The 2023 Oscars nominations were announced yesterday, and red carpet dress predictions quickly followed. It’s fun to consider what the nominees will wear, but perhaps even more fun to think about how those who were snubbed might make a dramatic entrance. Sure they’re all enlightened souls who don’t think of anything as petty as a revenge suit, but what if they are? Pro tip: Consider turning heads in Stéphane Rolland’s phenomenal gold gown that debuted the couture runway in Paris yesterday.
It was the final look, appearing as liquid gold frozen in mid-pouring, spurting from the model’s shoulders and creating a shimmering cloqué lamé curtain to protect her from front row mortals. A teardrop cut was carved into her center for her face and a sliver of torso, reminding all that she was ethereal yet still earthy. Gold bracelets twisted around her arms like wire. It was the celestial sculpture of a god come to life. The Oscar statuette could, frankly, never, ever.
This particular look was inspired by the patron saint of Brazil, Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida, whose original image is enshrined in the central high altar of Aparecida, Brazil. In the show notes, Rolland wrote that the look was meant to depict the conquistadors’ gold exploding in the light of the rising sun. He wanted to represent spiritual women, “dressed in the Baroque of the churches of Bahia”. And it seems like perhaps Rolland had the Oscars in mind after all, since he said the entire collection was inspired by Marcel Camus’ Oscar-winning film Black Orpheusa 1960 adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydiceset in a Rio de Janeiro favela during Carnival.
While Schiaparelli’s lion head dress divided the internet after setting it ablaze, Rolland’s gold dress popped up the next day and seemed to unify every person online around the idea that the look was divine. It was a representation of what couture should be like, the kind of ensemble with an unfathomable beauty that you couldn’t have imagined in your wildest imagination, but when you see it, you’re so overwhelmed that all you can say is “whoa.”
There were plenty of other Stéphane Rolland looks in the collection that deserve a “whoa.” Like a long dress in brown jersey crêpe, with drapes that recall the hanging petals of a dying flower held together by lapis around the neck. Or a gold crêpe lamé hooded dress with amethysts falling like a lei across the chest. And we can only hope to see some at the Oscars, ideally for revenge (Viola Davis, are you reading?), but we’ll gladly take them to dress up the win as well.
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