On March 4, just one week ahead of the Oscars, film and television fans will be treated to a delight of a whole other variety: the Independent Spirit Awards. At 5 PM EST, the more casual and laid-back awards show will take place in Santa Monica, California—where, every year, Hollywood’s finest file into a giant tent pitched right onto the beach to receive honors for their top indie films. But in 2023, the lines between prestige, indie, and mass appeal movies are blurrier than ever, and the nominees, therefore, come from all corners of the industry. (After all, a handful of this year’s major Oscar frontrunners were independent.) Everything Everywhere All at Once leads with nominations in eight categories, while Tár trails close behind with seven nods. The Independent Spirit Awards also shifted its categories to be gender-neutral this time around—so up to 10 people of all gender expressions could go home with the big awards of the night, including Best Lead Performance, Best First Feature, and Best Director (two of the latter nominees, Todd Field and the Daniels, were W’s most recent Directors Issue cover stars.)
The more casual feel of the Independent Spirit Awards gives attendees more freedom to experiment with their fashion choices. Aftersun star and nominee Paul Mescal pushed the boundaries of men’s red carpet fashion once more in a bold-shoulder, robin’s-egg blue jacket over a white tank top. Stephanie Hsu, who is nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance has, until this point of awards season, favored ballgown silhouettes, but opted for a tea-length column with exaggerated sleeves. Cate Blanchett kept things cool in a jumpsuit with an added cape. And Taylor Russell, who could win Best Lead Performance for her star turn in Bones and All, stunned in a jet black, sculptural gown, and bleached eyebrows. See all the looks on the Independent Spirit Awards’s red carpet, below.