Subtle but sexy – and even matched the carpet… Why chic champagne was the toast of the Oscars

Jamie Lee Curtis may have worked in Hollywood for over 45 years, but last night’s Oscars was surely the biggest night of his life.

It was the first time the 64-year-old was nominated for an Oscar, for her supporting role in Everything Everywhere All At Once. Knowing the spotlight would be firmly on her, did the star opt for a dress that screamed, “Look at me, I’m awesome”?

Not enough. She was happy to blend in. Her crystal-embellished Dolce & Gabbana dress was a soothing champagne color and went perfectly with . . . the carpet! It’s the first time the Oscars have opted for a “mellow” champagne hue rather than the usual red.

Sparkling Glory: Jamie Lee Curtis in Dolce & Gabbana
Modern twist: Florence Pugh in Valentino Haute Couture
Naomi Campbell in Schiaparelli
Cara Delevingne in Del Core at the Vanity Fair after-party

The temptation for the stars to stand out against such a discreet background in bright and garish colors must have been enormous. Fortunately, the biggest stars of the night did no such thing (most of them, at least). Surprisingly, Jamie Lee was far from alone. From Florence Pugh in Valentino to Naomi Watts in Givenchy, the stage was awash in this hue.

While it may seem effortless, has anyone dressed more simply or more stylishly than actress Rooney Mara in vintage Alexander McQueen? —Champagne as a color requires a lot of maintenance. Think of it as humble sartorial bragging, because the color champagne literally requires a champagne lifestyle – a lifestyle devoid of dirt, toddlers, and booze stains.

It also draws attention to the silhouette of the wearer. But by adding texture, embellishments like the metallic Schiaparelli sequins worn by Naomi Campbell, or clouds of fabric as seen on Helena Christensen, there’s always a way around it.

Champagne allows the wearer to be sexy without going trashy, providing, as it does, a soft backdrop to form-fitting attire with Zoe Saldana and Cara Delevingne all proving that point brilliantly.

Olivia Wilde in Gabriela Hearst
Emily Ratajkowski in Feben
Cara Delevingne arrives for the ceremony at Elie Saab
Lady Gaga in Versace

Of course, it’s not a color that’s going to dazzle a watching photographer, so there’s a risk that those wearing this understated hue will go unnoticed – which may explain why it was the choice of the biggest stars in the world. ‘Oscar. These are women who understand the power of less is more; who can let their talent sparkle.

This shade also allows the wearer to speak. As Best Actress winner Michelle Yeoh said, “Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re past your prime.”

Now there’s something we could all raise our glasses to.

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