Men’s red carpet looks are often boring. Everyone wears the same black tux. Women, on the other hand, bring glamour and beauty to award ceremonies but are often reduced to just those attributes. As #AskHerMore showed us a couple of years ago, famous women would like questions to be different from ‘who are you wearing today?’
These discrepancies bring to light the central problem of fashion: why are men and women’s clothing choices so different? Fashion is political. Feminist critiques of clothes would point out that women’s dresses put aesthetics above function or mobility, while men’s clothing is designed with purpose and not ‘prettiness’ in mind. These questions—of gendered clothing, sexual politics, and the like—have existed in fashion for a long time.
In the 1960s – 1970s, as gender relations in the first world shifted, gender-fluid or androgynous fashion made its mark on the runway. ‘Modern’ women preferred practical clothing but the neutral fashion produced during this era often just put women in masculine clothes without changing men’s fashion. Now – after many decades – gender-fluid clothing has made a fierce comeback in the past few years. Recently, designers at prominent fashion shows have made clothing that can fit either sex and both male and female designs have evolved.
We live in an era with shifting ideas of gender expression, identity, and equality and fashion are changing dramatically. This year’s Oscars were no exception. Here are the seven best gender-fluid fashion looks from the Academy Awards red carpet.
1. Billy Porter
Billy Porter looks amazing in a black velvet tuxedo gown designed by Christian Siriano.
2. Amy Poehler
Actress, comedian, writer, and producer Amy Poehler wore a black tuxedo with a ruffled shirt to the Oscars and looked absolutely amazing.
3. Jason Momoa
The star of Aquaman, Jason Momoa, wore a Fendi light pink velvet tux to the Oscars. His look was completed with a sparkly pink scrunchie tied around his right wrist. The tux was designed by the late Karl Langerfield.
4. Elsie Fisher
The 15-year old star of Eighth Grade looked amazing in a three-piece tuxedo by Thom Browne and sleek, heeled boots.
29-year-old Awfwafina wore a shimmering pink two-piece pantsuit with a large pink pussy bow. The ensemble was by DSquared2. The Crazy Rich Asians star paired it off with a shiny handbag.
6. Stephen James
Stephan James, star of If Beale Street Could Talk, went with a three-piece suit. But he defied convention in that the velvet suit was unapologetically red. The Etro suit looked great on him.
7. Sandy Powell
Sandy Powell, a ‘ Best Costume Design’ nominee for Mary Poppins Returns wore a very unique black and white suit with baggy pants and a long black tie.
8. Spike Lee
Spike Lee ditched traditional suit colors to don a purple two-piece designed by Ozwald Boateng and a pair of golden Jordans. The suit was a tribute to music icon Prince.
9. Diane Warren
The American songwriter arrived on the Red Carpet in a white pantsuit, white heeled boots and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her pocket.