Whose outfit at the 2021 Oscars was a critical darling? And whose outfit went … straight to DVD?
On April 25, the 93rd Academy Awards finally rolled tape on ABC after several delays due to the world- and industry-shaking pandemic. But while the box office may have taken a hit this year, our A-listers still hit… the red carpet! That’s because the event was held fully live and in-person (and mask-less) at Los Angeles’ Union Station — with "additional events" at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, per USA Today.
Presenters and recipients adhered to strict COVID guidelines and social distancing measures, treating the "event as an active movie set," as an email from the show’s producers ahead of the 2021 awards promised, per The Hollywood Reporter. As a result, we were gifted with a live red carpet, and some fabulous in-person glamour. Well actually, the glamour part was rather mandatory.
The producers’ no-nonsense email continued to explain there not be "an option to Zoom into the show." They also made it clear there wouldn’t be a Jason Sudeikis hoodie moment. "We’re aiming for a fusion of inspirational and aspirational," it read. "Formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not," it continued. Awkward. Well, with that established, the evening was still a fun ride that celebrated film, and brought the fashion. Or else.
Here are the 2021 Oscars looks ranked from best to worst.
Viola Davis looked absolutely timeless in white
Viola Davis could "Get Away With Murder" in her stunning Oscars gown! Davis, who was nominated for Actress In A Leading Role at the 2021 awards for "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" went full high-fashion on the red carpet at the Dolby Theater in white!
As People wrote, the actor "has been leaning into bright colors throughout the season," so her choice to opt for a gorgeous angelic moment was a surprise, yet traditionally gorgeous. According to People, the "flowing white Alexander McQueen gown with a cutout bodice design," was paired with "Forevermark diamond drop earrings." She topped it off (literally) with a "pompadour-style up-do" and "natural," makeup look, per the outlet. And the internet agreed: this was "white" hot.
"Viola Davis. That’s the tweet," one Twitter user gushed. "…she has my favorite look of the night," wrote a second. "One thing about Viola Davis is that she’s going to outact your fave from the carpet to the screen," another wrote, along with the (emerging) meme of Davis fake-tossing back a shot on the red carpet.
"The dress gives the illusion of showing skin through it, but it’s actually a corset dyed to match Viola’s skin tone," Davis’ stylist Elizabeth Stewart told Vogue on the designer dress. We couldn’t conceal our love for Davis!
Carey Mulligan was a "Fashionable Young Woman"
Carey Mulligan… wow. The British actor was also nominated for Actress In A Leading Role for her starring turn in "Promising Young Woman" at this year’s awards. And on the red carpet, she looked like a literal golden statue in her glimmering gold number.
As People wrote, Mulligan wore "a gold sequin two-piece Valentino Haute Couture gown" which included a "bandeau top and a billowy full skirt, plus Sophia Webster heels." She also strutted the red carpet, "arm-in-arm with husband Marcus Mumford" of Mumford and Sons, "who kept it classic in a black tuxedo and bow tie." It was great to see the two have a couples moment, and as far as looks go, the internet feels that Mulligan gave us all "An Education"!
"If Carey Mulligan doesn’t win an Oscar in this dress I’m going to need her to wear it to every Oscars until she does. This is a VICTORY dress," one Twitter user wrote. "Carey Mulligan’s wearing a Winner’s gown, just saying," wrote another. "gold rush was written about carey mulligan," wrote a third, seemingly referencing the Taylor Swift song. We don’t disagree!
This dress was "Oscars" personified.