As noted in the previous post about the Academy Museum gala, this was a major event on the Hollywood calendar. The Oscar Academy is a big deal, and Academy functions are work functions. This is why the gala was so well-attended, with past Oscar winners and nominees showing face among Academy members, and current contenders angling for any edge they might have over potential fellow nominees.
But as powerful as the Academy is in Hollywood, it still has to prioritise staying relevant. The Museum celebrates a century of filmmaking and Hollywood tradition but if the status of the Academy within the industry isn’t maintained, nobody will give a sh-t about its history. Which is why it’s important for the Academy to connect to the next generation of members, making sure to matter to the young and emerging talent that will carry on its legacy.
For Thuso Mbedu, then, this was probably the most important Hollywood party she’s attended in her career. Thuso is the star of Barry Jenkins’s acclaimed series, The Underground Railroad, her most high-profile role to date. She’s now being invited to a high-profile Academy event, among some of the heaviest hitters in the business. It was a big moment for her.
So of course, the dress was custom:
Kaia Gerber and Jacob Elordi chose this event to make their red carpet debut together:
I mean, if you’re going to premiere yourselves as a couple, officially, you can’t ask for a better occasion. Kaia’s been breaking out into acting the last couple of years. She’s in the current season of American Horror Stories and is presumably reading for more prominent roles.
But if we’re talking breakouts, well 2021 belongs to Olivia Rodrigo who was more established at the start of her young career for acting and is now a serious double threat with the success first of “drivers licence” and now her first album, Sour.
Like everyone else in this post, this was Olivia’s first appearance at an Academy event – and, well, she wanted to make an impression. The dress is Saint Laurent. It’s a showstopper. And if clothes are part of the work, what’s the goal of this particular look? Well, first of all, she’s more than just plaid and Doc Martens and pigtails. Olivia Rodrigo can also serve high glamour. And while she has Disney roots, she’s not here to play it safe and wholesome. She can take risks, both in fashion choices and her acting and music choices. Will be very interesting to see who casts her in their next film. I promise you the conversations are happening.