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The Oscars 2020: best dressed

See the standout style moments from Hollywood’s most glamorous and prestigious awards ceremony

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Renée Zellweger

Renée Zellweger – who won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of screen legend Judy Garland in Judy – provides a stunning finish to a stellar awards season, in a white one-shouldered gown, designed by Armani Privé and styled by Petra Flannery. This chic dress might appear understated, but with each bead stitched by hand, it actually took more than 100 hours to complete. The final effect? Utterly sublime.

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RED-CARPET GLAMOUR

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Scarlett Johansson

Nominated for not one but two awards – Best Actress (Marriage Story) and Best Supporting Actress (Jojo Rabbit) ­– it should come as no surprise that Scarlett Johansson stole the show in a breathtaking gown. Designed by Oscar de la Renta and styled by Molly Dickson, this liquid silk, champagne-colored gown, complete with train and crystal-embellished corset, is faultless.

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Cynthia Erivo

Harriet’s Best Actress nominee Cynthia Erivo dials up the drama in a scene-stealing silk and sequined gown – designed by Versace Atelier and styled by Jason Bolden. A covetable selection of diamond cocktail rings and statement earrings only add to the glamour.

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Rooney Mara

No one does gothic romance quite like actor Rooney Mara, and this exquisite Alexander McQueen gown took her signature look to another level. Styled by Ryan Hastings, this drop-waisted lace dress also includes cut-out details and puffed sleeves, plus a plunging back and ruffled skirt, all to sublime effect.

RED-CARPET BEAUTY

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Saoirse Ronan

Despite being just 25 years old, Little Women’s Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan is celebrating her fourth Oscars nod. A red-carpet veteran, it’s no surprise she’s opted for a true genre-defying look. Her sculptural gown – designed by Gucci and styled by Elizabeth Saltzman – is timely yet timeless.

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Laura Dern

Marriage Story’s Best Supporting Actress winner, Laura Dern, exudes old-Hollywood elegance in a plunging pale pink gown, complete with black beading and fringe – designed by Armani Privé and styled by Cristina Ehrlich – while diamond drop earrings and waved hair provide the perfect finishing touch.

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Sandra Oh

Never one to shy away from a needle-pushing look, Killing Eve actor and former PORTER cover star Sandra Oh shuts down the red carpet in this jaw-dropping gown, designed by Elie Saab and styled by Elizabeth Saltzman. Statement sleeves, sequins and appliqué all in one dress might sound like a daring proposition, but Oh makes it look effortless. Killing it, indeed.

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Margot Robbie

Proving that, sometimes, less really is more, Best Supporting Actress nominee (Bombshell) Margot Robbie’s midnight-colored gown – a vintage Chanel Haute Couture piece styled by Kate Young – strikes the perfect balance between romantic and refined. With the jeweled detail and statement sleeves, this dress needs nothing more than a Hollywood wave and slick of red lipstick to set it off.

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Penélope Cruz

Eternal style icon Penélope Cruz brings some classic elegance to proceedings in a black satin dress, complete with corset and puffball skirt. Finished with an oversized bow, appliqué flower and pearl belt, this monochrome look – courtesy of Chanel Haute Couture – is playful and polished.

RED-CARPET GLAMOUR

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Florence Pugh

Effortless and elegant, Best Supporting Actress nominee (Little Women) Florence Pugh puts a contemporary twist on red-carpet dressing in a tiered emerald gown, designed by Louis Vuitton and styled by Rebecca Corbin-Murray. Lust-worthy jewels and a modern hairstyle combine to make this look unforgettable.

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Janelle Monáe

The musician and actor is known for her pioneering approach to style, and this metallic sequined gown – designed by Ralph Lauren and styled by Alexandra Mandelkorn – is set to redefine red-carpet dressing.

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Greta Gerwig

Little Women director Greta Gerwig goes for classic red-carpet drama in a voluminous olive gown. From the sweetheart neckline and slim belt to the cinched waist and subtle fringing, this dress, designed by Christian Dior and styled by Cristina Ehrlich, is a true show-stopper. Finished with an emerald and diamond necklace, this makes for a regal look.

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Olivia Colman

What better occasion than the Oscars to debut a dramatic new look? Actor Olivia Colman finished a sculptural and sumptuous velvet gown – designed by Stella McCartney and styled by Miranda Almond – with a platinum pixie crop and emerald Atelier Swarovski earrings.

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Charlize Theron

Bombshell star and Best Actress nominee Charlize Theron is known for her sophisticated yet insouciant style – and this red-carpet look is no exception. Designed by Christian Dior and styled by Leslie Fremar, this figure-hugging gown is classic, and yet details like the asymmetric neckline and thigh-high split make it feel utterly fresh.

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Natalie Portman

Remember when Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Director at the 2018 Academy Awards and her loaded “here are the all-male nominees” introduction went viral? As a champion for female auteurs, this year Portman used the red carpet to make a powerful statement about the Academy Awards’ gender bias: embroidered along the trim of her regal Dior couture cape – which she wore over a black and gold dress by the French maison – were the names of female directors who were overlooked in the best director category this year, including Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell).

RED-CARPET GLAMOUR

The most prestigious night on the film calendar, the Academy Awards welcomes the biggest names in the industry to celebrate the year on screen. At the Oscars 2020 (the 92nd event in the Academy’s history), there were a few surprises, culminating an awards season that has been otherwise largely predictable. From the winners to the standout moments, here is everything you need to know.

Who were the nominees at the Oscars 2020?

The major winner of the night was Parasite. Bong Joon-ho’s social satire about two families – one impoverished and one wealthy – in Seoul received four accolades: Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director and Best Picture. Beating Sam Mendes’s war epic 1917, which had been tipped to take home the biggest award of the night, Parasite made history by becoming the first subtitled film to win in the Best Picture category. 1917 won three awards – for cinematography, visual effects and sound mixing.

The acting categories fell in line with the statuettes handed out so far in this year’s awards season: Renée Zellweger won Best Actress for Judy, Joaquin Phoenix took Best Actor for Joker, Laura Dern was awarded Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story, and Brad Pitt received his first Oscar in the acting categories – Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood.

When they were announced, all eyes were on this year’s Oscar nominations to see if they followed the same lack of diversity across this year’s awards season shortlists – and this was largely, and disappointingly, the case. Leading the pack was Todd Phillip’s Joker, which received 11 nods, followed by The Irishman, 1917 and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (each with 10). The Best Actress category saw Zellweger go up against Cynthia Erivo nominated for Harriet, Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan for Little Women and Charlize Theron for Bombshell. The competition for Best Actor was close, with Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce on the shortlist alongside Phoenix.

Best Picture was a race between Parasite, Once Upon a Time…, Little Women (though Greta Gerwig was overlooked in the all-male Best Director list), Marriage Story, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Ford v Ferrari and 1917. Florence Pugh garnered her first Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actress in Little Women, while Tom Hanks received his first nod in almost 20 years – in the Best Supporting Actor category for A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.

Standout moments

Picking up his first acting Oscar (he was a producer on 12 Years A Slave, which won three awards in 2014), Brad Pitt used his moment on stage to make a political statement. Referencing Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and the blocking of former national security advisor John Bolton’s testimony, he said: “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week… I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it and in the end the adults do the right thing.”

He also mentioned his family, dedicating the award to his children, and finished with a shout-out to co-star Leonardo DiCaprio: “Leo, I’ll ride on your coattails any day, man. The view’s fantastic.”

Joaquin Phoenix, who delivered an impassioned speech at last week’s BAFTAs, called for “the fight against injustice” as he took to the podium. He began by telling the audience, “[We have to] continue to use our voice for the voiceless” before admitting, “I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with and ungrateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.” He ended on an emotional note, quoting his late brother, River: “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. It said, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow’.”

In her acceptance speech, Renée Zellweger paid tribute to Judy Garland, who was nominated for two Academy Awards in her lifetime but didn’t win either. “Judy Garland did not receive this honor in her time,” she said. “I am certain that this moment is an extension of the celebration of her legacy.”

Some memorable Oscar moments in recent years include Ryan Gosling’s suppressed laughter as the cast and crew of La La Land discovered, while on stage to accept the award for best film in 2017, that the winner was in fact Moonlight. Then there was the 2014 selfie to beat all selfies, when host Ellen DeGeneres snapped herself with Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Julia Roberts, Channing Tatum, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Lupita Nyong’o (plus Lupita’s brother, Peter Nyong’o). Gong back a little further, to 1974, the Oscars witnessed its very own streaker, as activist Robert Opel ran naked across the stage in front of host David Niven. And back in 1972, Charlie Chaplin received the longest-ever standing ovation, which lasted an incredible 12 minutes.

What else happened at the 2020 ceremony?

In line with the format of last year’s event, there was no overall host for the ceremony, which took place at its usual Dolby Theater location. Instead, an A-list line-up of presenters and performances fronted the proceedings. Janelle Monáe gave the opening performance and called out the lack of women in the directing category. “We are celebrating all the women who directed phenomenal films. I’m proud to be here as a black, queer woman,” she said. There was also a surprise appearance by Eminem, and introductions provided by the likes of Rebel Wilson, Kristen Wiig and Olivia Colman.

That Oscars selfie, featuring everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Brad Pitt, at the 2014 ceremony
L-R: Regina King, Lady Gaga, Gemma Chan

Who rules the red carpet?

From Scarlett Johnansson in Oscar de La Renta and Margot Robbie in vintage Chanel, to Cynthia Erivo in Atelier Versace and Saoirse Ronan in Gucci, the style stakes were high at the Oscars 2020. Two attendees also chose to pay sartorial tribute on the red carpet. Natalie Portman’s Dior cape was embroidered with the names of female directors who were absent from the nominations shortlist, while Spike Lee wore a purple jacket featuring the number 24 on its lapels, in honor of Kobe Bryant.

In 2019, pink was the color of choice for Gemma Chan, Angela Bassett, Kiki Layne, Kacey Musgraves and co-ordinating couple Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet. Best Supporting Actress winner Regina King dazzled in a white Oscar de la Renta dress with a thigh-high split, and Best Song winner Lady Gaga channeled Audrey Hepburn in an Alexander McQueen black strapless gown and Tiffany diamond necklace. Meanwhile, actress Laura Harrier promoted sustainable fashion in a bespoke, ethically sourced dress by Louis Vuitton.

In previous years, special commendations go to: Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, 1954; Grace Kelly in Edith Head, 1955; Julia Roberts in vintage Valentino, 2001; Charlize Theron in Gucci, 2004; Vanessa Paradis in vintage Chanel, 2004; Michelle Williams in Vera Wang, 2006; Marion Cotillard in Jean Paul Gaultier, 2008; Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford, 2012; Halle Berry in Versace and Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, 2013; Lupita Nyong’o in Prada, 2014; Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein, 2018.

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Meryl Streep has been nominated an incredible 21 times – here in 2010 for Julie & Julia

Past prolific winners

In terms of winners, there have been only six tied votes during the history of the ceremony, one of the most memorable being when Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn shared the honors in 1969, for Funny Girl and The Lion in Winter respectively. Hepburn is also the recipient of the most Oscars for acting, with four wins and a total of 12 nominations – nominations – Meryl Streep is just behind her on three wins from 21 nominations. But Walt Disney holds the record for taking home the most Oscar statuettes: 26 wins from an impressive total of 59 nominations.

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