Looking back on the Oscars, it feels like a new season in red carpet fashion. Very few of the actual clothes are revolutionary, but there is an air of newness you can’t ignore. There are gowns, but they slay different. A woman in a tuxedo no longer inspires misplaced conversations on gender-bending fashion (sometimes it’s just a suit, guys), but the same awe and applause as a beautiful dress. Hair & makeup are diverging from classic looks to the adventurous styles being embraced away from the red carpet, especially on Instagram. Even men embracing boundary-pushing menswear are redifining masculine style. People fashion has ignored or never directly catered for are now able (they were always willing) to slay a red carpet just as well, and in some cases even better, than the rest.

It matters because it changes what red carpets mean and do for viewers. Traditional glamour was front and centre as it always is, but this season it gave way, and in other instances embraced, the idea of going against the grain. When picking out our favourite looks from the Oscars red carpet, a highly visible fashion space where celebrities are known to play it safe to secure a timeless moment if they win, we saw an inspiring new sense of boldness. Looks that were bigger, brighter, and irreverently new. Red carpet fashion is becoming brave again, and we can’t wait to see what this shift yields in the next few award seasons here and abroad.

Whose looks did you love?

 

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Jennifer Lopez

 

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Rachel Weisz

 

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Michelle Yeoh

 

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Billy Porter

 

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Henry Golding

 

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Nicholas Hoult

 

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Lady Gaga

 

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Regina King

 

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Jennifer Hudson

Amandla Stenberg

Charlize Theron

 

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Selma Blair

 

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Gemma Chan

 

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Olivia Coleman

 

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Danai Gurira

Glenn Close

 

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Awkwafina