When one thinks of classic colors to wear on a red carpet, a few immediately come to mind. Black, of course (made especially obvious at last weekend’s Academy Museum Gala), red, silver. Sometimes pink, white, or a mixture of many. One hue you don’t normally associate with red carpet fashion, however, is brown. Not that it’s an ugly color by any means—it’s great for coats, boots, basically anything leather, and over the past few months, the color has been taking over street style in the form of skirts, tops, and pants as well. Now, though, the color has officially hit the red carpet, and all your favorite celebs are jumping on the trend.
On Monday night especially—when many red carpets were underway at once—it seemed like everybody was wearing brown, like there was some unwritten agreement made among celebrities and stylists. At the Elle Women in Hollywood event, Hailey Bieber wore a sleek Saint Laurent spring/summer 2023 long-sleeve turtleneck dress in a gorgeous brown. She was joined by Don’t Worry Darling star Kate Berlant, who wore a vintage Mugler skirt suit in a slightly lighter hue.
Across town, at the premiere for the upcoming Netflix drama series From Scratch, Zoe Saldana and Reese Witherspoon also engaged in the trend. For her part, Witherspoon, who is an executive producer on the project, wore a knee-length deep brown dress with a structured bust, while the series’ star, Saldana, opted for a strapless leather, ankle-length Fendi couture dress in an almost skin-toned hue.
Then, at God's Love We Deliver 16th Annual Golden Heart Awards in New York City, where stars dressed in Michael Kors Collection (a partner in the event), Lea Michele joined in as well. The actress wore a sequin-covered, one-shoulder dress with a cutout on her left side from the designer’s fall/winter collection. One could call this piece gold for it’s sparkly nature alone, but under the lights, the reflection provided a darker contrast, making me comfortable in calling this a metallic light brown, especially when compared to the clearly gold Michael Kors Collection dress Bella Hadid wore to the same event.
But the trend didn’t just pop up last night. Brown dresses have been appearing on the red carpet throughout the past few weeks, pretty much since the beginning of fall, fittingly. Laura Harrier proved the color can also fit into the burgeoning disco trend, by wearing a dark brown, sequin-covered strapless jumpsuit with a fur coat on top from Saint Laurent pre-fall 2022 to the premiere of Entergalactic last month. That same evening, over at Variety’s Power of Women event, Kathryn Hahn showed off a more polished look in a caped, knee-length dress from Emilia Wickstead’s fall/winter 2022 collection. A few days later, and Hari Nef was on the red carpet at the Business of Fashion Gala wearing the brown leather mini dress from Jonathan Anderson’s fall/winter 2022 collection for Loewe. Then, on the red carpet for The Inspection premiere at the New York Film Festival, Gabrielle Union showed off a slightly different take on the trend, wearing a custom long-sleeved Prada dress, which alternated between the brand’s signature triangles in an embellished yellow and a sheer, brown-toned fabric.
In general, it seems that Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent is the biggest purveyor of the color, as in the past week, we’ve seen three brown dresses from the brand on the red carpet (plus Harrier’s look last month, of course). There was Bieber’s look on Monday night, but also the dress she wore over the weekend to the Academy Museum Gala, a strapless piece with a large key whole cutout on the torso and rushing at the waist, also from Vaccarello’s spring/summer 2023 collection. A day later, on Sunday, Kate Hudson attended the premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in a slinky two-toned dress (brown and mustard yellow, similar to Union) with an oversized faux fur coat on top.
It’s not surprising that Bieber is at the forefront of this trend. For one, she’s been embracing the color in her everyday style for awhile. She also has a loyalty to Saint Laurent, which means there’s a runway filled with brown dresses she can choose from in the future. Vaccarello showed a lot of pieces in a variety of brown hues at his last show, as well as a handful at his fall/winter 2022 presentation back in March. And he isn’t the only one taking advantage of the color. Brands including Schiaparelli, Sandy Liang, Sacai, and Prada all showed brown looks at their most recent shows. It makes sense, the color does have the benefit of being a nice alternative to the often overused black, and clearly, it’s gaining popularity among designers and celebrities alike. So, get used to seeing it on the red carpet. If the past few weeks have been any indication, the color isn’t going anywhere.