Wait, were those shoulder straps floating?

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, June 17, 2024

Wait, were those shoulder straps floating?
Emily Blunt, nominated for best actress in a supporting role for "Oppenheimer," arrives before the 96th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, March 10, 2024. Blunt’s dress initially appeared on the runway of Schiaparelli’s spring-summer 2024 couture show, in a collection inspired by space, astrology and the heavens. (Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/The New York Times)

by Jessica Testa

NEW YORK, NY.- Emily Blunt showed up to the Academy Awards, arm in arm with her husband, actor John Krasinski, while her dress rejected the premise: Her straps refused to touch her arms. The neckline floated, as if it had been lifted from her Oscar-nominated shoulders by invisible fingers.

Those fingers, in theory, would have belonged to Daniel Roseberry, creative director of French fashion house Schiaparelli. The dress initially appeared on the runway of Schiaparelli’s spring-summer 2024 couture show, in a collection inspired by space, astrology and the heavens. (One model carried a robot baby.)

Around Blunt’s pelvis, the gown — already covered in nude sequins — featured a trompe l’œil outline of men’s boxer shorts in silver sequins. Fashion commentators on E! kept referring to the champagne dress as “sporty,” given the tank-top straps.

Then came Florence Pugh, who starred alongside Blunt in “Oppenheimer.” Her straps similarly stood up straight, jutting off her shoulders, from a gown made by the young Milanese brand Del Core (although her hovering straps weren’t quite as sculpturally rigid as those on Blunt’s dress).

Designer Daniel Del Core said in September, when the gown debuted on the runway, that he was “fascinated by architectural structures, just as much as I am by natural forms and their relations.” The rest of Pugh’s dress was reminiscent of a sea organism, with its foamy blue-gray color, curling reeflike bodice and glassy embellishments that resembled water drops.

The red carpet of the Academy Awards tends to be pretty traditional — think long trains, bejeweled strapless gowns and other romantic silhouettes associated with Old Hollywood glamour. So it was jolting to see such an unusual design element on Blunt and even more surprising to see it replicated on Pugh.

There were a few other bold necklines Sunday night. Best actress nominee Sandra Hüller’s off-shoulder sleeves were villainously sharp, and fellow nominee Lily Gladstone’s strapless neckline was trimmed with quilt made in collaboration by Gucci and Joe Big Mountain of Ironhouse Quillwork. For Blunt and Pugh, their floating necklines injected a little subversion into their predictably shiny looks.

Not everyone liked the straps, though. The gowns were polarizing on social media. But they stood out. The word that came to mind, quite literally, was elevating.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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