oscars 2024

Anything But Your Typical Little-Black Dress

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Even Barbie wore a black gown to the Oscars this year.

Black gowns can be easy to overlook on the red carpet. Sometimes they indicate an actress is trying to slip under the red-carpet radar. (Remember the 2018 Golden Globes protest? Many female nominees wore black to support Times Up and raise awareness about sexual harassment in Hollywood.) But this year, black gowns emerged as a popular trend on the 2024 Oscars red carpet without any such coordination — worn by many of the evening’s most famous nominees and presenters.

Margot Robbie said good-bye to a long Barbie promotional season of pink looks with a sparkling black strapless gown, straight from Versace’s fall 2024 runway. Greta Lee continued her series of Loewe red-carpet hits with a black dress with a white over-the-shoulder shawl. Carey Mulligan turned up in a custom Balenciaga gown with a dramatic mermaid silhouette ending in a voluminous layer of white tulle.

Then there was Issa Rae in a sexy sparkly gown by AMI Paris (with a green velvet skirt); Sandra Hüller in a body-hugging, off-the-shoulder custom Schiaparelli topped with the brand’s signature keyhole; director Celine Song in a pleated skirt and boxy, cropped jacket, courtesy of Loewe; and Laverne Cox in a 1985 Thierry Mugler gown with a gold pleated bustier. Meanwhile, Billie Eilish showed up in a chic Chanel look, complete with a black-and-white tweed skirt. And Jennifer Lawrence chose a black Dior couture gown covered in white polka dots. Does that technically count as black? For our purposes here, absolutely.

Carey Mulligan in Balenciaga Photo: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images
Celine Song in Loewe Photo: John Shearer/WireImage
Margot Robbie in Versace Photo: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images
Anything But Your Typical Little-Black Dress