By Ava C. Green, Features Editor
Black ties, bright colors and bodycon dresses were all in attendance at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards red carpet on Sunday, Feb. 26. I found myself pleasantly surprised by the fashion these celebrities flaunted on this star-studded night. But these strange celebrity stylists never fail to provide me with plenty of content to critique, and although many nominees shined on the red carpet, there were plenty that stunk as well.
I’ll start off with my peskiest qualm with the attire from this evening: menswear on the runway has yet to fully evolve and excite the way the grand gowns have. Now, I’m not asking for suit-wearers to go as hard as James Mardsen did in his powder blue suit, which looked like a bad cosplay of Harry from “Dumb and Dumber,” but an ounce of variation would be greatly appreciated. I was specifically let down by Seth Rogan, Evan Peters and Adam Sandler, who I would have rather seen in his usual long shorts and baggy tee over this basic look. They were all in the exact same black suit and black bowtie outfit to make the world’s most boring game of “Who Wore it Best?” Jason Bateman must have been feeling spicy choosing a classic straight, black tie to pair with his black suit instead of opting for the obviously trendy bowtie.
As I said, masculine formal wear has taken few steps since the “suit and tie” look was introduced in the late nineteenth century, becoming distinctly established by the Justin Timberlake song of the same name. But we saw a more unique presentation with John Krasinski in a steel gray pinstripe suit by Dolce & Gobanna with a thin silver pocket chain. It was but a fedora away from looking like a 1920s mob boss. Thankfully his stylist showed restraint and kept him looking sharp as ever.
Austin Butler also looked great in Gucci. This expertly tailored, burgundy suit caught my eye as it clashed with the crimson carpet rolled out for the evening. It was a three-piece suit, so it included a vest with a deep scoop which took the waist in and further accentuated the opposing flare of the trousers. Austin Butler followed the standard suit structure but played with silhouette and color, similarly to costumes he wore for “Elvis” — not really helping him deny the “Austin Butler thinks he’s Elvis reincarnated” accusations.
The SAG awards really did have a number of amazing red carpet looks. Zendaya absolutely takes the cake for me, as she actually looked like a gorgeous, pink-tiered cake with fondant flower appliques. Zendaya’s stylist, Law Roach, has nailed down her red carpet fashion formula: a floor-length gown, an opulent necklace, an updo and understated makeup. I don’t think I’m overexaggerating when I say Zendaya is the blueprint.
Angela Bassett was impossible to miss in her lemon-yellow gown. From chest to knee, it gave the illusion of Bassett being the most stunning mummy wrapped in the vibrant organza. The fabric gathered at the top and bottom to fan over her décollatage and create a trumpet hemline at the bottom of the dress. She was like a beam of light and is a strong contender for best dressed of the evening.
Quinta Brunson wore a black, sparkly fringe dress with a bodice modeled after a clam’s shell. The look existed at the intersection of old Hollywood glamor and new age camp. The dress by Jean-Louis Sabaji used the cartoonish clam shell and jutting, straight skirt to create an impressive structure, softened by Brunson’s simple topknot and classy makeup. She reminds me of a pop-art version of “The Birth of Venus” painting by Botticelli — plenty of fun and current statement elements that come together to create an undeniable beauty.
Perhaps not all of us were avid “Fashion Police”-watchers in our youths, but regardless, I thought the rule against pairing navy blue and black was common knowledge. Chloe East wore a sleek navy blue dress with thin layers of the same fabric all the way down; it was paired with a harness of sorts that looked to be separate from the dress and a conscious stylistic choice, and an interesting one to say the least. It looked haphazard and generally unappealing to the eye. Michelle Williams was another violator of this rule with similar black straps across her dress atop a navy dress. Hers wasn’t as offensive to me as East’s look was, but it still leaves me confused as to why everyone at the SAGs wanted to dress up as each other.
It truly pains me to say that I didn’t love Michelle Yeoh’s Schiaparelli haute couture dress. It was a slim-cut black dress with what looked like crinkle-cut fries down the center – similar idea but very different effect than Quinta Brunson’s look. As much as I’m bothered by this odd design, Yeoh was glowing, and her dress couldn't upstage her accomplishment of being the first Asian woman to win “Best Female Actress in a Leading Role” if it tried.
Few things bring me as much joy as catching the Canisius community up on these important and pivotal events, for what is a world where we don’t know how to talk about Zendaya’s impeccable style? A life without making fun of rich people’s confusing fashion is one that I am uninterested in. Awards season is coming to a close, leaving me plenty of time to gear up before the 2023 Met Gala on May 1.