The Daily Californian Arts & Entertainment picks for best-dressed at the Oscars 2020

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This year’s Academy Awards was laden with controversies, surprises and many talked-about moments. This comes as no surprise considering the state of Hollywood throughout this past awards season: the world has been discussing the lack of diversity in the nominees, the continuous snubbing of female directors and the presence of international films at American shows. As one would expect, the show ended up being memorable in a number of ways — one of which was the dazzling red carpet fashion. While it was difficult to narrow down all of the impressive outfits to a few top contenders, here are The Daily Californian’s picks for the best-dressed celebrities at the 2020 Academy Awards.

Natalie Portman in Dior

While plenty of celebrities bring political and social issues to award shows during their acceptance speeches, it’s not as common for them to bring these issues to the red carpet. Natalie Portman, however, made a feminist fashion statement through a subtle addition to her outfit: On top of her elegant black gown with gold details, the actress wore a cape that was embroidered with the names of female directors who were snubbed at this year’s show. The look struck a perfect balance between elegance and social awareness, making it one of the most impactful of the night.

Saoirse Ronan in Gucci

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Saoirse Ronan has been attending the Oscars since she was nominated for the first time at age 13 for her performance in “Atonement.” Since then, Ronan has consistently proven herself to be a talented actress and, of course, a red carpet star. This year’s show was no exception: The four-time Oscar nominee shined in a Gucci dress complete with a black bodice, ivory ruffles and cascading lavender skirt. She may not have won the Oscar for her performance in “Little Women,” but her outfit is a clear winner on our best-dressed list.

Brie Larson in Celine

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Brie Larson looked so good on the Oscars red carpet that it seemed like she was sparkling — except, she really was. The actress wore a Celine dress and matching cape that were embellished with 120,000 sequins, 110,000 glass beads, 13,000 Swarovski crystals and 6,500 strass jewels. Despite the flashiness of her dress, her look as a whole still managed to appear simple and sophisticated, as she complemented the outfit with slicked-back hair and subdued makeup.

Charlize Theron in Dior

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At this year’s Academy Awards, Charlize Theron was the epitome of elegance. The star wore an asymmetrical, fitted black gown with a high slit and a long train, and she completed the outfit with radiant diamond jewelry and pulled-back hair. The color of the dress was understated, but the silhouette ensured that the look would be sultry and timeless. Her appearance on the red carpet reaffirmed her maturity as an actress and a style icon, and it easily secured a spot on our best-dressed list.

Laura Dern in Armani

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Laura Dern has had a busy year, and it’s paid off: She was praised for her performances in “Big Little Lies” and “Little Women,” and after winning Screen Actors Guild, British Academy Film and Golden Globe awards for her performance in “Marriage Story,” she won her first Oscar this year. Before her big win, Dern showed up at the red carpet wearing a blush-colored Armani gown with a tasseled black top. She complemented the dress with diamond jewelry and pulled-back hair — a perfect balance between edgy and elegant, and an obvious choice for our list.

Salem Sulaiman covers fashion. Contact him at [email protected].