On Sunday, women from across the film industry took a stand for change. And we don’t just mean the literal stand that Frances McDormand prompted during her Best Actress speech – although that was the biggest moment of the night. No, we’re talking about how women used fashion to make a political statement.
The talk beforehand was of how everyone might wear black in support of the #TimesUp movement; when this was thrown out, a different stance was taken. While the gowns took on rainbow hues, everyone was still wearing their feminist hearts on their sleeves.
Emma Stone chose to call out the inequality of the directing industry by introducing “four men and Greta Gerwig” – and she did it wearing a burgundy Louis Vuitton tuxedo instead of a gown.
Tiffany Haddish took to the red carpet in a gown inspired by her Eritrean heritage before changing into an Alexander McQueen gown that she has worn on multiple past occasions. Not only that, but she presented an award in soft Ugg boots, holding her heels aloft and complaining about her sore feet. It may have been a gag, but it made a feminist statement that can’t be ignored.
Margot Robbie wore a stunning white Chanel gown, and while it may not have been a political statement, it was a personal one. She was announced as the new face of the brand on the day of the Oscars ceremony.
Jennifer Lawrence wore a beautiful gunmetal Christian Dior gown, and many will already have seen the photographs of the moment when she showed her growth over recent years. Ignoring the infamous trip on the way to collect her Best Actress award (an incident she referenced on stage), she climbed gamely and deftly over chairs in order to grab a word with Meryl Streep – drink in hand.
Meryl herself was called out by McDormand to lead the way, with “Meryl, if you do it, everyone else will.” This has been something of a rallying point since the ceremony, with many pointing out that the older generations – established now in strong positions – are the ones who must lead the younger in fighting for change.
Meanwhile, one of the strongest looks of the night belonged to Lupita Nyong’o. Designed by Versace, her gold chainmail dress stood as a beacon of strength amongst softer looks. Her hair was inspired by the Amasunzu hairstyles of Rwanda, and much of the talk of the red carpet centred on her and her castmates’ references to Wakanda – and the step forward that the Black Panther movie represents for minorities in film.
Images via Instagram