Couture Dresses to Save the Oscars Red Carpet

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The Oscars red carpet is fun and all, but how much MORE fun would it be if you dressed Meryl Streep or Viola Davis? What about Ruth Negga or Janelle Monáe? Stakes would be so high. You would get into fights on your couch at Oscar parties every time frickin’ Bobby to your right said, “that dress is dumb.”

“THAT’S MY DRESS,” you’d shout. Well guess what? THESE ARE MY DRESSES. Hypothetically.

I paired my short list of most-dreamy-to-dress Oscar nominated actresses (and a few actresses in Oscar-nominated movies) with looks exclusively from Couture Spring 2017. My picks are below, but we’ve got some time before the big night and I’m open to suggestions.

Meryl Streep, nominated for Actress in a Leading Role (Florence Foster Jenkins), would wear Elie Saab.

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Amy Adams, actress in Arrival (nominated for eight categories including Best Picture), would wear Schiaparelli.

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Amy said to me, “Give me a suit or you’re fired,” so I found her a couture tux and got a raise. I thought the red embroidery on the lapel was a nice touch to break it up from your usual penguin suit.

Emma Stone, nominated for Actress in a Leading Role (La La Land), would wear Jean Paul Gaultier.

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Emma Stone and I had a long talk about this. She said, “Amelia, I think I am ready for a little more Fashion with a capital F.” I said, “Emma, are you sure? Because if Us Weekly doesn’t give you shit for getting a little weird, the internet will.” She told me that she recently went to court just to get her middle name changed from Jean to Danger, so I said fine. I showed her this blouse/dress combo, nixed the hat and we had a winner.

Janelle Monáe, actress in Moonlight (nominated for eight categories including Best Picture) and Hidden Figures (nominated for three categories including Best Picture), would wear Armani Privé.

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Janelle Monáe takes risks so I gave her the sun.

Ruth Negga, nominated for Actress in a Leading Role (Loving), would wear Valentino.

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Ruth said, “I want to look like a glamorous angel who inspires daydreaming humans to turn clouds into recognizable shapes.” “You already do,” I replied. Then she gave me a stern but kind look that I know means business. Thank god for this pearl-colored Valentino and its accompanying good-aura overlay.

Michelle Williams, nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role (Manchester by the Sea), would wear Givenchy.

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Lord knows what somewhat similar inanimate object or cartoon the meme queens will compare this dress to, but Michelle Williams DGAF. (We agreed that we’d go for a more subtle and delicate shoe, though.)

Naomie Harris, nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role (Moonlight), would wear Giambattista Valli.

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We really wanted Naomie Harris to look back on photos of this night and say, “Hell yes. That is the dress I won my Oscar in.”

Natalie Portman, nominated for Actress in a Leading Role (Jackie), would wear Valentino.

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Natalie and her baby-to-be wanted room to breathe and an ethereal shimmer to match that of her cheekbone’s natural highlighter.

Octavia Spencer, nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role (Hidden Figures), would wear Valentino. 

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Octavia did wonders to the red-carpet suit (Amy Adams, Octavia is on your inspiration board, FYI), so she asked for something completely different this go-around. What better than this ivory OTS Valentino Couture gown? If you were wondering, no, my clients don’t care that I put them in looks from the same designer. They get it!

Taraji P. Henson, actress in Hidden Figures (nominated for Writing [Adapted Screenplay]), would wear Ralph & Russo.

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Funny story about this one: Taraji and I texted a photo of it to each other at the exact same time while brainstorming her Oscars outfit. When you spend a lot of time with someone that happens, you know?

Viola Davis, nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role (Fences), would wear Chanel.

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I don’t want to say I saved the best for last but…I also didn’t want to cover up Viola Davis’s perfect arms and then I found the kind of dress that few could pull off with as much grace as she. It could easily go costume or too decade-literal in the wrong context. Davis was down (she looked perfect in the fitting), we high fived and then she hit the red carpet with aplomb.

Boom. Easy. That’s how you dress 11 stars for the 2017 Academy Awards.

Images via Getty and Vogue Runway.

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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