During the haute couture shows this past week, the
W editors engaged in some fantasy styling—selecting some of our favorite looks we’re hoping will show up on the Academy Awards red carpet next month and debating our picks over group text, in Google docs and while peering at each other’s desktop monitors (for those of us following along from the office in New York). We’ve kept a close eye on what actresses like Scarlett Johansson, Cynthia Erivo and Margot Robbie have been wearing earlier in this awards season and in years past—considering their go-to fashion houses, silhouettes, color schemes and overall vibes—and picked out pieces from the Paris runways that we think would make for particularly Oscar-worthy entrances. We also threw in a bonus round from the men’s shows for Timothée Chalamet, since he’s been known to make bold fashion choices (see: his bedazzled Louis Vuitton harness at last year’s Golden Globes). Fingers crossed we get a couple of them right…
Cynthia Erivo: Givenchy Look 28
Claire Waight Keller’s couture collection included a number of frothy, voluminous gowns nipped at the waist with stiff leather belts, grounding the ethereal pieces with a hit of modernity. Best actress nominee Cynthia Erivo hasn’t shied away from color, volume or texture lately (at the BAFTAs she wore a sleek purple braid to match the color of a chiffon underskirt) so we love this lilac number for her.
Charlize Theron: Christian Dior Look 1
This year, Dior went heavy on a burnished gold color palette, turning out swishy silhouettes that would look particularly good paired with a certain shiny little statue.
Bombshell star Charlize Theron has been the face of the house’s J’adore fragrance for years, and wore a metallic, goddess-inspired Dior gown to the 2017 Academy Awards. This fringed dress would be a more out-there choice than her usual (she likes a mermaid skirt), but she has the fashion chops to pull it off.
Scarlett Johansson: Valentino Look 13
Scarlett Johansson’s red carpet style is sleek, sexy and dramatic—she tends to go for daring necklines, saturated colors and backless pieces that show off her artistic tattoos. This plum-colored satin gown from Valentino ticks all the boxes, with a plunging U shape in the front and back and a cherry-red bow at the nape.
Saoirse Ronan: Valentino Look 53
Ever since her first awards season, Saoirse Ronan has kept things chic and simple. She goes for sleek, not-too-structured dresses that are youthful without being girlish, and somehow manages to make a formal long sleeve feel cool every time—never dowdy. This lipstick-red number with satin cuffs and a turtleneck is right up her alley. Bonus points if she goes for the giant earrings.
Renée Zellweger: Maison Martin Margiela Look 28
Margiela can be a little too concept-y for the red carpet, but this black and gold slip dress is made for an awards moment (maybe without the white Tabis, although that would be kind of amazing). Renée Zellweger wore a more traditional-feeling navy haute couture gown by the house at the SAG awards, but we’d like to see her in something a little cooler this time around.
Kathy Bates: Christian Dior Look 49
Kathy Bates, nominated for her role in
Richard Jewell, has worn many a structured suit over the years, and often pairs a statement blazer with black trousers or a ball skirt. This pewter Valentino ensemble with a dramatic cape is a perfect fit for a star of her caliber. It’s elegant, commanding and a little futuristic.
Florence Pugh: Givenchy Look 11
Florence Pugh is a bit of a red carpet chameleon, rocking slim princess pastels and theatrical, voluminous jewel tones with equal swagger. This strapless Givenchy dress, covered with butter popcorn-esque beading, ticks all the boxes. And it has a train fit for the breakout powerhouse that she is.
Laura Dern: Valentino Look 33
We chose another bold, monochrome look from the Valentino show for Laura Dern, who often complements her willowy frame with slim gowns without too many bells and whistles. She’s worn a few of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s pieces on red carpets over the years, many of them bright red, but we felt pulled toward this sequined Yves Klein blue number.
Margot Robbie: Chanel Look 41
White has always been Margot Robbie’s go-to red carpet color. A few notable examples: She wore an angelic Chanel dress to the
Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood premiere, looked very bridal in Michael Lo Sordo when promoting I, Tonya and served up marble column vibes in Calvin Klein at the Met Gala a few years ago. We see her in this Chanel look, with or without the jacket.
Meryl Streep: Armani Privé Look 40
This beaded, off-the-shoulder emerald Armani Privé gown reminded us of a spiritually similar Elie Saab piece Meryl Streep wore to the 2017 Oscars. We love the painterly pattern on the skirt and subtle all-over shimmer. In fact, the entire look would work for the Academy Awards: Keep the clutch, the matching shoes, and the shoulder-skimming earrings and she’d be good to go.
Emma Watson: Chanel Look 56
Some of our favorite Emma Watson red carpet moments have been when she expertly combines black and white, which she does often. She keeps silhouettes generally pretty classic but occasionally surprises us with a slick jumpsuit or a wonderfully weird high fashion situation—like when she tucked the hem of a Balenciaga bubble dress into one crushed velvet thigh-high boot at the
Little Women premiere. Even though it’s cocktail length, this beaded lace Chanel feels very her, and leaves room for some fun footwear experimentation.
Park So Dam: Schiaparelli Look 35
This bubblegum pink Schiaparelli dress is practically begging to be worn by someone young and extremely cool like Park So Dam. There’s something a little subversive about its sweetness, a bit like her character’s spiky-saccharine duality in
Parasite. Even though it was styled on the runway with a South of France-y sandal, we see this with a big clunky heel in a contrasting tone, maybe something in gem-encrusted teal or a deep crimson satin.
Margaret Qualley: Chanel Look 40
Margaret Qualley has evolved her red carpet style lately, graduating from Cinderella-esque gowns to more tailored, sophisticated silhouettes. This Chanel piece, with its buckle detail and retro-chic chiffon accent, might be a
little too close to the dress she wore to the Emmys (also Chanel) but it’s just so good we had to give it to her.
Dakota Fanning: Giambattista Valli Look 10
Courtesy of Giambattista Valli
Red carpet risk taker Dakota Fanning has done iridescent sequins, floral appliqués, and major volume before—why not combine them all? Giambattista Valli is the master of taking up space, and we felt like this minty confection embellished with a blazing haze of feathers was calling out her name.
Nicole Kidman: Maison Martin Margiela Look 22
Nicole Kidman does weirdo-glam better than anyone. She’s worn Gucci peacock feathers, shoulder parrots and all-over trompe l’oeil pleats, looked like a chic witch in night-sky Alexander McQueen at the 2016 Met Gala, and recently pulled off all-over orange Versace sequins when accompanying her husband, Keith Urban, to the CMA awards. We’d love to see her in this goth-chic Margiela.
Greta Gerwig: Givenchy Look 34
This belted Givenchy look feels like a natural evolution of the structured Proenza Schouler column Greta Gerwig wore to the Golden Globes, with its shoulder-baring bodice and stark aesthetic. The
Little Women writer and director has done plenty of color before, but she really knocks it out of the park in black.
BONUS MENSWEAR ROUND – Timothée Chalamet: Louis Vuitton Look 47
We couldn’t resist doing a little window shopping for Timothée Chalamet, who has embraced red carpet statement pieces with a level of enthusiasm unmatched by any of the other male actors of his generation. Is this ruffled, double-breasted Louis Vuitton jacket one step too far? Only time will tell.