Okay, here’s a thought experiment:
We’re always told that A-listers (or really, their stylists) confer with fashion houses before the major awards shows, securing looks their clients can wear at the myriad events awards season brings – and as we know, there’s a scramble to make sure the biggest stars get the best looks.
In other words, the looks come first, and then find their homes on the wearers. But there’s also often some customization, too – this designer or that will swap the bodice from dress A with the skirt from B, etc. But still, convention says the design is the design first.
Do you think there’s ever an exception? Like, say, for example, someone on your team clues you in to the fact that Oprah, who is most definitely having a glorious moment, is producing The Color Purple. Do you think it wouldn’t influence you to produce certain looks in hues you might not otherwise?
Obviously Oprah’s been doing this for the entirety of the promotional cycle, but we’re reaching new heights now. Like, I love this look so much I cannot see straight:
It’s not just how good she knows she looks in this shimmery Louis Vuitton, though that’s more than a small part of it. Her hair is great, and so under-done relative to a lot of Oprah’s past looks. The glasses are really working, and look at the swing on her earring in this shot:
That is purple coming at you in a way that is playful and cheeky and… toothsome? I also love that it’s not an exact match – I used the word ‘ultraviolet’ above, but you could say those amethysts (I assume) were almost aubergine, while that prism-y dress has more blue in it. I cannot wait for this colour to hit the regular-people world so I can swath myself in it, even if nothing else will catch the light like this.
Official Best Friend Gayle King is an incredible support to Oprah in so many ways (we’ll come back to that) but here she even echoes her look in a slightly-lighter hue and similar frameless glasses:
I had a hard time finding shots of Gayle, because she was working, but even here you can see how great this colour is, right? It’s already true that when you see Gayle, you think Oprah, but here she’s making sure there’s no doubt.
Fantasia, on the other hand, is still on theme, but has the look of someone who is hedging – I don’t dislike this dress, but it feels very much like it is the one you wear so you can keep your showstopper for another time, right?
It’s Dolce & Gabbana and it’s.. fine to good, you know? I’m biased because I don’t love pastels or this kind of dropped-waist skirt, but the neckline is incredible on her, and she consistently rocks the best short hairstyle in the business, which is so refreshing.
But it’s worth noting that you don’t have to always be exactly on trend. Here’s Danielle Brooks, who posted after the Best Supporting Actress trophy went to Da’Vine Joy Randolph.
You know Iâ€™ma keep a smile on my face honey. Still a winner baby! pic.twitter.com/qNNTwCNH6P— Danielle Brooks (@thedanieb) January 8, 2024
Imagine being as cool as Danielle Brooks? Everything from the colour to the caption is great, distinctive and exciting and individual – and also hard to pin down. On the carpet and in the ballroom it seemed to read like a cherry tone, but here it looks almost orange, which is a complementary colour to purple, you know.
All in all, a great showing as a group – and that’s not by accident, the ‘as a group’ part. Remember when I said Gayle was a great friend? Well:
Sometimes when there are pesky rumors going around about you and one of the stars of your movie – a star who is conspicuously absent at this event – it’s great to be able to have your best friend ask you about those rumors live on air, so you can squash them and point out just how silly they really are, right? To allow you, while looking absolutely goddamn incredible, to say, in your iconic Oprah cadence, “Why is my name even in the converSAtion?”, while Danielle Brooks and Fantasia Barrino try their best to chime in at the right times but also kind of wish they were anywhere else?
That is a very, very good friend, and I have no doubt Oprah thinks so too…