STYLE EVOLUTION

Viola Davis’s Red Carpet Style Exudes Hollywood Glam

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Viola Davis 2021 Oscars red carpet
Getty Images

Since her early days on the red carpet, Viola Davis has remained steadfast in her approach to fashion—she understands which cuts flatter and accentuate her body shape, embraces bold hues (but isn’t one to shy away from an LBD or bright whites), and looks to old Hollywood glamour for inspiration (see: the crimson off-the-shoulder floor-length design by Armani Privé she wore to collect her Oscar statuette for Best Supporting Actress in Fences in 2017, which also made her the first Black actor to win an Oscar, Emmy, and a Tony Award). To usher in 2021, the 55-year-old auteur is nominated for yet another Oscar, this time for Best Actress in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Plus, she was the cover star for W magazine’s 2021 Directors Issue, alongside her husband, Julius Tennon, and daughter, Genesis Tennon, in a photo shoot directed by Regina King. Ahead of the Academy Awards on April 25, take a look back at some of the actress’ best looks over the course of her illustrious career.

1
2009: Law Abiding Citizen Premiere

Viola Davis arrives at the premiere screening of Law Abiding Citizen in 2009 wearing a shocking pink dress.

2
2010: The Tony Awards

Lime green is not a typical hue for a major awards show, but Davis made it work for the 64th Annual Tony Awards.

3
2011: Hollywood Film Awards

Another green moment for Davis arrives at the 15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala in 2011.

4
2011: Governors Award Dinner

Davis attended the The Academy’s 3rd Annual Governors Award Dinner in 2011 in gilded white.

5
2012: Critics’ Choice Awards

A vision in red, Davis attends the 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Hollywood Palladium on January 12, 2012.

6
2012: Producers Guild Awards

At the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards in 2012, Davis wore a gorgeous emerald green gown.

7
2012: Golden Globes

Showing off her legs in caped burgundy, Davis arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2012.

8
2012: The Academy Awards

With a stunning jade dress at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, Davis kept her beauty look natural.

9
2012: SAG Awards

Davis channeled a Grecian goddess at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

10
2013: SAG Awards

Davis arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2013 in one-shouldered turquoise.

11
2013: Hollywood Film Awards

At the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards in 2013.

12
2013: Ender’s Game Premiere

Zig-zagging in electric blue, Davis arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Ender’s Game in 2013.

13
2014: The Academy Awards

Another Academy Awards red carpet, another jaw-dropping green gown, here in 2014.

14
2015: How To Get Away With Murder Premiere

A feminine and flirty look for a premiere screening of her hit television show How To Get Away With Murder.

15
2015: Golden Globes

A dramatic crimson moment at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2015.

16
2015: SAG Awards

Davis attends TNT’s 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in a white halter gown.

17
2015: The Emmys

Taking home the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for How to Get Away With Murder, Davis steps out in a rare print.

18
2016: Critics’ Choice Awards

Davis arrives at the The 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards in a stunning beaded turquoise moment.

19
2017: Women In Film

Opting for a jumpsuit over the classic gown, Davis arrives at the 10th Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party.

20
2017: BAFTAs

Contrasting blue stripes make for a statement moment at the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards.

21
2017: The Academy Awards

To take home her Best Supporting Actress award, Davis chose a scarlet gown by Armani.

22
2017: Time 100 Gala

Viola Davis attends the Time 100 Gala at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City.

23
2017: Press Tour

Attending the Disney ABC Television Group TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 6, 2017.

24
2018: TIFF
Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Viola Davis attends the premiere of Widows during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

25
2018: The Academy Awards
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Davis wore baby pink Michael Kors to the 90th Annual Academy Awards in 2018.

26
2019: The Emmys
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

At the 71st Emmy Awards in 2019.

27
2019: Critics’ Choice Awards
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Presenting the #SeeHer Award onstage during the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards in 2019.

28
2020: How To Get Away With Murder Premiere
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Davis wore a power combo one-shoulder jumpsuit to the premiere of the series finale of ABC's How To Get Away With Murder in 2020.

29
2021: The Super Bowl
Courtesy of Instagram

Davis, wearing Alex Perry, appeared during the 2021 Super Bowl pre-game show.

30
2021: Golden Globes
Courtesy of Instagram

Viola Davis wore Lavie by CK to the 2021 Golden Globe Awards.

31
2021: SAG Awards
Courtesy of Instagram

Viola Davis wore lime green Louis Vuitton to the 2021 SAG Awards.

32
2021: The Academy Awards
Getty Images

Viola Davis wore a white Alexander McQueen gown to the 2021 Oscars