From high-fashion gowns to snazzy suits, these are the looks that had all of our editors talking

By PEOPLE style
April 26, 2021 01:33 PM
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For the last awards show of the season, stars arrived at a socially distanced red carpet and gave us the glitz and glam we've come to expect at the Academy Awards. There were super-sexy skin-baring looks, haute couture ballgowns and fun suits that had all our editors talking. See which looks are going down as our favorites of the night!

Andra Day in Vera Wang

andra day
Credit: Chris Pizzelo-Pool/Getty

Colleen Kratofil, Style Editor: The Best Actress nominee told PEOPLE prior to walking the carpet that she was going to go outside her comfort zone and wear something "very, very sexy" in honor of Billie Holiday, whom she portrayed in The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. And this glittering gold custom Vera Wang gown proved the risk paid off! The dress features a large cutout showing off her obliques and ultra-high side slit that gave us that show-stopping, sultry vibe she was going for. Day already looked like a million bucks, but solidified that by teaming the look with $2 million worth of Tiffany & Co. diamonds, paired with a gold clutch and matching Casadei stilettos. The look was surprising, sexy and stylish, which will certainly make it a can't-forget Oscars moment for years to come.

Carey Mulligan in Valentino Haute Couture

carey mulligan
Credit: Chris Pizzelo-Pool/Getty

Alex Apatoff, Digital Lifestyle Director: An unexpected silver lining of the weird pandemic awards season was how much fun stars were having with fashion when they were only posing in the backyard. Many celebs chose things that were more "editorial" in nature because they didn't have to worry about wrinkling delicate fabrics or fitting huge shoulders into a car's backseat or even just looking a little silly when they arrived.

So I was delighted that Carey Mulligan kept that "go big and stay home" energy up for the Oscars red carpet, wearing this massive (and massively cool) allover sequin two-piece number by Valentino, with low-key hair, makeup and Cartier jewels. It was a kind of punk princess look that took guts, but ended up being totally glorious.

Lakeith Stanfield in Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Lakeith Stanfield
Credit: Alberto Pezzali/Pool/Shutterstock

Hanna Flanagan, Style & Beauty Assistant: It's always exciting when men take fashion risks by rejecting the traditional tuxedo on major red carpets — and Lakeith Stanfield arriving at the 93rd annual Academy Awards in a Saint Laurent jumpsuit with a plunging V-neck is the perfect example. The Best Actor nominee took the sexy '70s-inspired ensemble to the next level by wearing a white shirt that featured a dagger-point collar underneath and accessorizing with orange-tinted sunglasses, chunky rings and a swoon-worthy chain necklace…watch out, Paul Mescal!

Zendaya in Valentino Haute Couture

zendaya
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Pool/Shutterstock

Kaitlyn Frey, Assistant Style & Beauty Editor: I spoke to Zendaya's longtime stylist and image architect Law Roach a few days before the Oscars, and he told me that together, the two always aim to "create looks that people will talk about." Boy, did this look deliver. The presenter's electric yellow custom Valentino Haute Couture gown lit up the red carpet, but what really stole my heart were her jewels. Roach worked with Italian jewelry house Bulgari to pull some of the most exclusive diamonds in the world — over $6 million worth to be exact — to take Zendaya's "glamorous, boho chic" look to a whole other level. Undoubtedly, this ensemble is going down as one of my favorite Oscars moments of all time.

Angela Bassett in Alberta Ferretti

Angela Bassett attends the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton and broadcast on February 28, 2021
Credit: Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty

Sarah Ball, Market Editor: When I think of an Oscar-worthy look, this custom Alberta Ferretti gown is it. The vibrant red hue looks amazing on the actress and dramatic oversize sleeves (that turn into a bow and small train in the back) scream super star. Bassett and her stylist Jennifer Austin finished the look with chandelier earrings from Chopard (featuring 28.19 carats of rubies and 9.5 carats of diamonds) and a 14.62 carat pink tourmaline ring worn on her pinky finger along with a fun novelty crystal embellished clutch by Judith Leiber and gold Christian Louboutin sandals.