Golden Looks at The 2017 Oscars

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - PRLR 

The major awards shows of the season wrapped up on Sunday night in an astonishing fashion. We are all now aware of the Academy Awards Best Picture envelope mix-up that eventually got straightened out and granted to the Moonlight team. Phew. Drama aside, my favourite part of the night, of course, was what the stars wore.

What the stars walk the red carpet in is an integral part to executing their brand and, ideally, should communicate the right message according to their “place” in the show. For instance, a presenter may appear to have more freedom of expression than a nominee. This is likely true as the presenter will not be photographed as much as the nominee would. There’s less pressure to wear something on the timeless end of the style spectrum. Often times the more daring looks are not on the winners. Nominees tend to play if safer than the other guests.

This year appeared to be no exception. The four actors who won choose classic looks from established fashion houses. Here’s the rundown on the top four acting categories.

Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor award for his work in the all-black cast of Moonlight. He graciously accepted his award wearing an Ermenegildo Zegna Couture suit. There’s a lot to celebrate with this win. First, let’s celebrate an African American Muslim man winning a top award for his work. That’s a first. Second, let’s chat about the character. His character serves as a sort of mentor or helping hand to a gay, male child in a world that is not yet accepting or kind. Third, the suit he wore was from an Italian brand. Maybe he had to import it in, ha? The most interesting people seem to be those whom are layered.

The award for the Best Supporting Actress went to the ridiculously talented Viola Davis for her work in Fences. She, too, wore an Italian designer’s work in her red Armani Prive column stunner. In her acceptance speech she shared that she is interested most in telling the untold stories of sorrow and heartache. She went on to say that ordinary stories of everyday people are just as important to share as much as the extraordinary. As she thanked her loved ones she pressed on. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Best Actor went to Casey Affleck for his role in Manchester By The Sea. I don’t have anything nice to say about him because I can’t shake off the serious and multiple allegations of sexual harassment. Becuase of these allegations I didn't go see the movie. I didn't want to support him in anyway, especially not with my wallet. On Oscar night his lazy, grizzled look was partly due to a project he is in the middle of working on. I personally think the other part is to do with his scumbag monster buried deep inside him trying to lash out. For those curious he wore French designer Louis Vuitton.

Finally, the Best Actress award was granted to Emma Stone. La La Land was fine, sure, a bit seen-this-before-many-times snooze worthy for me. The character she played was fine too. A self declared whimsy dreamer. How revolutionary. Her Givenchy dress, too, was fine. Lovely, yes but again, it was a bit sleepy for me. To be frank, I wish more people took style chances. That said, I can learn to understand the restraint. As I mentioned above, she likely considered that she had a strong chance of being immortalized as a winner in pictures so she went with a more safe - or dare I say golden - dress than what we have seen from her at other events.

Thankfully, with this year’s nominees – no matter what they wore - we are starting to see strides in recognizing the diverse talent doing great work. On the one hand I know that there’s a distance to go yet. On the other hand, I do smile to myself knowing that of the nearly 33 million viewers all around the world there was a young child who saw people on stage and in the audience that –finally - looked like them too.