Black on the red carpet: Who wore what at the 2022 Oscars?
From ingenues to red carpet veterans, we were rooting for everyone Black at the 94th annual Oscars—and we've got all the looks!
It’s the 94th annual Academy Awards—also known as the Oscars—and Black excellence is running high among this year’s nominees. Will this year’s Oscar winners include Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, or even Beyoncé?
We don’t know, but while we await those results, we’ve been equally interested in what our stars wore on the red carpet. From Oscars newbies like King Richard ingenue Saniyya Sydney to red carpet vets like Tracee Ellis Ross, the talent—and looks—were in full effect. So, who wore what at this year’s Oscars?
It’s not Ariana DeBose’s first Oscars but it is her first win—for her star-making turn in West Side Story. Eschewing the typical gown mandate, she wore an ensemble of trousers, bustier and cape, all in classic Valentino red.
Does anyone love a crop top on the red carpet more than Zendaya? Perhaps not, but the silhouette clearly loves her back, as evidenced by this satin and sequined ensemble she and stylist Law Roach chose for this year’s Oscars, also by Valentino.
While not in Valentino, 2022 Oscars presenter Tracee Ellis Ross obviously got the memo, giving décolletage and color not too dissimilar to DeBose in a scarlet tea-length dress by Carolina Herrera.
Regina Hall is an Oscars co-host this year and showed up for the covetable gig looking cocoalicious in a close-to-skin-tone chiffon gown by Vera Wang.
Lupita Nyong’o never shies away from drama—which earned her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014. The gold-spangled gown by Prada she wore for this year’s Oscars is no exception.
King Richard‘s Saniyya Sydney may be new to the Oscars but she knows how to embody the moment—not only channeling classic Oscar-winning ingénues like Audrey Hepburn, but incorporating the colors of all of her 2022 awards season looks into her strapless gown by Armani Privé.
Venus and Serena are an iconic pair, and similarly, so is the Serena to Sydney’s Venus, Demi Singleton. The young actress has been a vision in black all awards season, but chose to lighten it up for the Oscars, wearing lavender Miu Miu.
Harnessing a moment both similar to Saniyya’s Audrey homage and the sleek and classic look of Demi’s column dress was perennial style star Zoë Kravitz, wearing an elegant pale pink look from brand partner Saint Laurent.
King Richard matriarch Aunjanue Ellis gave us one of the colors of the season in a ruched and ruffled persimmon-colored gown by Versace.
Denzel may be up for yet another Oscar, but it was his wife and fellow actor Pauletta Washington who gave another orange-colored moment on the red carpet.
It’s another first-time Oscars co-host! Wanda Sykes’ humor may be edgy, but she kept her co-hosting look classic and gender-fluid in an all-white tux with a wider and slightly feminine lapel and white satin bustier.
Yellow is a color made for Black women, and Queen Latifah leaned into her regality this Oscars ceremony, wearing a bright yellow gown and matching kimono by Pamella Roland.
2021 Oscar-winner H.E.R. also went with a citrus hue (one of the shades of the season), leaving behind her prototypical trousers for the night in favor of a strapless tiered look by Carolina Herrera.
As if we needed any further evidence that Beyoncé is always on beat, the Oscar-nominated singer opened the show with an all-tennis-ball-yellow performance on the Compton courts that helped the Williams sisters find their game.
Is there is a Stallion in the house? Perhaps surprisingly, yes—Megan Thee Stallion gave us her version of Hollywood glamour in a smoke blue strapless gown by Gaurav Gupta.
E! Oscars red carpet host Laverne Cox made it clear she was rooting for everyone Black in a velvet gown and bustled cape by August Getty.
Niecy Nash and wife Jessica Betts brought some love to the red carpet, dressed in Monsoori and Rich Fresh, respectively.
If there’s one thing there’s plenty of at the Oscars, it’s money—and Tiffany Haddish came looking like exactly that in a custom sequined strapless column gown by Dolce & Gabbana.
Samuel L. Jackson earned the Governor’s Award ahead of this year’s Oscars but his Tony-nominated actress-producer-director wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson brought the glamour, wearing a vintage-inspired, sequined and spearmint-colored look.
He won his first Oscar last year for Judas and the Black Messiah, but Daniel Kaluuya also got in on the minty trend this year, sporting a Gucci tux.
Similarly, Will Smith scored his first Oscar tonight, (as well as a major scandal) but Jada Pinkett Smith stole the show on the red carpet in an opulent emerald gown by Jean Paul Gaultier.
Cynthia Erivo is well known for her red carpet statements, but this year, she kept her Oscars look strong yet subtle, wearing a silhouette similar to Jada’s in a jacket and gown combo by Louis Vuitton.
It may not be Oscar gold, Lena Waithe kept it dapper in a sleek bronze suit by Zegna.
Ruth E. Carter made history in 2019 for her incredible Afrofuturist costume design in Marvel’s Black Panther. This year, she gave us a memorable look of her own in a black-and-white look Jovana Louis.
Maya Rudolph is known for doing her own thing, but for this year’s Oscars, she joined the cadre of stars dressed by Maison Valentino, this time in a feathered orange caftan.
Don’t let the separate projects fool you; Halle and Chloë Bailey are always in tune with each other, as evidenced by the sisters’ strategically cutout asymmetric gowns for this year’s Oscars.
Another sister act we never tire of are Venus and Serena Williams, who capped off their very stylish awards season run with Oscar-worthy gowns by Elie Saab (Venus) and Gucci (Serena).
He’s kept our spirits up with Club Quarantine all the way to the Oscars: D-Nice rose to the occasion in a sparkly suit by Dolce & Gabbana, paired with one of his trademark toppers.
Jill Scott kept it black—and snatched—as ever on the Oscars red carpet, wearing a strong-shouldered, black sequined and satin gown.
Wesley Snipes has given us plenty of memorable moments over the years, and his look for this year’s White Men Can’t Jump reunion (30 years!) at the Oscars was no exception. We have no idea what he was wearing, but…if it was an homage to basketball shorts, it worked!
Likewise, we have no idea (yet) who David Oyelowo is wearing, but we must admit…it was kinda fun?
On screen or the red carpet, Ava DuVernay never disappoints—and this navy, statement-shouldered look by Louis Vuitton is a testament to her brilliance in both arenas.
Ever a boss, Sean Combs (Diddy? Puffy? Love?) kept his tux classic for this year’s Oscars—so daughter Chance could enjoy her red carpet shine.
Our beloved Insecure may be over, but Jay Ellis was anything but, inverting the classic tux look in his white and black version by Dolce & Gabbana,
This Oscars may have had some unexpected (and unfortunate) moments, but we have to shout out first-time broadcast producer Will Packer, who definitely went for the gold in a Hideoki Bespoke tux.
Maiysha Kai is Lifestyle Editor of theGrio, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, a love of great books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black culture. She is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Body (Words of Change series).
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