It’s Oscar weekend in Hollywood which means… wall-to-wall parties and events. Everyone is in town, everyone is taking meetings, walking red carpets, predicting who’ll win, gossiping about who won’t, and probably no one is busier than the stylists who aren’t just pulling one look for one person but multiple looks for every person. And that includes Danielle Deadwyler, who served two bangers yesterday at the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and at the Versace fashion show.
But first, before we talk about the fashion, let’s talk about the work. Because the reason Danielle was honoured at the ESSENCE event yesterday was for her work in Till, playing Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till. Buzz for Danielle’s performance in the film started late summer last year, picking up more and more momentum through the fall after it premiered at the New York Film Festival and opened in the fall. Widely considered to be one of the best performances of the year, Danielle was nominated for a Gotham, a Critics Choice Award, singled out in Santa Barbara, and was a SAG nominee, which is always a strong marker for an Oscar nomination. And then, well, you know what happened with Andrea Riseborough and the Oscars.
Sarah wrote yesterday about The Hollywood Reporter’s Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot and how reasonable, for a change, this year’s THR Oscar voter sounded. It was much shadier at Entertainment Weekly, though, as they published the preferences of four Academy voters, including an acclaimed actor who had this to say about the Riseborough shenanigans and Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler being left off the ballot:
“If it hadn't been for Viola Davis being mad she wasn't nominated, I don't think anybody would've questioned it.... it's ridiculous, it's sour grapes. The Academy has bent over backwards to be inclusive. Last year, there were more Black people presenting. It's like, come on. I think Viola Davis is talented, I didn't see Woman King, but I'm a little tired of Viola Davis and her snotty crying. I'm over all of that. I'm willing to believe that Andrea Riseborough gave a better performance. [Danielle Deadwyler] was so pandering [in Till] for an Academy Award nomination. She was good. I mean, who wouldn't be good in a part like that? The strong, wronged mother. But you look at the real Mamie Till, she's not wearing all of these incredible gowns and beautifully made-up. I thought it was a confusing message. If they'd really [made a movie about] that woman, who was not used to being in the public eye and wore house dresses, she [wouldn't have] had one incredible outfit after another. The ego behind this pushing her to be a movie star was too blatant for me.”
So he didn’t even see The Woman King. And for whatever reason he held Danielle’s wardrobe in Till against her… because, you know, in his mind, Mamie Till-Mobley, a Black woman mourning the murder of her child should only wear house dresses?!
If the racism hasn’t choked you yet, just wait, he has more to say:
"When they get in trouble for not giving Viola Davis an award, it's like, no, sweetheart, you didn't deserve it. We voted, and we voted for the five we thought were best. It's not fair for you to start suddenly beating a frying pan and say [they're] ignoring Black people. They're really not, they're making an effort. Maybe there was a time 10 years ago when they were, but they have, of all the high-profile things, been in the forefront of wanting to be inclusive. Viola Davis and the lady director need to sit down, shut up, and relax. You didn't get a nomination — a lot of movies don't get nominations. Viola, you have one or two Oscars, you're doing fine."
So Danielle won’t be at the Oscars on Sunday. But she’ll be everywhere else this weekend, and to go back to yesterday, she was honoured at the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Award in a beautifully tailored black suit and I love the cut of these pants – a little baggy, high waist, under a slightly longer jacket, and this blouse! That collar, those chains around her neck, all of it framing her face so delicately … SO GOOD.
But then, for Versace, the exact opposite. Danielle goes from demure to dangerous in an exquisite embellished bustier over a leather skirt and a jacket on and off draped over her shoulders. Imagine then what we’ve missed out on, among so many other things, from her not being at the Oscars.
Other style highlights at the ESSENCE party – one of my favourites, Yara Shahidi, in yellow. This set is basically a pair of joggers under a long shirt jacket. It’s amazing.
And OMG Teyana Taylor…. I can’t. I would f-ck this outfit if I could.
Everything about this is my kink, from the turtleneck to the cropped blazer to the pants with the back apron and that cross-body chain on the inside, and the mullet hairstyle, it’s giving McQueen but make it MC Hammer.