Top 10 best looks from 2019's Academy Awards

  • 3 min to read

The Oscars are an icon of modern culture. A night of wealth, grandeur and celebration, the Oscars — also known as the Academy Awards — are a once-a-year celebration of the highest achievements in the film industry. Of course, no night of such high status could go without an equally impressive display of fashion. From Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen and Tiffany Co. to Billy Porter breaking societal norms with a gown created by designer Christian Siriano, the 2019 Oscars were packed with some of the most elegant attire fashion has to offer. These are my top ten looks from the night.

Lady Gaga

What better way to start off than with the woman that had heads turning for more reasons than one? Her performance of “Shallow” with Bradley Cooper might be what people remember of Lady Gaga from the night, but her outfit was just as noteworthy. The black Alexander McQueen gown and opera gloves set a perfect backdrop for the 128.54-carat Tiffany and Co. “Tiffany Diamond” around Gaga’s neck. Once worn by iconic actress Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 publicity posters for the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” the dazzling $30M necklace, combined with a hairstyle also reminiscent of Hepburn, made Gaga a walking tribute to the late actress.

Serena Williams

The world-famous tennis star took a break from her athletic getup to don a black and red Armani Privé dress complete with sequins that perfectly caught the lights of the red carpet. Complemented by a silver Forevermark Diamonds Jewelry bracelet and silver Forevermark earrings, the black, red and silver combination was a sight to behold, showing a side of Williams not commonly seen.

Rami Malek

The star of the recent hit film “Bohemian Rhapsody” took a classic approach to formal menswear. Dressed in a black Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo by Italian designer and current creative director of Yves Saint Laurent Anthony Vaccarello, Malek’s attire was a dignified, if safe, choice for the night. Shows such as the Oscars and the annual Met Gala provide a stage for some of fashion’s most exotic and extraordinary outfits, but Malek proved that the classic looks can often stand out just as much.

Emma Stone

Wearing a fiery bronze Louis Vuitton dress complete with elevated shoulder pads, Emma Stone certainly made for a striking figure. Completing the look with a tight, low bun, the young star of Director Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” gave off an aura of confidence. Her attire was only further complemented by her heartwarming reaction to the win for Best Actress by Olivia Colman, a close friend of Stone’s.

Brie Larson

One of my favorite looks from the night was Brie Larson in Celine by the previous head of the French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane. Wearing a gorgeous silver, rhinestone-covered dress that featured a high neck and a slit that came to the top of her thigh, all complete with silver stilettos and a striking part in her platinum blonde hair, Larson was the epitome of high fashion.

Charlize Theron

With a train suggestive of Victorian English elegance, Theron’s Dior Haute Couture periwinkle gown, featuring a high neck and full-length sleeves, made for a striking contrast against the trend of rhinestoned opulence. Accessorized with a multi-layered Bvlgari silver necklace and Bvlgari bangles, Theron made a bold statement.

Kacey Musgraves

No rundown of the 2019 Oscars fashion display would be complete without a mention of Kacey Musgraves’ controversial Giambattista Valli Couture pink tulle and chiffon gown. The three-tiered, high shouldered design might be compared to a loofah on Twitter, but regardless, it fit in nicely with the pink trend seen throughout the night. Complete with simple, silver jewelry and tulle arm cuffs to put the focus on the extravagant nature of the gown, Musgraves’ outfit is one of the most talked-about looks of the night. Exotic attire turns heads, and Musgraves did it right.

Emilia Clarke

Her dress may have been simple, but it was just as elegant as the rest. The Game of Thrones star’s strapless, form-fitting Balmain dress brought the royalty of Daenerys Targaryen to life. Complemented with a middle-parted hairdo and silver jewelry, Clarke looked classy and timeless.

Elsie Fisher

Taking a break from the tradition of gowns, Elsie Fisher made a striking appearance in a Thom Browne pantsuit. The black jacket, vest, pants and boots, contrasted with a white shirt, made for a fierce look that sent a message of female empowerment.

Billy Porter

Perhaps the most eye-catching look of the night was BIlly Porter in a gorgeous Christian Siriano gown and tuxedo combination. Moving from exaggerated shoulders and lapels into a tight and tapered midriff that opens into a full-blown velvet ball gown, the outfit is a masterpiece of couture fashion and a prime example of how fashion influences society. By confidently wearing the beautifully crafted, black silk Siriano gown paired with a white ruffled-cuff tuxedo shirt and a bowtie, the “Kinky Boots” star sent a clear message — it’s time to break the misogynistic and homophobic stereotypes that permeate today’s society.

Featuring the work of designers ranging from Anthony Vaccarello to Giambattista Valli, the 2019 Oscars made for an exemplary display of opulence and grandeur in fashion. From the classic looks to norm-breaking and controversial outfits that had heads turning all night, the event both entertained viewers and previewed trends for the upcoming 2019 Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter fashion seasons.

Contact Jake Conley at conleyjm@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture