While there were no trainwrecks of the Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway Best Picture scale, the age of Donald Trump is alive and well in Hollywood as the red carpet – the grand final of awards season – was a safe, yet gloomy affair.
Dull and derivative were the key looks of the night, with just a few glimmers of hope spotted among the throng of A-listers.
Fifty Shades of Grey star, and daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, Dakota Johnson was the perfect example of America in 2017.
Despite her buttery Gucci gown, with an exaggerated pussy bow detail around the waist, being a risk, it had some kinks that needed to be ironed out. Similar to the majority of policy and executive appointment decisions coming out of the White House.
However, it is a truth universally acknowledged that an Oscar nominee dresses like a bore in order to look “timeless”. Best Actress winner Emma Stone followed this well-trodden path wearing Givenchy Couture. All of the fun in her outfit happened just north of her ankles with a skirt that resembled a beaded version of the plastic door curtains usually seen at country roadhouses.
She got a touch political too, adorning her dress with a small, silver pin dedicated to Planned Parenthood. Johnson did the same, attaching the badge to her clutch purse.
Others, like Loving star Ruth Negga in tomato red Valentino and Manchester by the Sea’s Casey Affleck, opted for a more bold statement and affixed a large blue ribbon to their outfits in solidarity with the American Civil Liberties Union – an organisation that works to protect people’s rights and liberties and has been fighting Trump’s travel and immigration ban.
Nicole Kidman, in nude, embellished Armani Prive, and Keith Urban resembled loved up high-school sweethearts. Albeit ones that graduated around 1999 when his perennial frosted highlights and ghd-tamed man were all the rage.
Octavia Spencer, wearing Marchesa, brought some fun and frivolity in a grey textured ensemble that had more feathers than a flock of ostriches.
Past winner Charlize Theron is renowned for her mercurial red carpet style. Thankfully this year she bought some lamé to the lame arrivals hall with a pleated, princess-like, molten Dior Couture gown.
Actor Jessica Biel, supporting her husband, Best Song nominee Justin Timberlake, looked as if she was attacked by the family cat in her metallic Kaufman Franco look. Nevertheless, she persisted, and the distressed elements of the dress, accompanied by more than $ 50,000 worth of Tiffany & Co jewels, were a highlight of the red carpet.
Janelle Monae stopped traffic, literally. Her bejewelled, oversized Elie Saab gown almost required a wide load pilot car down the red carpet. The mesh bodice and dramatic skirt number had elements of Marie Antoinette and Halle Berry from 2002, when she wore a dress by the same designer to accept her historic statue for Monster’s Ball.