Dresses From The Oscars That Are Actually Cool

By Elle.

If you’re currently thinking ‘Ugh. ANOTHER Oscars fashion post. I’ve seen everything. Eleven-thousand times. It was all boring this year’, I forgive you. And I accept the apology you’ll be murmuring at your screen after four minutes of reading to the bottom of this page. My round-up maybe a tad tardy, but I can assure you I have scoured ACTUAL thousands of photos to unearth the good shit. The best shit. This includes after-parties and plus-ones and people I’m not sure have been in any films since 2014. Because, let’s face it – most of the big names go for a slightly elevated version of Basic Bitch Goes To Prom. Here are my much-better alternatives…

Janelle Monae in Elie Saab

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YES. Thank you. THIS is what I want in an Oscars gown! It brings drama and decadence to a carpet mostly full of meh. Janelle’s really nailed that sweet spot between making a statement and retaining elegance. The hair and makeup is perfection too.

Sidenote: She also wore a bangin’ dress to the Vanity Fair party afterwards:

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Isabelle Huppert in Armani Prive

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I’m loathe to lead with Isabelle’s age, but this woman is almost 64. 64! Anyway, age has nothing to do with the fact this look is pure class, and she embodies everything I always admire in French women. I don’t even care about that being a sweeping generalisation – they’re just cool to the bone, always.

Kirsten Dunst in Dior

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Kirsten has been a steady style crush of mine since the Bring It On days. I even took this pic to the hairdressers once, requesting a replication that was flat-out denied by the stylist.


I feel like Kirsten’s always had a strong sense of her own personal style — and she really knows fashion. Despite this look actually being quite simple, it just looks cool and effortless on her. Plus, POCKETS.

Thandie Newton in Schiaparelli Couture

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I feel like if I say ‘cool’ once more you’ll close this tab, but c’mon — this is just really fucking cool. It’s sexy and edgy and such a relief amongst all those gold dresses and overdone curls. It makes me long for a pair of fashion tits so I could wear this kind of getup without looking like a CBB contestant.

Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph and Russo

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And lastly, this lil angel. So pretty! So sparkly! It would look trashy on anyone else, but I proper love it on Hailee. A+ for hair and makeup too — a power blowdry and smoky eye woulda murdered the whole thing stone dead.

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