bridal colors dominate as the red carpet is torn down

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If the Oscars are seen as the pinnacle of red carpet attire, the Academy has changed things up for 2023, with a champagne carpet. Although the change was not known when the designers were finalizing their clients’ dresses, there was a noticeable match between carpet and clothing. White, beige and oyster dresses dominated, giving a slightly bridal touch.

Jamie-Lee Curtis wears a shade of champagne, on a champagne carpet Photography: Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

Related: Oscars 2023: the red carpet – in pictures

The stars of the winning film Everything Everywhere All at Once were on board. Jamie Lee Curtis wore a long champagne crystal gown, while Michelle Yeoh wore a white strapless frilled gown by Christian Dior. Others dressed in white included Halle Berry, Michelle Williams and singer Tems. Florence Pugh, Ana de Armas and Rooney Mara opted for an oyster hue, while the paler pink was also popular, worn by Andrea Riseborough and Hong Chau, of The Whale. Fan Bingbing and Malala Yousafzai wore silver.

Tems brings the bridal vibe to the Oscars red carpet, in a white gown.

Tems brings the bridal vibe to the Oscars red carpet, in a white gown. Photography: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The change to the carpet color was made because this year the photography area was sheltered rather than outdoors and the red was thought to be too dark for photos. But, while the traditional red carpet contrasts with these muted colors, the new backdrop didn’t have the same effect. The change was not appreciated by the participants. Saturday night before the ceremony, Curtis tweeted a Memoji of herself palming off with, “Apparently, at @TheAcademyOscars, their rug will match my curtains.” Unlike the red, the carpet also quickly became soiled with debris, hardly the glamorous look of previous years.

Ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, Oscar organizers had distributed a guide to attendees, encouraging them to make more sustainable choices for the red carpet. Few ended up adhering to these tips, but a few have worn models from the brand’s past collections, including Rooney Mara, Winnie Harlow and Cate Blanchett, who chose archival pieces from Louis Vuitton.

While some recent red carpets have seen stars use their clothes to make political statements, the Oscars have been quiet on that front, with one exception. Iranian actor Shohreh Aghdashloo wore a Christian Siriano dress with the words “women”, “life” and “freedom” embroidered on the side, and the names of Mahsa Amini, Hajar Abbasi and Nika Shakarami (women killed in Iran in September) from ‘other. “I knew I wanted to wear something that included the slogan of Iranian freedom fighters,” the actor said.

Barry Keoghan, Paul Mescal and Kerry Condon at the Oscars.

Sophisticated… Barry Keoghan, Paul Mescal and Kerry Condon at the Oscars. Photography: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

There were other trends than color matched carpets. A few stars were lucky enough to wear a contrasting bright yellow, including costume designer Ruth Carter, Banshees of Inisherin star Kerry Condon, Winnie Harlow and Sandra Oh. Sleeves — not frequently spotted in the glamorous world of the red carpet — have snuck in thanks to a colder climate system in Los Angeles. Melissa McCarthy, Blanchett and Rihanna – in a floor-length leather dress by Alaïa – wore long sleeves, while Nicole Kidman’s asymmetrical Armani design is partially true to the trend. She had one sleeve.

The men largely stuck to the traditional tuxedos, but there were a few exceptions. Barry Keoghan, who is becoming known for his colorful suits, wore a lavender one to the red carpet, and Paul Mescal’s cream jacket and wide-leg pants looked sophisticated. Lenny Kravitz lived up to his rock god image with a low cut satin shirt. But it was the details that were key here, whether it’s the exaggerated collars on Riz Ahmed’s Prada shirt or Everything Everywhere’s James Hong bow tie – quoting a detail from the now much-loved film, it featured two perfectly placed masked eyes.

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