Oscars 2018: Fashion Brand Winners and Losers

11:32 AM 3/5/2018

by Booth Moore

Givenchy dressed both Wonder Woman and Black Panther, while Gucci failed to dress a single major nominee.

Gal Gadot and Chadwick Boseman at the 2018 Oscars
Gal Gadot and Chadwick Boseman at the 2018 Oscars
Left, Neilson Barnard, right, Steve Granitz, both Getty Images

If the Time’s Up movement kicked off at the beginning of awards season with the all-black Golden Globes red carpet, by the Oscars, the message had moved on stage, with powerful speeches by Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, Annabella Sciorra, Frances McDormand and others.

That left fashion, as a messaging device at least, largely in the background. While it didn’t return to normal, exactly—styles were more understated and less adorned than in years past, and the red carpet pre-show was practically fashion-free—the designer dressing derby was back in full swing, as well as the lucrative deal making that goes with it.

Stars under contract to certain brands, unsurprisingly, wore them, including Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, and newly named Chanel ambassador Margot Robbie representing for the French fashion house, proving that the red carpet is still big business for the fashion industry and for Hollywood, even in the time of Time's Up.

After a season when designers and stylists scrambled to remake all-black options for stars, and everyone struggled with what was appropriate for the political mood, who were the brand winners and losers?

  • Winner: Designers with a Message of Inclusion

    Getty Images (2)

    Prabal Gurung, the New York-based designer with a feminist stance, did particularly well at the dressing game this awards season. Although Gurung did not dress a nominee for Sunday’s carpet, he did dress Radhika Jones, the new editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, for the magazine’s annual Oscars bash, after defending her on social media against critics of her bookish-looking fox tights worn for the first day in the office. Miley Cyrus also went with a Gurung gown for the Vanity Fair party.

    Christian Siriano, another designer who has made inclusion a cornerstone of his business, dressed nominee Laurie Metcalf, as well as Whoopi Goldberg, Kelly Ripa and others for the carpet. Brandon Maxwell, who sells larger sizes on the site 11Honore, dressed Octavia Spencer beautifully in a custom emerald green satin organza off-shoulder gown. 

  • Winner: Givenchy

    Although designer Claire Waight Keller has barely been at the helm of French luxury goods house Givenchy for two seasons, the LVMH-owned brand made a stellar showing at the Oscars, dressing not one but two Hollywood superheroes: Wonder Woman Gal Gadot in a fully embroidered silver fringe dress, and Black Panther Chadwick Boseman in a custom tuxedo coat with hand-embroidery, a black silk shirt and wool trousers that looked like the future of menswear.

  • Winner: Louis Vuitton

    Though designer Nicolas Ghesquiere’s modernist designs do sometimes fall flat on the full-glam carpet, this season he had two hits: a custom satin tuxedo worn by Emma Stone, and a black-and-gold embroidered gown for Sandra Bullock.

  • Winner: Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing’s full-tilt glamour isn’t always applauded by the fashion press, but on Oscars night, Balmain demonstrated a new foothold in Hollywood, dressing Jane Fonda and Tracee Ellis Ross in its newly launched 44 Francois Premier couture line.

     

  • Winner: Armani

    Proving that he is still the O.G. red carpet king, Giorgio Armani clothed a slew of stars, including perennial best-dressed guest Nicole Kidman in an electric blue, superbly sculpted bustier gown with oversized bow in front. Armani also dressed winner Guillermo del Toro, as well as Sally Hawkins, Common, Armie Hammer and many more. 

  • Winner: Berluti

    Men’s wear star of the moment Timothee Chalamet donned an all-white tuxedo by Berluti, the Paris men’s brand newly helmed by buzzy designer Haider Ackermann. The Call Me By Your Name star attended the Berluti runway show in Paris in January, where he name-checked Ackermann as his favorite designer. Hottie Mahershala Ali also wore Berluti, a dark emerald shawl collar velvet jacket, black Japanese wool pants, a black cotton shirt and black glazed leather boots.

  • Winner: Valentino

    Not your traditional Hollywood fashion plate, but more an icon of feminist “I don’t give a f*ck” style that seems keenly appropriate in this political environment, Frances McDormand was responsible for one of the most memorable speeches of the evening, when she called on all the female nominees in the room to stand. And, incidentally, she did it while wearing no-makeup and a Valentino gown. The Italian luxury brand designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli, who showed his latest collection in Paris on Sunday, waited until Monday morning to send out a release about dressing the best-actress winner, as well as Maya Rudolph, in a move that seemed classy.

  • Winner: Calvin Klein

    While the American powerhouse brand didn’t do anything as impressive as dressing the entire Moonlight cast, like at the 2017 Oscars, Calvin Klein designer Raf Simons did nab several A-listers for his dressing list, including Saoirse Ronan, Jordan Peele and Laura Dern. And the brand’s pared down aesthetic felt particularly right this year.

  • Winner: The Recycling Trend

    Some of the most notable moments of the night involved repeat outfits, suggesting that the red carpet could be getting real again. Rita Moreno wore the same obi-fabric dress she wore to the 1962 Oscars, and Tiffany Haddish took to the stage in the same $4,000 white Alexander McQueen with a bejeweled neckline that she wore on Saturday Night Live earlier this year—and swore she’d wear again. 

    And Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri actress Sandy Martin wore the same Emilio Pucci silk embroidered feather coat and pussy bow blouse on not one but four red carpets this season. How’s that for eco-style?

  • Loser: Gucci

    The more-is-more Italian brand led to record profits by Alessandro Michele failed to dress any major female nominees, and Salma Hayek’s spangled and sequined Gucci gown veered into I, Tonya ice dancing costume territory.

  • Loser: Ralph & Russo

    After a meteoric rise on the red carpet this season, dressing three A-listers--Lupita Nyong’o, Tracee Ellis Ross and Allison Williams--on the SAGs red carpet, the 11-year-old British couture house didn’t score any Oscars red carpet placements, but did dress four people for after-parties.

  • Loser: E!

    Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

    The red-carpet fashion pre-show was a near no-show with few guests stopping to talk to E!’s Ryan Seacrest, recently accused of sexual harassment himself by his former stylist. Not even former Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth could save the E! show, which featured few A-listers or exclusive fashion intel, and seems in need of a serious rethink. That left fashion fans to congregate on social media and wonder what, if any, future does the red carpet preshow have in 2019?

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