If red carpet stylists had their way, awards season 2024 would be a joyous celebration of emerging designers, diverse talent and archival looks with an underlining note of thoughtfulness regarding the state of fashion. But, there are brand partnerships at play, new collections to promote and sponsors to keep happy. Hollywood’s wardrobes become Tetris puzzles, as celebrity dressers navigate samples, alterations and custom commissions, while keeping in mind both the couture and ready-to-wear trends and incorporating some semblance of sustainability in line with the industry’s commitment to do better for our planet. A dress is never just a dress during awards season.
If this sounds like an impossible tick-boxing exercise, there will be overarching themes at play at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and Oscars, as stylists fall for the same buzzy designers, directional silhouettes and whimsical embellishments that chime with the current mood, but have lasting impact. Vogue picked the brains of three heavyweight dressers to find out what we can expect from the nominees and guests on film’s big nights in 2024.
The SAG-AFTRA strike turned the “fashion space into an art form”, argues Holly White, who dresses emerging stars, like Heartstopper’s Joe Locke. Explainer: in the absence of premieres, celebs turned out to shows, dinners and store events in outfits otherwise reserved for big California moments. As such, there was more experimentation, which will now trickle onto the world’s stage.
Take Sienna Miller’s quirky bump-revealing Schiaparelli moment at Vogue World: London. Undoubtedly one of the looks of the year, masterminded by stylist Harry Lambert, the fabulous white crop top and bubble skirt perhaps wouldn’t have previously found their way to the Academy Awards, but catapulted pure fashion drama to the top of conversations. After being starved of red-carpet wear in the latter part of 2023, expect awards show attendees to dream big. Come January, people will especially be leaning on the new guard – Sabato de Sarno at Gucci, Peter Hawkings at Tom Ford and Chemena Kamali at Chloé – and looking at the modern house visions set to define the year in fashion.
“If there is a time to shine, it’s on the red carpet,” asserts White. “Metallics will reign and spring 2024 brought some modern silhouettes to the runway that will give this somewhat consistent trend a contemporary and updated look.” Watch out, she says, for Paco Rabanne, Alexander McQueen and Ralph Lauren.
Zadrian Smith, who styles Ariana DeBose, agrees: “That Ralph Lauren look on Christy Turlington was killer.” His other predictions, which goes hand in hand with sheeny-shiny fabrications? Sheerness and fringing. “The flapper girl is making a comeback in a big way,” notes Smith, citing heavy embellishment and relaxed silhouettes as key signifiers of the ’20s revival (keep an eye on The Attico, Prada, Jil Sander and Givenchy). On the flip side, micro hemlines will keep the after-party scene looking disco fabulous (Gucci and Tom Ford, we’re looking at you).
Here comes the bride
Bridal was a major trend at last year’s Oscars, but all-white looks also proliferated on the spring 2024 runways, thanks to the likes of Stella McCartney, Prada, Valentino and Acne Studios. “It showed that white isn’t just for weddings,” opines Holly. “The laser-cuts, the sheer details, the neck lines… these looks are red-carpet worthy and I’m excited to see who walks in them.” We can imagine the British contingency – including Rosamund Pike and Emily Blunt – channelling this undone angelic look.
Rose Forde, the woman behind the wardrobes of Cillian Murphy and Jessie Buckley, is excited about the menswear potential. “The red carpet has been the most progressive space for new tailoring silhouettes to emerge,” she shares, predicting fewer bow ties in favor of open shirts and more unique neck adornments. “Final touches and accessories seem to be on the rise – look out for opticals/sunglasses, hats and headpieces, and bags.” With Timothée Chalamet dominating showbiz, thanks to the release of Wonka and the upcoming Dune 2, expect the actor, as always, to lead the charge, but new faces, such as Barry Keoghan, to take up the fashion mantle.
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“There is still pressure on women to wear ‘the gown’,” believes Forde, who hopes for more risk-taking in Tinseltown, as seen this year on Greta Lee, who looked effortlessly cool in out-of-the-box Loewe silhouettes. “You should wear what makes you feel powerful and strong if you’re a leading woman. [There’s scope to] redefine femininity on the red carpet, like we have seen with menswear.” This goes hand in hand with White’s belief that “award season is a celebration of artistry… What better time to commend brands who are championing change in our industry?” With stars, such as Lily Gladstone who champions Indigenous craftsmanship, the future looks bright in LA.