Inside the 96th Oscars’ Best Red Carpet Moments

Gucci collaborates with Indigenous designers, Balenciaga does vintage two ways and more

Emma Stone attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards
Emma Stone attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards (Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Gucci collaborates with Indigenous designers for Lily Gladstone’s gowns, Balenciaga does vintage two ways for Michelle Yeoh and Carey Mulligan, bejeweled brooches make a star turn and Chanel hosts its 15th annual Oscars dinner.

Source: Courtesy of Gucci/Getty Images

Gucci collaborates with Indigenous designer Joe Big Mountain on Lily Gladstone’s gowns

Gucci and its creative director Sabato De Sarno teamed up with Killers of the Flower Moon Best Actress Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone and Indigenous designer Joe Big Mountain on two custom gowns for her big night at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Gladstone personally selected Joe Big Mountain (Mohawk, Cree, Comanche) to collaborate with the house on the two gowns that paid homage her heritage.

The actress, who is of Siksikaitsitapi and Nimíipuu heritage and was raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, teased her dress earlier this week, saying it was going to be museum-worthy.

“It’s going to be just ongoing proof that Indigenous design belongs on red carpets with luxury fashion in a very centerpiece kind of way,” Gladstone, who is the first Native American woman to be nominated for Best Actress by the Academy, said. “I’m excited.”

For the awards ceremony, she wore a strapless, velvet gown in midnight blue featuring a hand-wrapped porcupine quilled border with natural woven star design and sterling silver-plated three-bead edging. The cape featured floral designs in a porcupine quilled zigzag stitch double-lined with sterling silver beads, backed with smoked deer hide.

Later Sunday evening for the Vanity Fair Oscar party at The Wallis Annenberg Center, Gladstone changed into a floor-length design with caped short sleeves, a cascading chevron beaded fringe and quillwork embroidery along the neckline.

Source: Courtesy of Gucci/Getty Images

“To have Lily choose to wear our work and to be able to partner with Gucci and Sabato is just so near and dear, not only to our family and our hearts, but to our people as a whole,” Joe Big Mountain and wife Sunshine said. “And to have her nominated for this is just one small step to a giant win for all of us.”

Both gowns stand as testaments to the artistry embedded in Indigenous communities, in part by incorporating porcupine quillwork, a sacred art form passed down through generations.

“For the dresses, we utilized a couple different styles of quillwork, one being zigzag stitch and one being a wrap. These techniques are passed down through family and certain people in the community that are willing to teach it,” Joe Big Mountain and Sunshine explained.

To create the 216 individual quilled petals that adorned Gladstone’s velvet cape, the designers worked with a team of talented local Indigenous artists at the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin where they reside, including Kendrick Powless-Crouch (Oneida, Yakima, Skokomish), Jossalyn Metoxen (Oneida), Seven Oshkabewisens (Mohawk, Cree, Comanche), Dionne Jacobs (Oneida), Paige Skenandore (Oneida) and Aryien Stevens (Seneca).

Source: Shutterstock

Balenciaga does vintage two ways for Michelle Yeoh and Carey Mulligan

Balenciaga took inspiration from its archives and the house’s couture roots for two custom dresses created for Michelle Yeoh and Carey Mulligan ahead of Sunday night’s Oscars.

Yeoh, a Balenciaga brand ambassador, wore a custom gown imagined and constructed especially for the occasion. The one-of-a-kind creation was made from a variety of vintage pieces that were individually sourced for their intricate embroidery and sequins. Intended as a study in upcycling, the dress was crafted from parts of existing pieces and then reconstituted to create a corseted gown. The inner structure was built in Yeoh’s exact measurements and was then draped with the deconstructed dresses. The finished gown was then assembled, piece by piece in the Balenciaga ateliers.

For Maestro Best Actress nominee Mulligan, creative director Demna took inspiration from the pivotal 1951 marriage between her character Felicia and Leonard Bernstein to recreate an iconic gown from Cristóbal Balenciaga’s winter collection from that same year. (The dress was also purchased by Oscar-nominated actress Paulette Goddard.)

Source: Balenciaga

As the original dress is currently in the Kyoto Costume Institute, the ateliers in Paris designed and recreated the dress using only sketches (shown above), photographs and a swatch as guides. The custom piece’s intricate corsetry was draped with black velvet, which tapers above the knees and flares to form a scallop-edged fishtail that sits atop pleated tulle.

The elongated ruffle was made separately using 150 meters of silk placed in a 25-layer mille feuille of alternating sunray and accordion folds in an aged, as opposed to bright, white. This vintage effect is in keeping with much of Demna’s patinated artifacts and architecture and symbolizes the passage of 73 years since the original gown was shown.

Source: Shutterstock

Celebrity skincare gurus reveal how the stars get their Oscar-worthy skin 

Skincare gurus and cult facialists from around the world jetted into Los Angeles this week with an arsenal of high-tech machines, trademarked techniques and exclusive skincare products to prep a host of A-listers and nominees for the 96th Academy Awards.

Joanna Czech, whose clients include nominee Carey Mulligan, teamed up with Chanel Beauty to offer facials using the brand’s Sublimage line, while Chanel’s official brow artist Jimena Garcia tended to the stars’ arches. Australian skincare guru Melanie Grant, who counts fellow countrywomen Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett among her devotees, teamed up with longtime client Victoria Beckham to offer treatments at her West Hollywood studio using Victoria Beckham Beauty’s new Daily Cleansing Protocol products.

Shani Darden, meanwhile, prepped nominee America Ferrera (pictured above) for the big night with her Signature Facial that includes microcurrent, LED light and oxygen therapy. And Brittany Snow, star of the Best Live Action Short Film nominee Red, White and Blue, got red-carpet ready with a Kate Somerville Signature Facial followed by Laser Genesis.

Finally, nominees Emily Blunt and Lily Gladstone got a custom treatment called The Method for skincare brand Augustinus Bader, created by Lord Gavin McLeod-Valentine.

Source: Shutterstock

Brooches beat out watches as the leading man’s jewelry trend

Brooches were the bling of choice for men on the Oscars red carpet this year with everyone from James Marsden to Damson Idris to Robert Downey Jr. to Matthew McConaughey to Sir Ben Kingsley to Mark Ruffalo sporting one on their lapel.

John Krasinski wore a Jean Schlumberger by Tiffany Floral Arrows brooch in platinum and 18-carat yellow gold with an unenhanced purple sapphire of over five carats and diamonds with his custom white Brioni suit. 

Best Actor nominee Jeffrey Wright, in Giorgio Armani, opted for a Chaumet œllet number in white gold set with brilliant cut diamonds. 

Past Lives star Teo Yoo sported a Cartier Collection tortoise brooch in 18-carat white gold, emeralds, cabochon and diamonds on his custom Louis Vuitton suit. The piece was a tribute to his beloved pet leopard tortoise, Momo, who passed away last year.

Source: Shutterstock

Cillian Murphy, who won Best Actor on Sunday, wore a bespoke HS14 gem brooch by Hong Kong-based design house Sauvereign with his custom Atelier Versace suit.

The 18-carat yellow gold, sunburst-style piece was commissioned by the actor’s stylist, Rose Forde, and paid homage to J. Robert Oppenheimer and his history-altering invention, the nuclear bomb, with eight concentric trapeziums referencing the shape of the weapon’s interior.

Source: Sauvereign

Meticulously hand-cut, hand-finished and assembled by  grandmaster Kari Voutilainen in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland, the gem presented a novel and unexpected challenge for the Finnish independent watchmaker.

Embellished with sunburst guilloché, a highly precise engraving technique that is Voutilainen’s signature, the surface of each trapezium revealed intricate details to create a motif reminiscent of both the perpetuity of the sun and the blinding flash of beauty right before the arrival of darkness.

Source: Getty

Chanel and Charles Finch host their 15th annual pre-Oscars dinner

Charles Finch and Chanel hosted their 15th annual pre-Oscars dinner at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills on Saturday. 

A high-wattage crowd, including Robert De Niro, Usher, Ava DuVernay, Dominic Sessa, Sandra Hüller, Ted Sarandos Nicole Avant and Chanel ambassadors Margot Robbie, Kristen Stewart and Lily-Rose Depp turned out for their final stop on the awards season circuit before the main event.

The intimate evening, which is always limited to 150 guests, featured cocktails on the patio, followed by a dinner of steak and chicken parmigiana.

Source: Getty

The history of Chanel is intimately linked to cinema, beginning when the house’s founder Gabrielle Chanel was invited to Hollywood by Samuel Goldwyn in 1931 to design dresses for Gloria Swanson and other American film stars. Since then, the French luxury fashion house has sustained a continued dialogue with the world of cinema and its creations, with several cult films featuring their N°5 perfume, tweed suits, two-tone shoes and 2.55 handbag.

This legacy continues today with the French luxury house funding film initiatives such as the MoMA film exhibition program, the Deauville American Film Festival, the Festival Lumière in Lyon and the Villa Medici Film Festival in Rome, helping support the new generation of contemporary cinema creators.

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