Keeping with the pastel theme, but not at all sleepy, Aussie actor Kodi Smit-McPhee of “The Power of the Dog” wore a custom baby blue Bottega Veneta suit with matching platform shoes in the company’s signature lattice leather. Bottega. The look capped Smit-McPhee’s run as the menswear ingenue of this year’s Oscar circuit. (His previous impeccable but quirky outfits: a green and orange Gucci suit with olive ostrich feather sleeves, an oversized, boxy Humphrey Bogart Vuitton suit, and a truly inspired Bottega ensemble that included Kelly green rubber rain boots and a single dangling earring.) Another star color of the night – as is the case at almost every Oscar – was red. It’s timeless. It jumps. It matches the rug. ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ star Simu Liu’s maraschino cherry costume wasn’t quite as unexpected as Smit-McPhee’s robin egg coloring, but it was another refreshing departure of men’s fashion in basic black. Could the tyranny of the blabbering, stuffy tuxedo finally come to an end?
One of the highlights of the night was seeing Anitas, and now Oscar winners, Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreno kiss on the red carpet. They had different approaches to dressing, but both looked fabulous. DeBose, who won Best Supporting Actress this year for her role in ‘West Side Story,’ wore a custom khaki Valentino trouser suit with a corseted top and structured flowing cape that she waved in front the cameras like a seasoned bullfighter. The look managed to convey glamor and total comfort, like an unattainable and ambitious pajamas. Moreno, who won her Oscar for playing Anita sixty years ago, wore a ruffled black Carolina Herrera dress and a feather Adrienne Landau hat. Ninety years old, she looked nerdy, but at ease. She told Laverne Cox she wore the hat because “what the hell”, adding, “I love how I look! Kill me, chase me!