The Oscars 2021: Best Dressed

A couple of months later than planned, the Oscars 2021 took a rather different shape to the traditions we have come to expect from the biggest night on the awards-season calendar. But it still marked a return to (mainly) in-person festivities, bringing together Hollywood’s most celebrated names for trophies, fashion and speeches. From the best dressed to the winners and moments not to miss, here is everything you need to know


Carey Mulligan in Valentino Haute Couture

Carey Mulligan – nominated for Best Actress for her role in Promising Young Woman – dazzled on the red carpet in a golden sequin two-piece by Valentino Haute Couture. An outfit this impactful needs little in the way of embellishment, which is why she and stylist Nicky Yates kept it sleek with swept-back hair and chunky diamond-studded Cartier earrings – a celebration of red-carpet fashion at its finest.

Vanessa Kirby in Gucci

Best Actress nominee Vanessa Kirby – who received her first Oscar nod for her role in Pieces of a Woman – stunned in a pale pink cut-away gown by Gucci. Styled by Ryan Hastings, Kirby paired this show-stopping piece with pulled-back hair, deep-red lipstick and a covetable diamond necklace by Cartier. The resulting look was timely yet timeless, and nothing short of sublime.

Zendaya in Valentino Haute Couture

Working with her long-time stylist Law Roach, actor and musician Zendaya debuted a red-carpet look that was pure joy; she looked utterly radiant in a bright yellow cut-away gown by Valentino Haute Couture. From the eye-popping color to her flowing, gently waved hair, this look was the epitome of wanderlust, elevated by an intricate, and sizeable, statement diamond necklace by Bvlgari.

Emerald Fennell in Gucci

Emerald Fennell celebrated a momentous Academy Awards this year. Not only did she win Best Original Screenplay for her movie Promising Young Woman, it was also up for Best Picture, and she received a third nomination for Best Director. However, she also had one other reason to celebrate: stepping out on the red carpet in a feminine floral Gucci gown that perfectly highlighted her growing bump, she confirmed that she and her partner Chris Vernon were expecting a second child.

Laura Dern in Oscar de la Renta

Actor Laura Dern, who presented Daniel Kaluuya with his award for Best Supporting Actor, brought high-octane glamour to the red carpet in the form of a feathered gown by eveningwear connoisseur Oscar de la Renta. Working with stylist Elizabeth Stewart, she finished the ensemble with a Hollywood wave and a generous helping of jewels by Italian house Pomellato. The result? An elegant look reminiscent of old-world glamour.

Chloé Zhao in Hermès

Chloé Zhao made history as the first woman of color – and second woman ever – to take home the illustrious Best Director award for her movie Nomadland. True to form, Zhao redefined red-carpet style with a beaded gown by Parisian house Hermès, cast in an unassuming neutral hue, and paired it with box-fresh white sneakers and pigtails for an utterly singular look.

Viola Davis in Alexander McQueen

Veteran actor Viola Davis, who was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, opted for a brilliant-white beaded gown by Alexander McQueen. This exquisite dress is a statement in itself, and so Davis and her stylist Elizabeth Stewart kept additions classic, with an accompanying clutch bag and a selection of diamond pieces by Forevermark.

Amanda Seyfried in Armani Privé

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Mank, Amanda Seyfried looked enchanting in a fairytale tulle gown designed by Armani Privé. This scarlet body-sculpting dress struck the perfect balance between architectural and ethereal. She and stylist Elizabeth Stewart opted for classic Hollywood glamour, finishing the look with diamond jewelry, red lipstick and a chic up-do.


L–R: Peter Spears, Frances McDormand, Chloé Zhao, Mollye Asher and Dan Janvey celebrate Nomadland’s Best Picture accolade
Audience members including Tom Hanks and Penelope Cruz react to Parasite winning Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020

When, where and how did the Oscars 2021 take place?

Rather than inviting all attendees to its usual Dolby Theatre landmark venue, the Academy handed out this year’s statuettes at a host-less ceremony in Los Angeles’ Union Station instead, with guests adhering to social distancing, wearing masks when not on screen and some participating over video link from international bases, including London’s BFI Southbank.

With the date pushed back to April 25, the eligibility deadline for movie releases had been extended from December 31 to February 28, opening entries for a number of movies (both blockbusters and indie releases) that were postponed in 2020. “For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year,” jointly announced Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson. “Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”


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