Magazine article Variety

She's Got the Look

Magazine article Variety

She's Got the Look

Article excerpt

From a rape victim in "Elle" to a crack-addicted mother in "Moonlight," this year's nominated female roles are confronting, arresting, and varied. The same can be said for the actresses who play them, who choose to lead, rather than follow, with their choices in both film and fashion.

Viola Davis made a pointed statement on the Golden Globes red carpet. "The bright yellow was a symbol of hope and optimism," says stylist Elizabeth Stewart of Davis' Michael Kors gown. "It was very intentional. It feels like we're living in dark times, and we've been choosing colors and dresses that symbolize hope."

Nicole Kidman, too, is not one to shy from a bold choice. Twenty years after her chartreuse Dior catapulted her to the top of the best-dressed list, the "Lion" nominee had no hesitation about the divisive Gucci she wore to the SAG Awards. "I fell in love with the dress, and so did Nicole," says stylist Julia Von Boehm. On the red carpet, she says, Kidman will "never bore."

Also not one to compromise is "Hidden Figures" nominee Octavia Spencer, who wore a Laura Basci to the Globes. "We like to be unpredictable in our choices," says stylist Wendi Ferreira.

In the lead-up to the Oscars, here's a look back at each nominee's awards-season red carpet triumphs.

Lead Actress

ISABELLE HUPPERT 1

The "Elle" nominee is no stranger to couture: She modeled for Givenchy and has sat front-row at Armani, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton shows. The 63-year-old icon of French cinema, who holds the record for the most César nominations ever (16), favors power pantsuits, such as the crimson Haider Ackermann she wore to the AFI Fest, but she can also pull off a gown with aplomb. Our favorites include her embellished blue Armani Privé at the Golden Globes, where Huppert nabbed the lead drama actress award; a bespoke emerald Chloé at Cannes, and an embellished black Dior at Les Globes de Cristal Award in Paris.

RUTH NEGGA 2

Since her breakout role in "Loving," the Irish-Ethiopian actress, 35, has fast become a red-carpet star thanks to her modern twist on old Hollywood glamour. Highlights from a stellar season include a sheer Marc Jacobs at the premiere of "Loving" in Cannes, a scarlet birdprint Valentino at the Paris premiere, and a bedazzled green Prada at the People Ones to Watch party in Beverly Hills. Of the custom-made Louis Vuitton she wore to the Golden Globes, Negga told reporters, "When an artist, a creator, a genius custom-makes something for you, it's extraordinary."

NATALIE PORTMAN 3

Leave it to the "Jackie" star to master maternity red-carpet style. Throughout the season, Portman, 35, has celebrated her growing bump in a succession of stunning, attention-grabbing gowns. Standouts include the chartreuse Prada she wore to the Golden Globes, the elegant one-shoulder Dior she donned to the "Planetarium" premiere at the Venice Film Festival, a bejeweled navy Erdem at the Huading Global Film Awards, and a sweeping Dior Haute Couture at the SAG Awards.

EMMA STONE 4

In 2015, Stone caused a sensation when she donned a Lanvin jumpsuit at the Golden Globes. This year, the "La La Land" nominee, 28, continued her style streak with a succession of red-carpet choices that showcase her fashion wit. Favorites include red-and-gold Chanel at the Paris premiere of "La La Land," embellished Armani Privé Couture at the AFI Fest, fringed custom Versace at the Venice Film Festival, and star-studded Valentino at the Golden Globes, where Stone took home the award for lead actress in a comedy.

MERYL STREEP 5»

Given that she holds the record for most Academy Award nominations ever (20), she could be forgiven for phoning it in on the red carpet. …

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