From the Runways to the Oscars

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The 94th Academy Awards will be televised live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 27th. With the Omicron variant in decline, things are getting back to normal.

The Academy will not require shots, just a recent negative test to attend. For the first time in its history, it will be hosted by three women: Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall. Because of its timing, just a few weeks after the fall/winter 2022 ready-to-wear shows ended in Paris, it was hard to look at some of the statement-making eveningwear and not think ahead to the granddaddy of all red carpets.

While eveningwear may not have been the focus of the collections (many designers steered clear of red carpet dressing altogether), there were still memorable pieces.

I selected 10 women from the list of nominees, presenters, and attendees. On the left side of each picture are photos of them at a prior red carpet event. The pictures on the right are my choices — all from the fall 2022 ready-to-wear collections — what I think they should wear at the upcoming Oscars. After years of snoozy red carpets and a general glamour drought, I think we are all ready to be wowed.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” in 2019, and she stars in 2021’s House of Gucci. This year, Gaga was snubbed by the Academy, but she will be at the Oscars as a presenter. The megastar should definitely plan on making a grand entrance (I thought she looked a little washed out in the white Armani Prive gown at the SAG Awards).

One of my favorite all-time Gaga looks is the custom sky-blue Valentino Haute Couture creation she wore to the 2019 Golden Globes. Richard Quinn’s gown, printed with his signature over-scaled blue and black rose print, is fetishized with black latex.

It would make a perfect ‘revenge’ dress: entrance-making, couture-like and subversive at the same time. And please, Gaga, do add the exaggerated blue eye shadow and that very Gaga touch: the matching sky-blue hair!

Zoë  Kravitz

Zoë Kravitz will be a presenter at the Oscars. She can pretty much wear a paper bag and look amazing. Zoë, who is channeling her Catwoman character, is wearing a lot of black as of late.

At the Batman movie premiere in New York earlier this month, Kravitz arrived in a fantastic custom Oscar de la Renta column. At a special screening in London, she wowed in alluring black Saint Laurent. For the Oscars, I would love to see Zoë  in something completely different.

I think the intense magenta shade (it’s called “Pink PP” and was created for Pantone by Pierpaolo Piccioli himself) and the silhouette of this Valentino chiffon gown would look amazing on Zoë with her tom-boyishly cropped hair, beautiful shoulders, and collarbones.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman, who plays Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos,” is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role. While she most probably will not go home with an Oscar (though, who knows?) Nicole should at least be a winner on the red carpet. For the SAG Awards, Nicole was covered up in a demure floor-length Saint Laurent black velvet gown with a pale pink satin collar bow.

Not too many women can pull off this arresting midcalf Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera black bustier dress; it has ‘movie star’ written all over it. With her height and figure, Nicole assuredly can. You can’t underestimate the power of a perfect black dress. Go for it!

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Spencer.” She is a Chanel ambassador and wears Chanel for her public appearances. That being said, Kristen is nothing, if not a fashion rebel, so why should she play by the rules on the night of March 27th?

Wearing Chanel is so expected, and I really couldn’t find interesting enough from Chanel’s recent collection for Kristen to wear for this grand occasion. I love the unexpected toughness and the play of masculine and feminine exemplified by this Saint Laurent crocodile-embossed leather biker and bias-cut chiffon gown.

It’s unexpected and modern. And yes, please do layer the bangles a la Nancy Cunard, a modern style icon if ever there was one!

Venus Williams

Serena Williams has traditionally dominated both center court and the red carpet. Still, Venus Williams is stepping out a lot more, especially since the Oscar-nominated film released about her life, “King Richard.” Venus is taller (6’1”) and thinner than Serena, and she can really pull off fashion.

She has hired a stylist to the stars Law Roach for guidance, but I was not crazy about his choice for the SAG Awards: Dolce & Gabbana’s silk gown with a high slit and silver metallic bustier. It was too ‘Grammy Awards’ for my taste. I prefer to see Venus in something a little bit more elegant.

Joseph Altuzarra’s deep v neck dress covered with half dollar size gold paillettes made me think of Oscar as soon as I saw it on the runway. It’s very festive and eye-catching, but it has a sporty ease since it is cut like a long tennis sweater. Joseph accessorizes with thick black platform sandals.

I would wear gold instead. Venus is so tall; a flat or low-heeled gold sandal would look very chic.

Ariana DeBose

When Ariana DeBose received the 2022 SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress, she was dressed in a hot pink Valentino Haute Couture gown. It was ill-fitting and overpowered her small (5’3”) frame. Ariana, who started out as a dancer, has a good chance of winning an Oscar as Anita in “West Side Story.”

I love the color and the graceful, elegant lines of Giambattista Valli’s red chiffon halter gown. And of course, red looks great against gold!

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain won a SAG Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Tammy Faye in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” and she is widely expected the win an Oscar. Jessica is known for her approach to classic glamour during awards season, but she wanted to change it up for the SAG awards.

The Dior Haute Couture nude wool and silk jacquard suit she wore was an interesting change of pace, but it did not fit very well and did nothing for her. I’d like to see Jessica in something more feminine and stand out on March 27th.

This eye-catching black, white, and gold abstract floral printed strapless gown by Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera would look great on the red carpet, and it would be a perfect backdrop for that coveted gold statuette.

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst has won many accolades, but she is yet to win an Oscar. 2022 just might be Kirsten’s year. She is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Rose Gordon in “The Power of the Dog.”

Dunst is known for embracing a soft, romantic, somewhat boho style of dressing on the red carpet (pastels, florals, lace). Among Dunst’s favored designers are Erdem and Rodarte. Why not add Monique Lhuillier to the list?

Lhuillier celebrated her 25th year in business with a beautiful and ultra-feminine fall 2022 collection, which pays homage to the 70’s and old Hollywood style. Think Grace Kelly meets Cher with subtle corsetry, lots of beads, micro sequins, feathers, floral appliques, and beading.

This pale pink slip dress covered with a sheer floral appliqued cape is springtime, incarnate.

Cate Blanchett

While Cate Blanchett is not up for an Oscar this year and is not yet on the list of presenters, it’s hard to imagine Blanchett will not attend Hollywood’s biggest night. And she will do it in high style, no doubt.

Cate is the undisputed “Queen of the Red Carpet.” Cate loves fashion, and fashion loves her back. She is always flawless, and her choices are right on the money and often surprising.

I can’t think of another actress besides Zendaya who would do as much justice to this ravishing gold Rick Owens gown.

Penelope Cruz

During her stellar career, Penelope Cruz has made countless appearances on the red carpet. Though Cruz, who loves color and graphic black and white, seems to favor Chanel, she doesn’t stick with just one designer.

Someone should wear Monique Lhuillier’s pink feathered dress confection to the Oscars (if not here, where?). It might as well be Cruz, who is poised to make Oscar history with her Best Actress Nomination for “Parallel Mothers.”

If Cruz wins, she will be only the fifth leading lady to be recognized for two non-English language performances.

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Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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