Oscars 2020: Best and worst dressed stars from Margot and Saoirse to Sandra

Laura Dern greets Billy Porter on the red carpet at the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Monday (AEST).

Laura Dern greets Billy Porter on the red carpet at the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Monday (AEST). Photo: Getty

Usually the Academy Awards red carpet is a sea of what stylists hope/fear could make Oscars’ best and worst dressed lists: ‘Old Hollywood’ gowns, Harry Winston diamonds, the odd kooky push-the-envelope dress with structural bits for ingenues who need to stand out.

Not in 2020.

Yes, most nominees went for safe and a stack of stars retreated to the comfort of black, but there were also those who sprinkled the whole event with gauche bad taste. And thus made it fun for us at home.

Let’s start with most divisive and high fashion Oscars dress. Clashing a modern plunging peplum with a dreamy ballgown skirt, Saoirse Ronan’s Gucci number was the fashion love child of parents who hate each other but are hanging in for the kids.

Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan. Photo: Getty

Margot Robbie was more understudy than leading lady in a vaguely dispiriting Grecian dress with giant gem. Time to break up with Chanel?

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie. Photo: Getty

Renee Zellweger channelled Princess Diana circa 1996’s revenge dressing phase in an asymmetrical Armani dress.

Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger. Photo: Getty

Laura Dern looked like the heart of gold, good-time girl brought aboard a riverboat on a Saturday night by a down-on-their-luck gambler.

Laura Dern

Laura Dern. Photo: Getty

Scarlett Johansson was slinky and beautiful and predictable in champagne Oscar de la Renta. Typecast alert.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson. Photo: Getty

Brie Larson shimmered in superhero Celine.

Brie Larson

Brie Larson. Photo: Getty

Oh, Sandra Oh. Sweet William H Macy. A truly strange shower loofah of a dress that ticked every box for successful red carpet dressing: Original, just enough flesh, garish in a mannered way, loathed by many.

Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh. Photo: Getty

Natalie Portman looked Melania meets Star Wars but was actually woke, in a Dior tuxedo cape with the name of this year’s snubbed female directors including Greta Gerwig and Lulu Wang in gold cursive.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman. Photo: Getty

Penelope Cruz had fun in a Chanel halterneck ballerina dress, the first of several mullets on the red carpet.

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz. Photo: Getty

Greta Gerwig was classy and classic in an olive bridesmaid gown. She’ll be able to look back in 20 years and know it held up just fine.

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig. Photo: Getty

Newly blonde Olivia Colman was awesome in futuristic navy velvet that could be worn equally at Buckingham Palace or a space disco.

Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman. Photo: Getty

Florence Pugh’s Louis Vuitton was a luscious sugar rush of color but made her look like a teal Dalek.

Florence Pugh

Florence Pugh. Photo: Getty

Gal Gadot’s Givenchy gown was another tale of two halves, but felt more ‘done’ than Saoirse’s because of the fussy double lace and odd choker.

Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot. Photo: Getty

Catriona Balfe acted as Gal’s photo negative. Powerful juju.

Catriona Balfe. Photo: Getty

Rebel Wilson came as an Oscar, complete with rigid hair and teeth.

Rebel Wilson

Rebel Wilson.

Blac Chyna was all about subtleties. Meanwhile, some kid is looking for the tinsel off the handlebars of their Christmas bike.

Blac Chyna

Blac Chyna. Photo: Getty

Well, she is a comedian. Kristen Wiig’s dress was a striking homage to seahorses and lasagna. Weirdly, her shoes are what I don’t understand. Wait, are they gloves?

Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig. Photo: Getty

Billie Eilish owned her Chanel look after briefing her stylist she was in the mood for a group exercise class at a cashed-up retirement home. And sheesh, she would have struggled with the canapes.


Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish. Photo: Getty

Janelle Monae’s crystal-lacquered custom Ralph Lauren hooded dress was her version of paring it back.

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae. Photo: Getty

Regina King embodied the traditional Oscars look in a strapless blush taffeta ballgown with bedazzled belt that was too bland for her.

Regina King

Regina King. Photo: Getty

Charlize Theron also stuck to the script, in a severely feminine Dior sheath with split and long train. Snore.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron. Photo: Getty

Frozen 2 singer Aurora was super cool, in a sleeveless kimono jacket, martial art pant and sneakers. Oh, and Legolas’ hair and headpiece from Lord of the Rings.


Aurora. Photo: Getty

Lea Seydoux’s Chanel dress had a sporty racer front, 1920s drop waist and enough storage space under it to smuggle someone in.

Lea Seydoux

Lea Seydoux. Photo: Getty

Molly Sims’ daggy dress was the fashion version of a cupcake, all swirls and puffs and drifts of glitter.

Molly Sims

Molly Sims. Photo: Getty

But Cynthia Erivo did the dramatic swirly thing to perfection, smashing it in a sexy, contemporary Versace that every other person would have looked at and thought, ‘Damn.’

Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo. Photo: Getty

As usual, Rooney Mara looked terrified but needn’t have. She’s been down the sophisticated goth road many times before.

Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara. Photo: Getty

Diane Warren and Paul Antonelli may have had to avoid naked flames all night but their matching silver suits were couples goals. His was pure novelty, but hers was rock star power dressing.

Diane Warren Paul Antonelli

Diane Warren and Paul Antonelli. Photo: Getty

Irish composer Eimear Noone teamed the top part of a pantomime medieval knight’s festival outfit with jeggings.

Eimer Noone

Eimear Noone. Photo: Getty

Timothee Chalamet (in Stella McCartney) came as a US postal worker.

Tinothee Chalamet

Timothee Chalamet. Photo: Getty

Billy Porter’s Giles Deacon two piece, with sweeping print, gold feathers and platform boots, was inspired by Buckingham Palace art.

Billy Porter

Billy Porter. Photo: Getty

And that’s a wrap.

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