and not be a papped celebrity. Her red carpet ensembles are always classic, minimal and chic. She has a Frenchy quality to her despite being English. For her nomination appearance this year, I would love to be shock-surprised to see her in something with an ethereal quality. Her porcelain complexion, dark hair and a red lip would be glorious with this broderie ensemble from Givenchy. Adding some bold gold jewellery would send it to Oscar-level.