Kayleigh covered how this year’s BAFTAs were one hot mess of trying to be the Oscars. Not surprisingly, while the film industries of the world are always trying to carve a space for themselves against the dominance of Hollywood, the British film industry has a number of seats at the table reserved for itself, though always as a subsidiary of the US. Following that induced pattern, it was inevitable for the BAFTAs to become a subsidiary of the Oscars. Except for one thing: the fashion at the former’s red carpet is always more adventurous, more dazzling, and more … well, glamorous than the trends of the latter, guided by the stars and stylists’ neurotic eagerness to fall in the graces of several interests groups: Live-Love-Laugh Minivan Majorities, producers strategizing for the next cycle of Awards runs, the mean idiots on the internet that think they’re fashion experts just because they’ve been following red carpets since they were 13, future brand endorsements if they’re about to become free agents, the expectations of your fellow castmates and crew and, of course, Academy voters that might vote for you next time over.
Well, the same thing that makes has relegated the BAFTAs one tier below the Oscars is what lets stars relax and experiment. Of course, it shouldn’t be a surprise considering the British fashion industry has been the hub for fashion-forward ideas since the last time tensions between Russia and NATO were at an all time high. How great thou art Edward Enninful.
Winners and Nominees.
Probably because of COVID, several of the nominees we most wanted to see did not show up, like Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga (Best Lead and Supporting Actress for Passing, respectively) or Mahershala Ali (Best Actor, for Swan Song) or Best Actor Winner Will Smith. Also Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t show, but I don’t think you were asking.
Lady Gaga of course had one of the best looks of the night in Ralph Lauren, which I’m beginning to think is the one she wanted to wear at the Oscars, hadn’t she been snubbed. But my favorites were Emilia Jones in Atelier Versace and Alana Haim in … no, no way, a gorgeous figure-flattering Louis Vuitton? It almost doesn’t look like one! Well, in Emilia Jones’ case, the maxim of dressing up in the colors of the award comes into full effect again, there is something magical about leafy golden dresses that always works, paired so well with her simple hairdo:
Renate Reinsve also looked lovely in … no way, another great Louis Vuitton? Though it is slightly out of character from her previous style choices, still wonderful. Joanna Scanlan’s makeup and hairdo were gorgeous and great accessorizing.
In the Best Supporting Actress category, Ariana DeBose understood the assignment in Oscar de la Renta and made all Latinehood proud. Again, spectacular hairdo, gorgeous color, the earrings.
Now, I am already biased towards Irish women in general, so no wonder I’m digging most of Catríona Balfe’s Armani black dress, but I would’ve paired it with a looser hairstyle and a stronger shade of red lipstick.
Here is Ann Dowd looking lovely:
The other queen of the category for me was Jessie Buckley in this Alexander McQueen … is this what you guys call a deconstruction? Well, I love it, I love how much futurism there is in everything she’s wearing here, and no, it’s not just my bias for Irish women talking (it is, but my truth has a well-known Irish women bias).
Lashana Lynch came to pick an almost foretold Rising Star Awards in this Prada, basically in honor of being so good in No Time to Die that not even the trolls attacked her. The color is perfect, but I feel like the cut is a little too boxy. Perfect earrings.
Now, when it comes to the dudes … look, Benedict Cumberbatch looked dapper and so did most of the others. But they weren’t the real Kings of the evening, with a few exceptions. Because men’s fashion did show up for these BAFTAs, and they deserve their own section. Let me close this one with Best Director nominee Julia Ducournau in Prada … now, having agreed that she is one of the most important auteurs in global cinema today, is it OK to agree she also happens to be gorgeous?
Dudes that didn’t bore.
Obviously, Kodi Smit-McPhee and CODA’s Troy Kotsur would be included here, in custom Louis Vuitton and Gucci respectively (but it’s the beret and the loafers that make Kotsur’s whole look).
The returning king is Riz Ahmed in a three-piece Gucci in pastel colors.
But I’m also here for Sebastian Stan’s Givenchy with rings around the neck, I’m here for Paapa Essiedu other great Gucci with a scarf-thingy, I’m here for Kelvin Harrison, Jr. business-like Burberry, I’m here for Max Hardwood’s teal Moschino, and yes, I’m here even for Daniel Kaluuya’s Prada coat from their McDonald’s capsule collection. A round of applause for dudes who know their colors and their layering.
This section is reserved for dresses I didn’t really like that much, but have some interesting ideas. And yes, Daniel Kaluuya’s coat should be included here too.
Florence Pugh is perfect, don’t get me wrong. I’m into the nose ring, the earrings, the discordant pink tail on this Carolina Herrera, but I feel this kind of short-short dress should be more architectural in a way that highlights the waist and shoulders. Still, a reminder that I’m a straight dude … I ain’t complaining.
And then we have Millie Bobby Brown in … yeah, that looks a Louis Vuitton alright. Look, I think perhaps we worry too much about her. Sure, her parents seem sus as fuck, sure, she has been overexposed and positioned apart from the rest of her Stranger Things castmates, and sure, her fashion choices have not been tailored for a teenager, not so much because they’re inappropriate, but because they are too grown-up. Too “early-1960s-starlet-in-her-20s.” But so far, she doesn’t seem really unadjusted at all: Her career choices have been sensible, she is dating an age-appropriate guy (Bon Jovi’s son!) and this dress, well, it makes absolute sense for a teenager trying to convey the “I’m an adult now” look, which means a revealing and overstuffed dress with accessories and hairdo that go so far into not-matching that they actually fit the messiness of the whole ensemble. This is the part where she experiments, I’m not sure if she’s having fun and probably needs some fashionista training, but it’s absolutely normal for her to try something like this. Lay off her.
My most improved of the night was Léa Seydoux in … this can’t be, another great and figure-flattering Louis Vuitton?
OK, but me thirsty
This one is going to be more, ehmm … respectfully straight-male-gazey than the previous two I’ve made, mostly because I’ve covered the best-looking guys above. While the guys that Brought It more than made up for the tuxedo sameness, they were no more than a dozen. Still, for fairness’ sake, here are some more angles of Sebastian Stan, Paapa Essiedu, Himesh Patel, and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù. Plus, some Tom Hiddleston because I know y’all very much still tap that:
My turn now. First, a rundown of the other looks I loved. In quick succession, this sexy-cute emerald Gucci on Daisy Edgar-Jones, this red Valentino Couture in Haley Bennett, and Wunmi Mosaku in a dazzling canary Marc Jacobs.
Now, let’s quickly run down my weaknesses. Women who are so much my type that I’m predisposed to love everything they wear, except this time I’m also right. First, we have Ellie Bamber in a Chanel that is somehow restrained, whimsy and sexy at the same time. Then, future Galadriel Morfydd Clark in a canary Valentino proving that yes, she is worthy of Cate Blanchett. AJ Odudu killing me without kindness in YANINA Couture. And finally, Beltalowda salutes Dominique Tipper in a one-off by Temperley London and Annie’s Ibiza
The greatest frock of the night, tho, is neither of these. Not even Lady Gaga’s. I mean, I used her photo for the banner picture because of the traffic. But the winner of BAFTAs is someone who’s about to break massively in the new season of Bridgerton, who wasted no time wearing an absolute “I’m here to stay bitches” Maison Valentino: Simone Ashley. She deserves her own Getty insert:
Everything about it looks so comfy and relaxed: The hair, the fabrics, the cut. It’s almost like she wore the chicest PJs ever. Everything is already perfect, but perhaps the one, single thing I would change is … oh god, I’m digging my grave here … the bra. For something more like a bralette, a nod to her upcoming role. But still, as it stands, she is already a future fashion MVP.
Bonus Kristen Stewart
She didn’t attend the BAFTAs, obviously, as she wasn’t nominated, but she did go to the Critics’ Choice Awards being held that same evening in Dolce. And well, you might wanna take a deep breath: