4 times fashion made a strong statement on the Oscars red carpet

Natalie Portman arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/
Natalie Portman arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Fashion is a powerful way to make a statement on the red carpet, and the Oscars is the perfect place to get your message heard.

Statements can be made with various degrees of subtlety, and the 2020 red carpet was certainly full of celebrities championing messages dear to them.

Here is how fashion was used to make a statement on the red carpet…

1. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman (Richard Shotwell/AP)

Natalie Portman has a long-standing relationship with the fashion house Dior, so it was no surprise she chose a black and gold caped outfit by the label for the Oscars. The lapel of the cape is decorated with names in gold, such as “Wang” and “Gerwig” – references to Lulu Wang, director of The Farewell, and Greta Gerwig, director of Little Women.

In an interview on the red carpet, the actress said: “I wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their incredible work this year, in my own subtle way.”

2. Jonathan Pryce

Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce (Jordan Strauss/AP)

Jonathan Pryce is nominated for the best actor gong for his role in The Two Popes. He walked the red carpet in a classic black tux, with the addition of a pin on his lapel.

When asked about the movie, Pryce told E!: “It says a lot, it’s a film about tolerance and understanding and that’s particularly important to today’s world. It’s about taking care of refugees, I’m wearing my Choose Love pin.”

3. Waad Al-Kateab

Waad Al-Kateab
Waad Al-Kateab (John Locher/AP)

For Sama is nominated for the best documentary feature at the Oscars. It follows filmmaker Waad al-Kateab’s time in Aleppo, Syria, in the throes of conflict. She walked the red carpet in a pale pink dress with bright Arabic letters, which the film’s Twitter page translates to: “We dared to dream and we will not regret dignity.”

4. Spike Lee

Spike Lee
Spike Lee (Jordan Strauss/AP)

Spike Lee paid tribute with his fashion choice for the Oscars. He sported a purple suit with gold piping, with the number “24” emblazoned on the lapels. This is a nod to the late basketball player Kobe Bryant. The suit’s colours are a nod to Bryant’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers, and 24 was his jersey number.

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