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The Mermaidcore Trend Is All Over the Oscars 2024 Red Carpet

 Anya-Taylor Joy at the 2024 Oscars.
Anya-Taylor Joy at the 2024 Oscars.

I've always wondered how trends arise on the red carpets at major awards shows. Are all the celebrity stylists in a group chat that I don't know about? Are the celebrities FaceTiming each other during their fittings? No matter how it's done, I love seeing the trends pop up—especially when they're unexpected. On the 2024 Oscars Red Carpet, one of the most prominent themes took us under the sea with the mermaidcore trend.

So many gowns on the carpet had an ocean feel. It all started when Dune actress Anya Taylor-Joy stepped out in a Christian Dior Haute Couture dress inspired by the label's Junon dress, which debuted during Christian Dior's Fall/Winter 1949–1950 collection. Speaking to E! 's Laverne Cox on the red carpet, Taylor-Joy said her gown was "inspired by Botticelli's 'Birth Of Venus," the first reference to the water.

Later on in the evening, Best Actress nominee and former Oscar winner Emma Stone stepped out in a peplum dress custom-designed by Louis Vuitton. The minty gown, which also took inspiration from the over-the-top outfits worn by her Poor Things character, Bella Baxter, was made in a silk jacquard fabric with a pattern that mimicked a shell pattern. It gave us another, albeit subtle, reference to the ocean.

Anya Taylor-Joy in Christian Dior
Anya Taylor-Joy in Christian Dior
Emma Stone 2024 Oscars red carpet
Emma Stone 2024 Oscars red carpet

Also a nod to mermaidcore was fellow Dune actress Florence Pugh's approach to the trend in her slinky silver Del Core gown—a change-up from her usual Valentino fare—which featured a selection of jeweled beads around the waist below a structured, almost shell-like bodice with a 3D ripple at her hips. Even subtler were floating straps—a detail that her dress shared with Emily Blunt's Schiaparelli look—giving her gown a weightless, floating feel.

Florence Pugh
Florence Pugh

Former Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o, who is presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress at tonight's ceremony, stepped on the red carpet in a mid-toned blue gown, custom-made for her by Armani Privé, no-less, that featured delicate feathers around the waist and hemline. The videos of her moving across the carpet gave her a mermaid-like appeal.

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o

Fellow presenter Hailee Steinfeld even opted for true under-the-water energy in her flowing teal blue and gold Elie Saab gown, complete with arm cuffs that gave her some very dreamy fins on the carpet tonight. And right as the carpet was ending, Best Supporting Actress nominee Da'Vine Joy Randolph appeared on the carpet in an icy blue sequined custom gown, also by Louis Vuitton.

Halie Steinfeld in Elie Saab
Halie Steinfeld in Elie Saab
Da'Vine Joy Randolph
Da'Vine Joy Randolph

That these watery shades were popular on this year's red carpet may not be so surprising, given that powder blue is one of spring 2024's biggest color trends and that Los Angeles has found itself under a deluge of rain over the last few weeks. Whichever way you look at it, the looks are undeniably refreshing after an awards season full of brighter shades of pink. Consider this a chance for the paler, sweeter shades to shine.