Olivia Lisle (Insta: @livcollage) for Varsity

Hollywood’s global fashion show, or an A-lister’s prom night on steroids? The 94th Academy Awards took place on Monday 28th March at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, attended by A-list celebrities from around the world. Alongside the ceremony’s historic highlights, Ariana DeBose’s win as the first openly queer woman of colour included, the fashion at the Oscars was something of a mixed bag. There were certainly some memorable highlights, but also plenty of missed markers. From the glamour of the main ceremony to the glitz of the afterparty, dive into the deep end of The Oscars 2022 red carpet with Varsity Fashion.

The best dressed

Kasia Truscott (Fashion Editor)

If there’s any need to prove why Miu Miu is the name on everyone’s lips right now, then one glance at Demi Singleton’s look will tell you everything you need to know. Singleton dazzled in a custom lilac gown from the Italian fashion house, embellished with purple gradient crystals in the shape of flowers that glistened across the gown’s sweetheart neckline before dripping into the base of the skirt. Polished off with a pair of silver strappy heels and a slicked back ponytail, Singleton was a beautiful embodiment of spring bloom.

Following close behind with the pastel theme was Lily James, who turned heads in a pink lace Atelier Versace gown, complete with a dreamily dramatic chiffon train. From the form-fitting silhouette to its daringly high slit, the gown was sexy yet elegant, flirty yet sophisticated — topped off with a statement diamond necklace, the look was quite possibly my favourite of the night. Megan Thee Stallion, an unexpected performer, also gets a worthy mention with a slate-blue sequin number from Indian designer, Guarav Gupta, featuring an asymmetrical cutout on the bodice and an elegantly structured wave-like flowing skirt.

Renate Reinsve, meanwhile, brought the dark glamour to a red carpet brimming with lace and tulle in Louis Vuitton, opting for an intricately detailed black and ivory slip dress. Her simple side-part and bold berry lip truly have my heart as one of the standouts from the night. Another celebrity donning Louis Vuitton was Timothée Chalamet who, incredibly, turned up shirtless. Some say it was revolutionary, others say it was ridiculous; I say it was what really made his cropped suit jacket — a sparkling number overlaid with shiny lace from Vuitton’s 2022 Spring womenswear collection — take centre stage.

Tonye Igali (Fashion Columnist)

Plunging necklines have been the order of the season this year with the sweetheart neckline of the Tracee Ellis Ross’ Carolina Herrera number, reminiscent of the deep triangular plunge of Zoe Kravitz’s look at the New York Premiere of The Batman. Stylist Karla Welch is determined that her client will join this party on her own terms, enlisting a NIWAKA diamond choker to transform the look into a sophisticated but simple showing, fit for the prestige of Hollywood’s biggest night. Tracee and Karla have never shied away from bold fashion choices, embracing bright colours and innovative silhouettes, with Tracee admitting that style is one of her forms of creative expression. The negative public reaction to this look is symptomatic of society’s ageism. That people felt that the look sat ‘awkwardly’ on her chest or risked revealing too much spoke to widely held sensibilities that women of a certain age ought to cover themselves up. In this form-fitting, chest-baring number, Welch celebrates Ellis Ross’ body rather than hiding it, once again cementing their statuses as style trailblazers.

The worst dressed

Eva Morris (Fashion Editor)

My oh my, how the great have fallen. After such a promising return for the Oscars in 2021, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed this year. Valentino have gotten lazy with their tailoring, prom dresses appear to be back with a vengeance and menswear consisted of wearing an overly bright coloured suit and calling it a day.

I was surprisingly disappointed with Zendaya’s look in Valentino Haute Couture. As Zendaya and her stylist Law Roach never seem to miss, I was sad to see the day they finally slipped. I appreciate the Sharon Stone reference, I really do, but I can’t forgive the sloppy tailoring on that shirt. The puckers and slightly uneven hem are the first thing I notice on such a sleek garment and as much as the beautiful silver skirt and jewellery were a welcome distraction, they couldn’t hide all sins.

My next bone to pick is with Caitriona Balfe in Louis Vuitton. I can only presume after dressing Timothée Chalamet and Renate Reinsve that Vuitton had run out of garments, leaving Balfe sporting what looks like a white tube and rip-off velcro train. There is nothing more I can say about it.


My parting comments will be with some honourable mentions: Simu Liu giving us the skinny jeans equivalent of a suit and Penelope Cruz’s hotchpotch gown with sequin bow tie (?) Thank you all for, if not making the night fashionable, at least making it entertaining.

Tonye Igali (Fashion Columnist)

Kravitz’ look, although elegantly simple in that classic Hollywood way that reminds you of Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor, left me with a bittersweet taste. The pale pink Saint Laurent dress was perfectly brought together with understated Kwiat pieces and a side swept fringe. However, this showing is one of many questionable styling choices from Andrew Mukamal. He seems to be positioning Kravitz as a ‘sexy baby’, a concept introduced by VICE in 2018 to describe the space occupied by personalities like Ariana Grande who are simultaneously seen as sexy and childlike, although crucially, are not children. The problematic nature of such aside, why Mukamal would seek to position Kravitz this way is confounding, clashing with her sensually mysterious image.

The Afterparty

Sarah Abbas and Tonye Igali (Fashion Columnists)

Once awards were received, the stars refreshed their looks for the Vanity Fair afterparty. The afterparty should not mean any less extravagant looks, although it seemed that some stars missed that memo.

Kim Kardashian rocked up to the afterparty in Balenciaga, and we were bored. The eye-watering bright blue dress presents both Kardashian and the brand as tedious and repetitive. There are only so many variations of skintight, monochromatic outfits and sock boots we can endure, and this one in particular does Kardashian no favours. The black sock boots (the worst part of the outfit) are incongruent with the bright blue of the backless dress and the glasses, reminiscent of a silver surfer cosplay, are competing for joint worst part of the ensemble.

Sarah Abbas (Fashion Columnist)

Perhaps even more underwhelming, Serena Williams attended the afterparty sporting a silver minidress. To see this dress in Revs smoking area might be acceptable, but the Vanity Fair afterparty? Not so much.


Mountain View

The Show Must Go On: Oscars 2021

Nonetheless, many of the big names did not disappoint, with Timothée Chalamet dressed in an all-black leather-denim infusion by Alexander McQueen. Clearly struggling between jeans and a leather jacket, Chalamet proved that sometimes, you don’t have to pick. Sportmax suited up Chalamet’s Dune co-star Zendaya for the afterparty. The power suit, complete with shoulder pads and a vibrant pink shirt, achieved subtle femininity with a cinched waist. Accentuated with sleek hair, smokey eyes and a leather tie, the final look was both classy and glamorous. Looking equally sophisticated with a gothic twist, Anya Taylor Joy was found head-to-toe in Dior, and Tiffany & Co. jewellery. With a matching netted headpiece and sheer corset details, she looked nothing short of ethereal.


Style aside, I am sure the stars of this year’s Academy Awards revelled in the glitz and glamour of the Vanity Fair afterparty; a highly anticipated night after such an eventful evening.