From vintage Chanel to upcycled Gucci, these ‘green’ outfits worn by Hollywood’s biggest celebrities are redefining movie star glamour
The Oscars red carpet has traditionally been a showcase of all things glitzy and glamorous, but now you can add green to the list too.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or simply The Academy, is introducing a new red carpet style guide that encourages its celebrity guests to make sustainable fashion choices. The initiative is part of The Academy’s longstanding collaboration with Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD) Global, a women-led organisation that has dressed celebrities like Sophie Turner and Billie Eilish in eco-friendly ensembles for the annual film awards.
The updated dress code isn’t mandatory, but it’s likely that we’ll see plenty of sustainable style moments at the next Oscars. Celebrities have taken to dressing responsibly for the awards in the last couple of years, whether by opting for vintage designer dresses or recycling an outfit that they wore years ago. Below, we spotlight the most stylish celebrities who are championing eco-conscious fashion on the red carpet.
Margot Robbie is a Chanel ambassador, so it was pretty much a given that she would wear the French fashion brand to the 2020 Oscars. What came as a pleasant surprise, however, was that her chosen dress was vintage. The Barbie actress and her stylist had discovered the black strapless chiffon gown in the Chanel archives. It turned out to be a custom creation for a private client that echoed a look from the maison’s spring/summer 1994 haute couture collection designed by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. In other words, Robbie’s look was one-of-a-kind—while being kind to the planet.
Timotheé Chalamet loves making a fashion statement; halter-neck tops and glittering harnesses are just some of the pieces that the actor has sported in defiance of our expectations of men’s red carpet style. In 2020, the Bones and All actor showed up in a tracksuit—but not just any tracksuit. Its designer was Prada, and its material was recycled nylon, or “Re-Nylon”, as the Italian fashion brand calls it. Chalamet stayed true to his personal style, having been spotted wearing other Prada Re-Nylon pieces for his casual off-duty outfits. To elevate his red carpet look for the occasion, however, he added a vintage Cartier Tradition brooch from 1955.
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2020 was evidently a big year for sustainability on the Oscars red carpet. While Timotheé had his Prada and Margot was clad in Chanel, Léa Seydoux showed up in a custom Louis Vuitton gown. It’s eco-friendly credentials lay in the fact that it was crafted with silk made from renewable, wood-based Tencel Luxe filament yarn. The white bustier dress took Louis Vuitton’s couturiers over 100 hours to make, and its lifespan will be even longer. “I think we can also tell stories with what we wear, and in addition to being beautiful, my dress conveys a message,” said the Bond actress.
Billie Eilish’s motto for this year’s Oscars? In with the new—and the old. Just as she did for the 2022 Met Gala, the Happier Than Ever singer wore a custom Gucci gown crafted from deadstock fabrics, giving new life to materials that have been left over from the Italian fashion brand’s production. She took an upcycling approach to her choice of jewellery, too: Eilish wore a ring and a pair of diamond earrings that were repurposed from a Fred Leighton diamond star tiara from the 19th century. Eilish’s red carpet look displayed the same enterprising attitude that we’ve seen from her Gen Z fans, who often take to TikTok to show off their own DIY fashion outfits.
Besides his win as Best Actor for his role in Joker, Joaquin Phoenix captured our attention for his style choice at the 2020 Academy Awards. His black Stella McCartney tuxedo was the same one that he had worn that year for the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, the SAG Awards and, oh, the Baftas too. Even his choice of designer was deliberate: Stella McCartney is one of the first and most vocal supporters of sustainable fashion, designing clothes with an environmentally friendly and cruelty-free ethos.
This year, Kirsten Dunst made her return to the Oscars red carpet in splendid form, courtesy of her vintage red ruffled gown from Christian Lacroix. The actress, who was nominated for her role in The Power of the Dog, is a known fan of the French couturier, who shuttered his fashion label in 2009. She re-wore a Lacroix minidress in 2017, 13 years after she debuted the look at a Vanity Fair Oscars party. The vintage fashion enthusiast also arrived to the 2017 Oscars in a black haute couture gown designed by the Christian Dior in 1952.
Saoirse Ronan made quite the entrance at the 2020 Oscars wearing a sweeping ballgown by Gucci. Besides its full lilac moire skirt, the dress featured a dramatic peplum detail that was made of deadstock black satin—the same material that was left over from crafting her 2020 Baftas gown.
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Camila Alves McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey’s wife, Camila Alves, was an early champion of sustainability on the red carpet. In 2018, the model selected a silk corset gown from Vivienne Westwood’s fall/winter 2014 collection for her Oscars appearance alongside her actor husband. “I’m continuing to find ways to do my part in bettering the world we live in,” she said in a statement. “By encouraging the revitalisation of archival gowns, I’m making the ‘old’ new again and finding beauty that already exists.”