The Oscar for best leg slit goes to…
Words: Daniël Geldenhuys | Photographs: Getty
With all this year's Oscars drama, from its lack of host for the first time in thirty years to the temporary removal of categories including editing and cinematography from the broadcast, red carpet fashion seems by far the least controversial aspect of the event. This year's best looks are all born from a distinctly elegant sensibility: the true standouts do so for the ways in which they breathe freshness and vitality into classic red carpet glamour.
Tessa Thompson in Chanel Haute Couture
Something in Thompson's demeanour (a combination of her absolute likability and understated beauty look) brings a simplistic, approachable, natural appeal to this multifaceted gown. Fresh off the Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2019 runway, where the inspiration came from luxury goods of the 18th century, Thompson personalises and re-contextualises this dress with a quiet steadfast modernism that would make Karl Lagerfeld proud.
Sarah Paulson in Brandon Maxwell
It's as if an Haute Couture sketch came to life, gliding off the page and onto the red carpet. Arresting beauty aside, showing your midriff on the Oscars red carpet and pulling it off deserves special acknowledgement.
Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton
When you're attached to a brand the way Stone is to Vuitton, and an Oscars red carpet mainstay, keeping things fresh is no short order. In this bold-shoulder sheath, Stone brings a statement elegance that somehow still feels in tune with the refined glamour that characterised the evening.
Brie Larson in Celine by Hedi Slimane
Wearing fashion's most contested designer on the red carpet is a brave move, but Larson is giving you everything you possibly hope for in an Oscars gown. Statuesque metallic realness – check. Diamond earrings and cuff – check. Epic leg slit – check. It works.
Regina King in Oscar de la Renta and Chopard jewellery
Sorry Brie Larson, but the Oscar for best leg slit goes to Regina King. The gown feels almost athletic with its pure palate and flowing lines. It's a perfect marriage of strength and elegance.
Gemma Chan in Valentino Couture and Bulgari jewellery
Here's a rare moment of outright unapologetic no-holds-barred dramatic glamour on this year's red carpet. Combined with Chan's poise, this is modern glamour at its boldest.
Elsie Fisher in Thom Browne
Representing Gen Z, 15-year-old Fisher looks unassuming in her Thom Browne suit – her comfort and conviction a perfect pairing. The quirky confidence of this look makes it one of the most intelligent of the night.
Laura Harrier in Louis Vuitton and Bulgari jewellery
It's the way she looks almost casual while basically dripping in diamonds and embroidered embellishment that creates such an alluring combination. The dress has a special sense of substance too, constructed from sustainable materials and worn as part of Suzy Amis Cameron's 'Red Carpet Green Dress' initiative.
Billy Porter in Christian Siriano
"My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up," Porter said in a statement to Vogue.com. It was the only outright fashion statement that addressed America and the world's fraught socio-political climate. Porter is not one to waste the opportunity to make his voice heard on a platform of this scale, and slay.
Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen and Tiffany & Co. jewellery
So how does Gaga round out a stellar season of award show style? With a look that evokes the old Hollywood glamour of leading ladies who came before, but also winks at her personal history as a fashion icon and performer. Did you expect anything less?