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The best fashion from the Oscars red carpet

Judging by the arrivals at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, the days of playing it safe on the red carpet are over, and so is the red carpet. The stars embraced the maximalist themes that have been circling couture houses, bringing bold colors, rich embellishments and a touch of whimsy to a pathway now carpeted in a subdued beige called “champagne.” (This could be the launch of a sarcastic hashtag called #OscarsSoBeige.)

However, some of the nominees continued to channel the themes and characters from their recent films, turning their formalwear into a glamorous extension of their movie wardrobes. Throughout awards season and even now, a bit of surrealism touches the attire of the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” nominees, while “Elvis'” Austin Butler channels a bit of rock ‘n’ roll from the 1950s. It’s easy to imagine director Lydia Tár in any of the pitch-perfect ensembles Cate Blanchett has been wearing. Others are cleverly using the Oscars carpet as another type of stage, where they can audition new characters, like the sexy vixen, the sophisticated one, or the gender-bending glamster.

The Oscars red carpet has come to represent the culmination of a months-long image campaign that is as much to do with the fashion aptitude of the actors as it is with the nominated films.

Today’s award shows help movie stars use their fashion savvy to secure their place among A-list actors. It’s no longer a given that movies (and their empty theaters) have more cachet than TV shows, but if their stars can convincingly wear couture or set fashion trends, the image dividends add up, especially for the actors. It’s not so surprising, then, that they can land lucrative advertising jobs or even head a prestigious fashion house, like Pharrell Williams, who was recently appointed men’s creative director at Louis Vuitton.

The high stakes make the arrival of the Oscars exciting once again. The stars save the best of their many couture ensembles for this event.

Here are the highlights from the Oscars champagne carpet:

Sofia Carson

Sofia Carson looks more like a Disney princess than a “descendant” at the Oscars.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham on the 2023 Oscars red carpet.

Ashley Graham delivers drama at the Oscars.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

bingbing of fans

Fan Bingbing in Tony Ward Couture at the 2023 Oscars red carpet.

Fan Bingbing shines in Tony Ward Couture at the Oscars.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Fan Bingbing in Tony Ward Couture at the 2023 Oscars red carpet.

Fan Bingbing is an emerald green goddess at the Oscars.

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

laverne cox

    Laverne Cox in Vera Wang on the 2023 Oscars red carpet.

Laverne Cox stands out in a black and Tiffany blue dress by Vera Wang.

(Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Erin Lim in Rick Owens on the Oscars 2023 red carpet.

Erin Lim stuns Rick Owens.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens with Chanel on the Oscars 2023 red carpet.

Vanessa Hudgens does minimalist fashion in a vintage Chanel column dress.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

zuri lounge

Zuri Hall on the Oscars 2023 red carpet.

Zuri Hall opera sports gloves: the fashion accessory of the season.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Naz Perez

Naz Pérez on the red carpet of the Oscars 2023.

floral? For winter? Innovative.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)