Yesterday, the nominations for the 2023 Oscars were announced, and predictions for the red carpet creations quickly appeared. It’s fun to think about what the nominees will wear, but maybe even cooler to think about how those who were snubbed could make a dramatic entrance. Surely they are all enlightened souls who don’t think of anything as petty as a revenge dress – but what if they are? Suggestion: consider attracting attention with the phenomenal gold dress by Stéphane Rolland, which made its Paris couture runway debut yesterday.
This was the final look, looking like liquid gold frozen as it was being poured, spurting from the model’s shoulders and forming a gleaming shaded tent to protect her from the mortals in the front row. A tear-shaped cutout was carved in the center of her face and part of her torso, reminding everyone that she was ethereal yet still earthly. Gold bangles wrapped around her arms like wire. She was a celestial sculpture of an animated god. The Oscar statuette could, frankly, never, ever.
This particular look was inspired by the patroness of Brazil, Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida, whose original image is on the central high altar in Aparecida, Brazil. In the notes for the show, Rolland wrote that the look was intended to represent the gold of the conquistadors cracking in the light of the rising sun. He wanted to represent spiritual women “dressed in the baroque churches of Bahia”. And it seems that perhaps Rolland meant the Oscars after all, since he said that the entire collection was inspired by Marcel Camus’ Oscar-winning film Orfeu Negroan adaptation of a Greek myth from the 1960s Orpheus and Eurydiceset in a favela in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival.
While Schiaparelli’s lion headdress divided the internet after being set on fire, Rolland’s gold gown appeared the very next day and seemed to unite every single person online around the idea that this look was divine. It was a representation of what fashion should be, a type of set of unfathomable beauty that you couldn’t have imagined in your wildest imagination, but when you see it you are so taken over that all you can say is “whoa”.
There were many other Stéphane Rolland creations in the collection that deserve a “whoa”. Like a long brown jersey crepe dress, draped like the falling petals of a dying flower, held together by lapis lapis around the neck. Or a gold crepe dress with a hood and amethysts falling like lei across the chest. And we can only hope to see any of them at the Oscars, preferably for revenge (Viola Davis, are you reading?) – but we’ll gladly take them for the win too.
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