Cover Photo: Chanel

The custom ballgown featured a sparkling rendition of Chanel’s signature tweed

What does elegance look like? Penelope Cruz offered a compelling answer at the 2022 Oscars.

Cruz, who was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Pedro Almódovar's Parallel Mothers, took to the red carpet in a Chanel halter-neck taffeta ballgown, featuring a ruched bodice lined with buttons and a full skirt that came with pockets.

The custom dress was inspired by a look from Chanel’s Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2020 collection by Virginie Viard, which originally featured a sheer cape.

Read more: Oscars 2022: Best Dressed Women on the Red Carpet

As a nod to the French luxury brand’s signature fabric, Cruz’s dress was also embellished with a metallic tweed bow, painstakingly created at the Chanel haute couture ateliers in Paris. 

Using a hand embroidery technique known as the Lunéville crochet, which is named after the French town that it originates from, Chanel’s petites mains embellished the bow with over 8,000 blue and silver sequins. The entire dress took 680 hours to construct.

The sparkling neckline of her dress meant that Cruz could do away with a statement necklace. Instead, the Spanish actress finished her Oscars look with a pair of Chanel shoes, a Diamant Essentiel ring, as well as Vol Suspendu ring and earrings in white gold and diamonds from the maison's Coromandel High Jewellery collection

Don't miss: Oscars 2022: All the Asian Stars Who Dazzled on the Red Carpet

The 94th Academy Awards marked Cruz’s return to Hollywood’s hallowed awards ceremony—and highlighted her longstanding relationship with Chanel.

She was appointed as ambassador of the brand by the late Karl Lagerfeld in 2018, but Cruz’s connection with Chanel actually dates back to 1999. Notably, she arrived to the 2008 Oscars in a black feather-trimmed Chanel gown. That was the same year that she made history as the first Spanish actress to win an Academy Award.

Over the years, Cruz has remained a vision of sophistication at the world’s prestigious film festivals and award shows, including the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. The actress’s timeless red carpet looks truly embody Coco Chanel’s wise aphorism on style: “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.