Sunday night, the Oscars brought together actors, actresses, producers, directors, set designers, hairstylists and artists of all kinds, who all showed up dressed to impress for the maskless award show.
Before the night even began, the 93rd Academy Awards slate of nominations made news as the most diverse ever. Almost half of the nominees were people of color, and more women were nominated than in any previous year.
The winners of many categories reflected this diversity. Chloé Zhao became the first woman of color and the second woman to win – after Kathryn Bigelow in 201o – Best Director for Nomadland. Yuh-Jung Youn became the first Korean actress to win Best Supporting actress for her role in Minari. Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to win an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Ann Roth became the oldest woman to win an Oscar after receiving the award for Best Costume Design. Finally, after winning Best Actor, Anthony Hopkins became the oldest person of any gender to win an Oscar.
In between the heartfelt speeches and historical wins, there were also some unforgettable moments. Here are the moments that made the night:
1. The biggest snub of the night: Glenn Close did not immediately receive an Oscar for performing “Da Butt” during a music trivia game. No, seriously, after shocking the audience with her knowledge of the go-go band Experience Unlimited, Lil Rel Howery asked her if she knew the dance that accompanies the song. Close not only knew it, but she performed it and did not disappoint.
2. Why were celebs taking fake shots on the red carpet? Though the reason remains unclear, yet one thing remains certain: Viola Davis’s performance of said fake-shot was groundbreaking. After getting snubbed for an Oscar, maybe the Academy will reconsider and retroactively provide Davis with an award for this performance.
Someone give Viola Davis an Oscar just for this performance of her pretending to take a shot https://t.co/aXVTwTSRna #Oscars pic.twitter.com/NJdHuQJxkF— Variety (@Variety) April 25, 2021
3. During Daniel Kaluuya’s speech for winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Judas and the Black Messiah, he thanked his parents for having sex. After explaining what a beautiful thing it is to be alive, he said, “We need to celebrate life ... My mom met my dad. They had sex. It's amazing.” Luckily, a genius cameraman caught the moment his mother and sister reacted to his comment, and they looked just as shocked as the rest of us at home.
April 26, 2021
The Women Who Did Not Come to Play
After an award season spent mostly at home over Zoom, the women of Hollywood knew the importance of this moment and every single one came to impress. Here are some of the outfits that landed on almost every “Best Dressed” list.
Zendaya came to turn heads and she very much succeeded in that goal. Her bright yellow dress with the torso cut-out was paired with $6 million worth of diamond jewelry. Zendaya’s long-term stylist Law Roach revealed to BAZAAR that the piece was completely inspired by and centered around those glamorous diamonds. The dress itself, however, took direct inspiration from none other than Cher. Roach even posted a picture of Cher in a similar style bright-yellow dress on his Instagram Story commenting “constant inspiration.” As if she needed to impress us even more, her powerful energy and dress summoned the wind to create beautiful, editorial wind-swept looks.
From Regina King’s gorgeous butterfly shoulders to her powerful walk that opened the award ceremony, she stole the early portion of the night. Her stylists Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald, said that it took over 140 hours to make and is embroidered with over 4,000 crystals and 62,000 sequins according to E! News. Between the baby blue dress and her classic bob, the One Night in Miami director exuded confidence, pride and class, and we are here for it.
Arriving in a gown fit for a princess, Amanda Seyfried’s bold look paid off, as she was trending on Twitter after appearing on the carpet. By pairing a classic simple low bun and diamond earrings with a red-lip and plunging V-neck, the Armani dress continues the Mank actress’s trend of highlighting old-Hollywood fashion with modern twists.
The Men Challenging the Expectations
Maybe it was all the time alone, isolated from societal norms, but the men of the Academy Awards finally decided to break out of the classic suit-and-tie combo.
Gold is a staple at the Oscars, especially for those hoping for a gold statue to adorn their living room. Last night alone we saw a stunning gold princess dress from Carey Mulligan, a Cher-inspired cut-out dress from Andra Day and Questlove’s gold Crocs. Lesile Odom Jr., though, took the iconic look to new heights. We should not be surprised: the star and singer from One Night in Miami has set out to impress at every red carpet this awards season. With the help of his brilliant stylist Avo Yermagyan, Odom is quickly becoming the king of the Red Carpet.
The collar, the belt, the necklace and the entire ‘70s aesthetic helped the Judas and the Black Messiah actor Lakeith Stanfield stand out from the crowd. His stylist, Julie Ragolia revealed that his jumpsuit takes inspiration from Saint Laurent’s spring-summer 2021 women’s collection creating the potential for men's fashion to be inspired by women’s fashion as well. The mixture of masculinity and femininity echoes back to Billy Porter’s notorious Oscars dresses from 2020 and 2019, and is a hopeful signifier for more innovation to come in men’s fashion.
Colman Domingo in a monochrome hot pink Versace suit, that took over 150 hours to embroider. His stylists were Wayman + Micah, ahem the same ones who styled Regina King. Apparently these motivated stylists have a desire to embroider all hours of the day, but with looks like these, it certainly pays off.
While we all sat at home envious that Hollywood’s elite was partying the night away, at least we got to laugh at their hilarious spur-the-moment decisions and admire their clothes that most of us will never be able to afford. As this award season comes to a close, in what may be the weirdest year of our lifetimes, here’s to hoping next year's awards will be maskless and Zoom-less.
*Article thumbnail of Chloé Zhao by Vegafi is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.