Dazzling diamonds & breathtaking couture: Oscars 2021

28 April 2021
By Fashion Quarterly

The first night out for many after a pandemic-induced hiatus, the 93rd Academy Awards were an understated affair. However, the celebrities who graced the red carpet with their presence certainly made up for it in style and poise.

Here’s a selection of celebrity Instagram posts from the Oscars that caught our attention. Read about what they wore, who made their outfits, and the hidden meanings behind the couture.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry is the first and only woman of colour to have won 2002 Best Actress in a Leading Role for her part in Monster’s Ball. In the present day, she stole the show, wearing a flowing lavender Dolce & Gabbana gown. Giving us a glimpse of the finer details in this Instagram post, Berry’s hands are adorned with diamonds by Ridano and feature a marble-look manicure in an almond shape.

Maria Bakalova

Margot Robbie

Attending the Awards as co-producer of female-led Promising Young Woman, Margot Robbie wore an ennobled lace dress from the Chanel Fall-Winter 2019/20 Haute Couture collection, imagined by Virginie Viard. With her hair in a low ponytail and blunt bangs, she looked effortlessly chic. 

Borat Breakout star Maria Bakalova had us swooning in a custom-made tulle and satin Louis Vuitton gown, embroidered with crystals and silver glass beads. The fairy-tale-like dress is symbolic of her controversial character Tutar’s transformation into a princess, as well as her real-life story, being a Bulgarian-born actress with a dream to make it big in Hollywood.


Dubbed a ‘neon dream’ by stylist Law Roach, Zendaya’s Valentino dress not only shone on the red carpet but also under the stars, made from glow-in-the-dark chiffon. Zendaya topped off the look with over 183 carats of Bulgari Diamonds in the form of a necklace, offering a sneak peek at the brand’s 2021 high jewellery collection Magnifica.

Regina King

Director of Oscar-nominated film One Night in Miami, Regina King, opened the Awards with a memorable speech, referencing the loss of many to the pandemic and the recent conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. King wore a powerful Louis Vuitton gown in duchess-satin, embodying strength and style.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon wore a Dior Winter 2021-2022 red silk georgette asymmetrical dress with a black leather and gold belt, finishing off her look with Bulgari onyx, pearls, diamonds and rubies. An accomplished actress, Witherspoon won Oscars Best Actress for Walk the Line in 2006. 

Judy Heumann

Disability rights activist Judy Heumann attended the red carpet in a pearl pantsuit by luxury womenswear brand Markarian, completing the look with a gold bracelet that read in Braille ‘This is Me’. Featuring in the Netflix documentary Crip Camp about a summer camp sparking a disability revolution, she said on Instagram, “I felt so proud to be representing such a landmark film!”.

Laura Dern

In what felt like the perfect ratio between white feathers and a black turtleneck, Laura Dern’s Oscar de la Renta gown was admired by many. Winning Best Supporting Actress in 2020, Dern presented the Best Supporting Actor award to Daniel Kaluuya.

Emerald Fennell

Emerald Fennell wore a Gucci Epilogue multicolour floral printed organdy gown with all-over sequin embroidery and ruffle details. Winning Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, Fennell is the first woman to win a screenwriting Oscar since 2008. In fact, until the 1960s, women could only be nominated in the category if they were paired with a male co-writer.

Amanda Seyfried

Picture perfect in Giorgio Armani Privé, Amanda Seyfried’s strapless red gown featured a deep v-neckline accentuated by tulle ruffles and a sweeping, full skirt. In couture inspired by hibiscus flowers, Seyfried was the epitome of old Hollywood glamour.


Paying homage to the outfit Prince wore to the 1985 Oscars, singer H.E.R. wore an embellished hooded jumpsuit and cape by Dundas. The glimmering ensemble included lyrics from her nominated song, Icing on the Cake, emblazoned on the border.

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett made a glamorous entrance in an off-the-shoulder Alberta Ferretti gown with draped organza shoulders, paired with a Judith Leiber clutch. Speaking of the red dress’s colour, she explained, “what I love most is glamour that exudes strength, power, and of course, fun! Red is one of my favorite go-to colors because it represents fire to me. It’s like having my own inner superpower that’s personal and unique to me”.

Alan Kim

In the spirit of saving the best for last, nine-year-old Alan Kim stole our hearts in head-to-toe Thom Browne. Posing with his dog Cream before the big evening, he showed off his custom-made tuxedo, oxford shirt with french cuffs, Browne’s signature four-bar socks and pebble leather brogues.


Sign up & Join
FQ Insider

Unlock exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, and special offers by becoming an FQ Insider.

Fashion Quarterly Winter 2023 Cover
Fashion Quarterly Winter 2023 Cover

Sign up & Join
FQ Insider

Unlock exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, and special offers by becoming an FQ Insider.

Sign up to the Fashion Quarterly newsletter.

*Ts&Cs apply.
Find out more at fq.co.nz/fq-newsletter