Gold, embellishment and bright colour dominated when it came to dresses on the Oscars red – or should that be champagne? – carpet on Sunday night for the 95th Academy Awards, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. With the significant number of domestic nominations, it would always be an Irish affair. Nominees included Kerry Condon, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, all for their roles in The Banshees of Inisherin, and Paul Mescal, for Aftersun, as well as cast and crew from An Cailín Ciúin and An Irish Goodbye. And the Irish stars brought the golden touch to Tinseltown’s biggest night, with Condon opting for a golden-yellow one-shouldered gown from Versace.
Also getting the gold memo were the cast and crew of An Cailín Ciúin, with Carrie Crowley wearing a gold-and-black silk dress, by the Irish designer Deborah Veale, featuring an intricate bronze gold lamé front with filigree lace and a frill collar. Crowley’s costar Kate Nic Chonaonaigh shimmered in a gown from Designer Room in Dublin, topped off with jewellery by Irish designer Bláithín Ennis. The film’s producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoí opted for vintage gold silk georgette one-shoulder dress made by the Los Angeles-based Irish designer Caterina Coyne. Catherine Clinch, who plays Cait in the film, and was one of the youngest attendees, opted for a puff-sleeve powder-blue dress, also by Coyne.
Eschewing a traditional black tux, Paul Mescal selected a suit by Gucci, which had a retro feel with its combination of dinner jacket and wide-leg trousers. Mescal accessorised with a rosette – which was the embellishment du jour, popping up on Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry’s gowns too. Barry Keoghan’s suit also got an adornment in the shape of a button upgrade on his distinctive lilac two-piece from Louis Vuitton.
One of the stars of An Irish Goodbye, Seamus O’Hara, wore a three-piece Magee 1866 Glencheck Donegal tweed suit, complemented by a custom pocket square in silk from Irish designer Sara O’Neil’s brand Éadach. Codirector Ross White also wore a designs by O’Neill. Costar James Martin, who marked his birthday at the ceremony, wore a leopard-print jacket.
There was no shortage of colour when it came to dresses, which appeared in a rainbow of hues – most notably yellow, red and orange, as witnessed on Condon, Salma Hayek, Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Oh. Purple, the unsung shade of spring, was the hue of choice for Angela Bassett, which was very apt, given its regal conations and Bassett’s role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Cate Blanchett chose a velvet custom Louis Vuitton gown that teamed a teal top with a black fishtail skirt.
On the other end of the colour scale was the monochrome contingent, including Rooney Mara who wore a vintage Alexander McQueen from 2008. Emily Blunt, Halle Berry, Michelle Williams and Michelle Yeoh stood out from a sea of shocking shades in white gowns.
Jennifer Connelly, Nicole Kidman and Jessie Buckley chose far-from-boring black dresses that came with a hint of embellishment. Lady Gaga wore a Versace black gown plucked straight off the catwalk. The Italian fashion house showed its autumn-winter collection only last week.
Metallic and shimmering gowns were one of the key trends of the evening. Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Hudson and Jessica Chastain opted for slinky, sparkly numbers. Remaining unwaveringly loyal to Louis Vuitton, Ana de Armas picked the French fashion house’s embellished gown with frilled trim.
In contrast to the sleek silhouettes, and bringing big-dress energy, were Allison Williams, Elizabeth Banks, and Tems, in gowns crafted with mounds of fabric and elaborate trains.
Typically a night of restrained glamour, the Oscars this year featured dramatic cleavage, thighs and tummy baring from the get-go. Ariana DeBose and Eva Longoria wore plunging embellished dresses by Versace and Zuhair Murad. Cara Delevingne plumped for a high-thigh slit red one-shoulder gown by Elie Saab Couture, as did Halle Berry in a white Tamara Ralph dress. Rihanna, who was performing, covered her bump in a sheer leather gown with thigh cutouts by Alaïa.
There has been a distinct shake-up of the staid, predictable parade of Oscars fashion for a couple of years, with rising Hollywood stars revitalising the red carpet and ripping up the rule book. Enter Florence Pugh in a dramatic off-the-shoulder top and skort (skirt meets shorts) from Valentino Couture.
Big brand names had pre-owned competition, with celebrities opting for this old thing rather than fresh from the runway. Early to the carpet was Vanessa Hudgens in a vintage tea-length monochrome dress by Chanel and the model Winnie Harlow in an Armani Privé couture gown from 2005.