I can easily say the Oscars is one of the reasons why I became a Fashion Designer. Growing up film was a major part of family time. We would spend the weekends at the Movies, or rent movies at the once Blockbuster for sleepovers, or have dinner conversations on a film’s ending. We watched all genres of film from classic Disney films to the most obscure indie or French films.
My eldest sister was the one that really introduced my parents, my younger sister and I to what the film industry was all about. So whenever the Oscars would go on, it was a very big deal in our household. We would all gather around the family room’s TV, sit on the sofa with snacks and drinks and bet on who we thought would win each category! Although I would be a tween and definitely part of the Titanic Craze generation, I was always fascinated by the gowns on the red carpet, the costume designers and the art department artist who would win and ultimately create these beautiful cinematic iconic sets and costume forever immortalise in Hollywood History. As a creative young girl, the Oscars showed me you can make a living out of this and be recognise for your craft. And although it was an award show, it was also a “show” these awards were opportunities for Fashion Designers to showcase their artistic work on other “artists” (aka actors). Flash forward to a twenty-something me now living in LA. The tradition of watching the Oscars evolved to Oscar viewing parties at friend's apartments in LA. And there I was working for a celebrity stylist, learning all the BTS and thought that went to create a red carpet look. At the time I was already doing my independent namesake bridal design business on the side via Etsy, I took what I learned from styling red carpet looks and applied it to my own bridal design ethos.
So let’s take a look at some of my faves from Oscars 2020 red carpet and how you can apply these looks to your own bridal day look.
Charlize Theron is one of those few actresses that is a chameleon! She also can command attention with just a black gown, it’s the attitude, the subtle details on her dress such as the asymmetrical sleeves and the peplum bodice. With her natural beauty and talent, she always has the right amount of elegance and edginess. Dior is the perfect brand to embody her style. Bridal Tip: Red Carpets are always a good place to study what is going on in terms of trends( if that's what you are seeking). Last night we saw super high slit skirt gowns paired with matching strappy ankled heels and a bit of a skirt train.
Ok, so this 8 layered ruffled tier skirt and the waist belt totally embodies Florence Pugh fun and whimsical personality. This dress would actually be a gorgeous bridal gown if you had it in ivory. Slightly dramatic, but more fun and whimsical! The Louis Vuitton dress was made of Silk Satin (also a classic bridal fabric) lined with taffeta. The dress is lighter than it looks, with its Tea length skirt in the front, beautiful matchy strappy heels complete the look. Its the waist belt detail that makes it fun. Take it away and it is a more serious, dramatic gown. Bridal Tip: If you are a fun personality bride, you can always add subtle details or hints of your fun side. Like a waist belt. Or an 8 layered ruffle skirt in lieu of a skirt train, to still make a statement but still have fun, be able to walk around and use the toilet easily. Oh and dance too!
Cynthia Erivo’s look was perfection from literally head to toe to nails! This is a perfect example of combining the gown, the jewellery, the makeup, nails and hair to really have a complete, finished red carpet look. A lot of thought was put into this. Versace has always combined the right amount of embellishments/hardware to a gown, and your eyes literally follow the white and silver spiral of the dress from the single sleeve down to the bodice and eventually the high slit skirt. Like Charlize Theron’s elegant/edginess look, Cynthia brings her game twice as more. Bridal Tip: Every detail counts! From Nail colour choice to rings, jewellery and how you choose to accessorize your gown. Down to your underwear. You want the right balance that reflects your personality, comfort, and the wedding occasion.
I love Billy Porter and his fierce take on fashion. His gown was inspired by Kensington Palace and designed by one of my favourite fashion designer, Christian Siriano. Bridal Tip: Don’t be afraid to be dramatic. If you want to go bespoke or have a certain theme for your wedding you can incorporate that into the design of your wedding gown. And YES! Men can wear gowns too!! The same way a bride can wear a gorgeous pantsuit or jumpsuit as a bridal gown.
Spike Lee’s custom tribute suit to Kobe Bryant resonated with some many people in LA. With the iconic Laker's purple paired with purple frame glasses and Kobe’s number 24 with a cross necklace in the centre is truly emotional and a beautiful way to show respect and honour a sports legend. Bridal Tip: If you would like to pay tribute to a loved one, you can always add embroidery to your dress, such as initials or a special number or date. Or a complete custom tribute suit like Spike’s for the Groom. I think it’s beautiful to honour important loved ones by adding details to your dress and wedding day. Then they become part of your special day even if they are not with us anymore.
Scarlett Johansson in a custom Oscar De La Renta Gown. The silver embellished bodice literally sparkle against the smooth, silky, trumpet skirt train of the gown. This is a perfect example of balancing texture in a gown. The silver hardware draws your eyes into the gown where the silky smooth skirt softens the overall look. Making it luscious, sexy and totally red carpet glam! Plus, photographs really well. Bridal Tip: When I was an intern assistant to a celebrity stylist, we would go through gowns and pick which ones would photograph really well and edit out the ones that would look washed out on camera. The texture of the fabric is an important part of your bridal look. And like the red carpet, lots of photographs will be taken that day. Sometimes a bit of sparkle won’t hurt!
Regina King looking beautiful in a blush Versace. Classic ball gown dress with a modern twist. The asymmetrical neckline and embellished bodice send your eyes to spiral down to the gorgeous satin ball gown skirt with a train. This gown would actually be a perfect wedding gown. Be it blush or ivory. The fit of this gown on Regina makes it perfectly stunning. Bridal Tip: Classic ball gowns always look stunning. It is a silhouette that looks gorgeous on everyone. If you can’t decide on a silhouette, you can never go wrong with a ball gown. Plus it is timeless too! Fit, fit, fit and tailoring is key! Whether you go for a ball gown with a corset back or decide to have corset underwear, a ball gown looks beautiful when it fits you perfectly. Also Blush satin is a great option for any brides looking to go pink or blush on their wedding day.
Finally, Janelle Monae channelling fairy godmother vibes with her hooded jewelled silver Ralph Lauren gown. Simple, classic silhouette but modern with the hood and open back detail and slightly see-through bodice (look closely!). This gown is one of my favourites because it has everything! The sparkle, the timeless red carpet look, the sense of modern elements, the edgy see-through side and the reflection of the artist's personality. Bridal Tip: There is a lot of pressure to find “The Dress”. But I find if you take the time to be thoughtful on what is meaningful to you and adding it to timeless silhouette like Janelle then you can’t go wrong. Add elements that are innately you to your gown. And if not the gown, then jewellery or other accessories. Or perhaps add bespoke details like initials or embellishments. And when you look back at your wedding photographs, it wasn’t just a fad or trend - it is a timeless look with meaningful details and touches.
Studying Oscar gowns and applying what you learn from them to your own bridal day look is a great way to help you with your wedding gown journey. So that you are super prepared. With a well thought out and meaningful bridal look. Feel free to get in touch with me about any of my gowns, dresses or jewellery designs or bespoke needs. And I truly wish and hope your wedding day is your red carpet moment.
Sparkles & Love - xs
Images retrieved from Getty Images via Hollywood Reporter, 9/2/2020