Why 2018 was the year that grown up style stars ruled the Oscars red carpet

British Lesley Manville, wearing Anna Valentine, arrives at the Oscars 2018 - AFP

Typically, during an Oscars ceremony, you only need to take a glance at the trending bars on Twitter or Instagram to see which stars’ looks are proving to be the most popular with social media-savvy (and typically younger) audiences.

But this year, instead of a GIF of the 27 year-old Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence providing the ‘gone-viral fashion moment’, or a newcomer actress wearing something slinky, the woman who caught the internet's attention was 86 year-old Rita Moreno.

Moreno chose to re-wear the same dress as she wore to the Oscars in 1962, when she scooped the Best Actress award for her role in West Side Story. Her only alteration? To switch the neckline from a wide boat to strapless, allowing for a hefty new necklace to take pride of place. Otherwise, she even kept on the same now-vintage opera gloves.

Rita Moreno

Refreshingly, Moreno wasn’t the only grown up fashion star dominating the style commentaries at this edition of the Oscars. Jane Fonda, 80, was hailed by Vogue as ‘Hollywood's Fabulous Octogenarian’. Dame Helen Mirren, 72, did a shot of tequila on the red carpet as she dazzled in diamonds and sapphires. Whoopi Goldberg, 62, found a 'comfortable' gown by Christian Siriano that suited the glamorous-practical crossover she demanded of a red carpet gown. And Eva Marie Saint looked as fabulous as any young starlet at 93. 

Helen Mirren wearing Reem Acra

Brit Lesley Manville, 61, nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her role in the couture epic, Phantom Thread, intriguingly shares a stylist, Elizabeth Saltzman, with one of the night’s youngest nominees, 23 year-old Saoirse Ronan - the former wearing Anna Valentine (one of the Duchess of Cornwall’s go-to labels) and the latter in Calvin Klein, but both looking as exciting and relevant as each other.

Eva Marie Saint ruling the red carpet at 93 Credit: Reuters

Meryl Streep, 68, wearing red Dior tonight, also works with Micaela Erlanger, the same stylist who dressed 35 year-old Lupita Nyong’o in her gold Atelier Versace.

Oscars 2018: The most glamorous looks from the red carpet

“You try to tell a story and answer all parts of this woman,” Saltzman told The Telegraph of her ageless approach to styling. “The first thing I look at with any client is who she is and all the different facets of her personality. What’s most interesting to me is to meet entirely different people and to figure out what suits them personally. There’s no such thing as one size fits all.”

Fashion and film are two industries that are still largely driven by youth, and young beauty has long been the most celebrated element of red carpet style. But just as their work on screen is being rewarded, doesn't it feel suitable that the grown up stars are leading the best dressed lists too?


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