To hell with the staid rules of the Oscar red carpet this year.

There were women in pantsuits. (I wonder if rapper, actor Awkawfina would give me her glitzy DSquared suit when she’s done.) There was a man in a purple suit and gold Jordans. (Yes, Spike Lee, yes). And some of the gowns were just inappropriately too long, but still perfect. (Hello Gemma Chan in hot pink Balmain with pockets. Oh My God, the pockets.)

But the women who stepped out in gowns checked all the boxes that made their dresses amazing. Regina King’s all-white Oscar de la Renta took my breath away. King purposely chose an American designer, she said, because the story of her character in If Beale Street Could Talk was a woman who is often a forgotten part of the fabric of America.

Kacey Musgraves in Giambattista Valli was soft pink and off-the-shoulder nymph-like, that might be a bit much in other years. But since I’ll take anything that will help me escape, she gets a thumbs up. Angela Bassett murdered in hot-pink Reem Acra. She was the perfect bowed present for husband, Courtney B. Vance. Emilia Clarke in her structured Balmain. (Khaleesi where was your blond hair?) And Charlize Theron in Dior. The dramatic back out was truly to die for.

There was a big letdown though. A Star Is Born’s Lady Gaga’s all black and too structured Alexander McQueen was incredibly underwhelming. She looked so great at the Golden Globes I wanted more confection. All I got was drab.

But ironically the best ball gown of the night, in my humble opinion, went to a man. Pose star Billy Porter, go head with your bad self in that beyond perfect velvet, is it a gown. Christian Siriano slayed that look.

Billy Porter

Pose star Billy Porter in this black suitesque ball gown number by Christian Siriano is indeed epic.

Constance Wu

So you thought yellow made people look sallow? Not so much. Constance Wu is killing it in her fitted- to-a -T, tailored, and, uber yellow custom Versace. If only we all looked good in that hard to wear shade.

Spike Lee

Purple is not for everyone … even Spike Lee. Still he rocked black Brit designer Ozwald Boateng that he paired with gold, Jordan III’s.

Laura Harrier

Laura Harrier’s light blue Louis Vuitton is quite the impressionable dress. It’s sustainably sourced, Harrier said on the red carpet. That means the beading and the fabric is eco-friendly. But I love the amazing jeweled choker of the BlackKklansman star. Talk about bling. Poifection.

Stephan James

Stephan James, one of the star’s of If Beale Street Could Talk, appeared on the red carpet in a plush red velvet custom Etro Suit. Can true fiyah be that soft?

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert’s fantastical Alexander McQueen sleeves and Tom Ford shirt was strangely perfect for this night. I’m super impressed by the men this year.


Philly’s own Questlove tries to put his best foot forward on the red carpet. Afro? Check. Pic? Check. Black suit with red accents? We don’t love it but Quest is doing his best and it’s perfectly Afrocentric during this helluva Black History Month.


I know that metallics and pantsuits will be two of the hottest trends tonight. Rapper and Crazy Rich Asians actress Awkwafina has already mastered the look — complete with massive pussy bow blouse. Even the pants’ hem is too long in the trendiest way. I can only hope that this suit — and the matching envelope clutch — make their way to a thrift store near me sooner rather than later. #lovingthis.

Michelle Yeoh

Crazy Rich Asian’s Michelle Yeoh took it all the way ball gown chic in this Elie Saab gown. The Roger Vivier jewelry is truly the best of all things Academy Awards sparkle.

Maria de Tavira

Red gowns always make a statement, but rarely is that statement ethereal. That’s why I absolutely loved Roma actress Marina de Tavira’s airy J. Mendel. She was floating on a cloud and that was clear from her dress. Stunning.

Regina King

Regina King told Ryan Seacrest that her role in the adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk was mind-blowing. But what was really mind-blowing was King’s beyond amazing strapless white Oscar de la Renta gown with the nipped waist and showstopping split. King referred to de la Renta as an American designer and her character, Sharon Rivers, as a woman who was a part of the fabric of America. What a lovely metaphor.

Emilia Clarke

We almost didn’t recognize Emilia Clarke with the chocolate brown bob — Khlaleesi, the mother dragons on HBO’s Game of Thrones is a hot, white blonde whose clothing is flowing. But tonight, Clarke was the definition of ravishing structure in a metallic pink Balmain gown. (Maybe she chatted it up with Awkwafina earlier?)

Gemma Chan

Crazy Rich Asian’s Gemma Chan in hot pink Valentino complete with high collar, ruffles, a dramatic train and oh my! The pockets! The Bulgari earrings were just enough. She looks so comfy. She says for her the experience is surreal. I think her look is.

Glenn Close

The Wife actress Glenn Close looks like a cloaked Oscar in this golden Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera gown. The train alone weighed 42 pounds, she said.

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett is always just so perfect. And tonight she was wrapped up in perfect voluminous hot pink bow of a dress designed by Reem Acra. Her husband, Courtney B. Vance, was in Brooks Brothers head-to-toe. #relationshipgoals

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron in Dior. Periwinkle. Long sleeves. Back out. Demure. This was a red carpet win. But really, did we expect anything else?

Kacey Musgraves

At first I wanted to hate Grammy album of the year winner Kacey Musgraves’ too-light pink gown. Who in their right minds needs all that froufrou around their neck? But then I watched Musgraves glide across the red carpet in that Giambattista Valli and I thought good job. Hard to wear, yes, but good job.

Emma Stone

The Favourite’s Emma Stone in sweet, exaggerated shoulder gown courtesy of Louis Vuitton. The dress manages to be classic, yet futuristic — thank you, copper metallics — at the same time.

Lady Gaga

A Star Is Born’s Lady Gaga was too bronzed in this let’s call it surprisingly simple for Gaga, Alexander McQueen. There was nothing really wrong with it. It was strapless. It was structured. The elbow-length gloves always add a bit of style. But it didn’t come together well. The whole look just wasn’t pretty.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez will always find redemption on the red carpet. She looked so great in this mirrored, metallic gown by Tom Ford, almost makes me want to give her a pass for her Motown Grammy performance. #winning.

Melissa McCarthy

Can You Ever Forgive Me?'s Melissa McCarthy in Brandon Maxwell black and white jumpsuit and contrasting cape — lots of cape details on the red carpet Sunday night — was simply gorgeous. That is all.

Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer in midnight blue Christian Siriano was all about the after party. From the off-the-shoulder, princess silhouette to the glitter that reminded me of a vast sky full of twinkling stars.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren darned near floated down the Oscar red carpet in a salmon and orange and tulle Schiaparelli that was ballerina beautiful.