Now that the Oscar nominations have finally been announced, it’s time to shift the focus from the screen to the red carpet. With fresh faces like Rooney Mara, Bérénice Bejo, Melissa McCarthy, and Jessica Chastain gracing the carpet, excitement is already stirring over the nominees’ potential fashion choices.
Recent fashion favorite Rooney Mara is certainly expected to catch the audience’s attention after gaining fashion praise for her darkly romantic Nina Ricci gown worn at the Golden Globes. And, although one would hope for Michelle Williams to sport the infamous blonde coif and vivacious pinup look inspired by her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, it’s not likely. Alongside Oscar veteran Meryl Streep, Williams tends to go for looks that radiate a sort of effortless, subdued feminism. The contrast between Mara’s gothic beauty and Williams’ girlish charm should grab photographers’ attention nonetheless.
In the Best Supporting Actress category, Jessica Chastain will most likely stun audiences, as designers will be courting The Help actress in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Needless to say, there were plenty of runway looks this season that may appeal to the retro ladylike costumes found in the film.
In the case of funny woman Melissa McCarthy, who was anything but a fashion icon in this year’s Bridesmaids, it’s anyone’s guess. The presence of a female comedian at the awards show famous for snubbing the genre is a feat in itself.
Recent Globe winner Viola Davis, who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help, has also prepared for her Oscar premiere by showing off a number of favorable looks at previous events. While she has been opting for bold colors thus far, Davis told The Hollywood Reporter that whatever she chooses, “I’m going to have fun with it.”
Of course, those not nominated are not exempt from the fashion speculation, as audiences hope for Best Dressed contenders like Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie to make their way down the carpet as honored guests anyways.
If the nominated films are any indication though as to what fashion will rule the red carpet this year, viewers can expect a return to the nostalgia of old-school cinema thanks to Best Picture favorites The Artist and Hugo. The former, a silent film made by French director Michel Hazanivicus, revisits the era of old-time Hollywood, while Martin Scorsese took audiences back in time to 1930’s Paris in his 3-D film.
Coincidentally, both directors used the innovation of modern filmmaking to address the art of classic cinema, in much the same way this season’s top designers turned to decades past for their runway inspirations. It seems that with a whole timeline of options at hand this year, this may just be the moment for some red carpet innovation.