Ah, the Oscars red carpet. The ne plus ultra of awards season carpets. The most formal, most glamorous, most ogled, analyzed, criticized and branded carpet of them all. The one that attracts the most eyeballs and thus has the most money riding on it in terms of marketing budgets and contract riders that say this celebrity has to wear that designer because they have a formal brand ambassador relationship with the company.
This is, after all, the carpet that turned Lady Gaga into a 21st-century version of … Grace Kelly? In black satin, opera gloves and up-do.
Here’s what happened on the carpet this time around.
The stars showed up in their Oscars best.
Greta Gerwig, the director of “Little Women,” and Noah Baumbach, the director of “Marriage Story,” appeared together. Mr. Baumbach, who is Ms. Gerwig’s partner and who writes with her, gushed over her, as has become his custom.
“She’s made me a better person and a better writer,” he said. “When we write together, I’m always trying to impress her. I write better because I work at it harder because I want her to be impressed.”
“That’s really nice,” Ms. Gerwig said.
Laura Dern, who won for best supporting actress for her role in “Marriage Story,” appeared on the red carpet wearing a pale pink Armani Privé gown with dripping black crystals. She was escorting several family members, including her mother.
Ms. Dern, who at last night’s Independent Spirit Awards was honored by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, said that it was a privilege to make movies for a living.
“Every job is complicated, every job has sacrifice,” Ms. Dern said. “But the bliss of getting to make movies as the thing you call your living is an incredible blessing.”
Bong Joon Ho, the director of “Parasite,” was in Hollywood for the evening, though at the Independent Spirit Awards, he said he would rather be elsewhere.
“After tomorrow, I can finally go home,” he said. “That’s what makes me happiest.” “Parasite,” which took home several awards, including best picture, is his first film in which the actors speak primarily in Korean.
Some used the carpet to share meaningful messages.
Janelle Monáe appeared on the carpet in a crystal-lacquered custom Ralph Lauren gown. Asked about “Harriet,” in which she plays the supporting role of Marie Buchanon, she said she hoped viewers would walk away with an important understanding.
“Listen to black women,” Ms. Monáe said. “When we are in positions of leadership, when we have your support, we can do the unthinkable. We can do the impossible.”
Natalie Portman wore a Dior tuxedo cape on which the names of female directors, including Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang and Marielle Heller, had been inscribed in gold cursive.
In a phone interview shortly before his flight to Los Angeles, De’Andre said that he was feeling “pride, and validation too,” for the opportunity to attend the show.
“It’s like, look at me,” he said. “The little kid with dreads is at the Oscars. While all the people at home are mad? I’m at the Oscars.”
Others talked, of course, about Brad and Leo.
Julia Butters, whom you may know as Leonardo DiCaprio’s young scene partner in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” wore Christian Siriano. Asked if she had talked to Mr. DiCaprio between takes, Julia, who is 10, said that they had not talked “like crazy.”
“We wouldn’t be like, ‘Hey, let’s talk,’” she said. “We would kind of be professional.”
Idina Menzel, at the awards with her husband, Aaron Lohr, said that she felt some pressure ahead of her performance of “Into the Unknown,” from “Frozen 2.”
“Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio will be there, and I’d like to hit all the notes properly — not that they matter, honey!” she said to Mr. Lohr. “Not that they matter.”
In case you were wondering, Timothée Chalamet arrived.
Remember the Golden Globes harness?
For this year’s Oscars, Timothée Chalamet took a different tack: a Prada ensemble that is somewhere between a suit-suit and a tracksuit.
Earlier in the evening, on Twitter, Kid Cudi, a fan (and friend) of the actor, expressed excitement to see what the “Little Women” man would wear.
He was really excited.
Wonder what he thinks!
Spike Lee paid tribute to Kobe Bryant: ‘He beat me.’
When the Grammys took place at the Staples Center on Jan. 26, Kobe Bryant was an undeniable presence, as fans congregated at the arena to pay tribute to the former Lakers star, who had died earlier that day.
At the Oscars, the first visible tribute to Bryant came from the director Spike Lee. He wore purple and gold and the number 24, Bryant’s number in the later part of his career.
“He beat me,” said Mr. Lee of Bryant. (Mr. Lee, famously, did not win an Oscar until 2019. Bryant won the award in 2018 for the short film “Dear Basketball.”)
Fashion week and the Oscars overlap.
Rebel Wilson wore a glamorous off-the-shoulder Jason Wu gown for the awards ceremony.
Fun fact: Jason Wu was one of the designers most disadvantaged by the Oscars falling in the middle of New York Fashion Week this year. His runway slot was at 6 p.m., right about the time people start tuning into red carpet coverage of one of the biggest fashion events of the year.
But it was striking to see a Jason Wu gown on the carpet at all; his last notable appearance there was when Kerry Washington wore one of his designs in 2014.
Billy Porter was the host to impress.
Last year we all said thank goodness for Billy Porter in his tuxedo ball gown, using his moment in the clothes spotlight to make a point. Tonight, he hosted an Oscars preshow on ABC, channeling royalty in gold, with a billowing skirt printed with imagery from Kensington Palace.
“This look is all about royalty,” Mr. Porter wrote in an email before the show.
The actor, best known for his role on the television show “Pose,” has become in recent years a reliable red carpet showstopper, known for his eye-catching fashion choices and general exuberance.
But being a host is different from being the star. This is Mr. Porter’s second stint hosting the preshow, and he appears to have grown more comfortable reflecting the glamour of the moment, rather than exuding it.
Some of the stars couldn’t help remarking on his red carpet reputation. Ms. Monáe told him, for instance, that he had inspired her to take her outfit to another level.
“When I knew that you were coming, what you did last year and what you are doing now, I knew I had to come and I had to show up,” she said.